Yesterday I reblogged The Great Substitution (5/31/13). In that post, BJ briefly describes what a major Muslim scholar believed about the death of Christ Jesus. Ibn Abbas, Muhammad’s cousin and the first Qur’anic scholar said Jesus chose one of younger apostles, cast his his own resemblance on the man, and had him die in his place. Thus, Jesus grabbed the glory and then ascended into heaven (see also Islamic view of Jesus’ death and The Death of Jesus according to Islamic sources – 4).
After I reblogged The Great Substitution (5/31/13), I thought I was done with the subject. Wrong! I got this comment.
It’s an interesting article, although I think it indicates more respect for Jesus and his story, as understood by adherents of another religion, than most Christians would believe Muslims adhere to. It describes a direct taking up into Heaven of Jesus as the result of a direct intervention of God. Overlaid on orthodox Christianity, this story just skips from the “Is it I?” conversation to the Ascension. Certainly not orthodox belief, but more alert to some elements of our beliefs than might be believed by many Christians.
What describes I would have expected any Christian find offensive. Apparently, that is not the case. Moreover, Muslims think of Jesus as a prophet. So I doubt Muslims think they are being offensive to Jesus. The Koran actually mentions Jesus (calling him Isa) more often than it does Muhammad (here are the references). Therefore, I decided the matter deserved a bit more thought.
Are and I wrong? Does the Koran show respect for Christ Jesus? I still don’t think so. At the time when Muhammad began using warriors to spread his religion of “peace,” Christianity, in the person of Christ Jesus, stood in his way. Thus, Muhammad had to devise propaganda designed to do two things:
- Show Jesus did not practice what He preached.
- Show Jesus was not God.
Did Christ Jesus practice what He preached? Did He obey the Father even unto death? Consider John 3:16.
John 3:16 Good News Translation (GNT)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
Christ Jesus spoke those words to Nicodemus. Subsequently, the Bible records that hundreds saw Christ Jesus die and rise from the dead. Hundreds of years latter, Muhammad‘s book, the Koran, records a magic trick. If Jesus Himself did not die on the cross, then God has not forgiven us of our sins. We have no redeemer. Instead, we have a monstrously clever deceiver who only pretended to die for our sins. As Easter Week Devotion: The Importance of the Resurrection at Settled In Heaven explains, the crucial facts of the Christian faith are the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Was Christ Jesus God? The Bible records that hundreds saw Christ Jesus die and rise from the dead. Hundreds of years latter, Muhammad‘s book, the Koran, records a magic trick. In order for Muhammad to be Allah’s number one holy man, Muhammad‘s book, the Koran, had to deny the death and resurrection of Jesus. And how did Muhammad know Christ Jesus did not die and rise from the dead? Here is what Muhammad recorded in the Koran.
[4.157] 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.
[4.158] Nay! Allah took him up to Himself; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
[4.159] And there is not one of the followers of the Book but most certainly believes in this before his death, and on the day of resurrection he (Isa) shall be a witness against them. (from here)
Mark 9:33-37 Good News Translation (GNT)
Who Is the Greatest?
33 They came to Capernaum, and after going indoors Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?”
34 But they would not answer him, because on the road they had been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest. 35 Jesus sat down, called the twelve disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all.” 36 Then he took a child and had him stand in front of them. He put his arms around him and said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not only me but also the one who sent me.”
What Jesus taught is that we gain salvation by accepting His sacrifice, returning His love, and by loving our fellows. What Muhammad taught is that we earn salvation by obeying the prophet of Allah. To remove Jesus as a competitor, Muhammad had to lie about what Jesus had taught and done.