As we have seen so far, Jesus calmed to be the Son of God and that He was God. Not only did He make these claims, He backed them up by the miracles that He performed. His greatest miracle was His resurrection. Only God could have done this. The Bible clearly teaches that God raised Jesus from the dead. It also teaches that the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead. It also says that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. How could this be? The answer is that all are God and what one does, the others do because the three are one.
Muslims have picked up on the fact that many Christians in the west are weak and don’t know Bible doctrine. They are using the fact that the Qur’an talks about Jesus to dupe these weak Christians into believing that they also believe in Jesus. Here are two examples of billboards that are popping up all over the country.
These are showing up in places like Norcross, GA in an attempt to proselyte Christians to Islam. A Christian that doesn’t know what Islam teaches about Jesus will think that this means Islam and Christianity believe the same thing.
The Islamic Center for North America (ICNA) put these up. They are a Muslim Brotherhood front group. They are trying to cause Christians to think they are wrong about Islam and to try to pull them ways from Christianity and to Islam.
Muslims are also using this kind of tactics on college campuses to reach our young adults. They are having particular success among young women.
Muslims have a hard time understanding what we teach concerning the deity of Christ. They think we believe that man became God. They don’t understand that we teach that God became man without losing His godhood. They don’t understand that the Word (God the Son) became flesh.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14 AV
It is important that we know what and why we believe. We must have a ready answer to those who would draw us away from the truth.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15 AV
Islam and the Crucifixion
Islam teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross. They consider this a lie and they have an interesting explanation for what they believe.
Surah 4:157-158 “And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Marium, the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure. Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
They are saying that Allah deceived the Christians and the Jews into believing that Jesus was crucified. In order for us to understand Islam we must go beyond the Qur’an. There are other works that are just as binding on Muslims as is the Qur’an. The Hadith are the recorded works and sayings of Muhammad. Muslims are commanded to follow their Prophet and, therefore, these works teach Muslims how they are to conduct themselves.
The following narration recorded in the Qur’anic exegesis of Ibn Kathir is graded as authentic by orthodox Sunni scholars for the Qur’anic verse related to the substitution of Jesus:
Ibn Abbas said, “Just before Allah raised Jesus to the Heavens, Jesus went to his disciples, who were twelve inside the house. When he arrived, his hair was dripping with water (as if he had just had a bath) and he said, ‘There are those among you who will disbelieve in me twelve times after you had believed in me.’ He then asked, ‘Who among you will volunteer for his appearance to be transformed into mine, and be killed in my place. Whoever volunteers for that, he will be with me (in Paradise).’ One of the youngest ones among them volunteered, but Jesus asked him to sit down. Jesus asked again for a volunteer, and the same young man volunteered and Jesus asked him to sit down again. Then the young man volunteered a third time and Jesus said, ‘You will be that man,’ and the resemblance of Jesus was cast over that man while Jesus ascended to Heaven from a hole in the roof of the house. When the Jews came looking for Jesus, they found that young man and crucified him.
Since after the crucifixion Judas is not seen any more Muslims assume that the volunteer was Judas. He says that the image of Jesus was put on Judas so everyone would think that Jesus was crucified. The reward for taking Jesus’ place was to be in Paradise.
Christians must remember that if Jesus, the Son of God, did not die on the cross there is no hope of salvation. If He did not take upon Himself the sins of the world we are still lost in our sin. There is no way we could pay the debt of sin ourselves. It required the sinless Son of God.
This is not a light issue. It is not just saying things a different way. It is denying the very essence of Christianity. It is denying the only hope of mankind. It denies the very reason Christ came to this earth.
If Jesus did not die on the cross there is no resurrection. Jesus claimed to be the resurrection and the life.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: John 11:25 AV
You will notice that He links His resurrection to ours. If He did not rise from the dead there will be no resurrection for us. Paul made this point very clear.
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Corinthians 15:17-19 AV
If Christ is not risen from the grave we are without hope. The lives that we live here are most miserable because we sacrifice to live lives acceptable to God, and all for naught if Jesus did not raise from the grave. The resurrection of Christ is vital to the Christian faith.
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