Was Jesus Crucified?
M. The Holy Qur'an states in Surah 4:157 that Jesus was not crucified: "And their [Jews'] boasting: 'We killed Messiah Jesus, Son of Mary, the Apostle of Allah, but they [Jews] killed him not, nor crucified him ..." (English meaning).
Do you still believe that he died on the cross?
C. Yes, he died and was then resurrected.
M. We all agree that nobody saw the moment he was resurrected. They found that the sepulchre in which Jesus was laid down, empty and made the conclusion that he was resurrected, because the disciples and other witnesses saw him alive after the alleged crucifixion. Could it not be possible, as the Holy Qur'an claims, that he didn't die on the cross?
C. Where is the proof?
M. Let us see passages in Bible supporting this evidence. Do you give more weight to what Jesus said or to hearsay of the disciples, apostles, and other witnesses?
C. Of course more to Jesus himself.
M. That is in accordance with what Jesus said (Matthew 10:24): "The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord."
C. But Jesus himself said that he will rise from the dead (Luke 24:46): "And said unto them: 'Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day."'
M. Suffering is often exaggerated in the Bible and termed "dead," as Paul said in (I Corinthians 15:31): "I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ, I die daily" (i.e. I suffer daily). Here are some of the proofs:
1. On the cross, he beseeched God for help (Matthew 27:46): "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" And in (Luke 22:42): "Saying, Father if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (This cup is the cup of death.)
2. Jesus' prayer not to die on the cross was accepted by God, according to Luke, Hebrews, and James. Then, how could he still die on the cross? (Luke 22:43): "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him." It means that an angel assured him that God would not leave him helpless. (Hebrews 5:7): "Who in the days of his flesh, when he [Jesus] had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared."
Jesus' prayers were "heard," which means that they were answered in a positive way by God. (James 5:16): "... The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." Jesus himself said (Matthew 7:7-10): "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth, and to him who knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?" If all of Jesus' prayers were accepted by God, including his prayer not to die on the cross, how could he still die on the cross then?
3. His legs were not broken by the Roman soldiers (John 19:32-33): "Then came the soldiers, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs." Can you rely on these soldiers for pronouncing the death, or did they want to save Jesus as they found him innocent?
4. If Jesus died on the cross, his blood would clot and no blood would gush out of his body when his side was pierced. But the Gospel states that blood and water came out (John 19:34): "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."
5. When the Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign of his true mission, he answered (Matthew 12:40): "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." Disregard now the time factor, which was also not three days and three nights but one day (Saturday, daytime only) and two nights (Friday night and Saturday night). Was Jonas alive in the belly of the whale?
M. Was Jonas still alive when he was vomited out of the belly of the whale?
M. Then Jesus was still alive as he prophesied.
6. Jesus himself stated that he didn't die on the cross. Early Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to the sepulchre, which was empty. She saw somebody standing who looked like a gardener. She recognized him after conversation to be Jesus and wanted to touch him. Jesus said (John 20:17): "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father ..." "Touch me not", perhaps because the fresh wound would hurt him. "I am not yet ascended to my Father", means that he was still alive, not dead yet, because if somebody dies, he then goes back to the Creator. This was the strongest proof admitted by Jesus himself.
7. After the alleged crucifixion, the disciples thought that he was not the same Jesus in body but spiritualized, because resurrected bodies are spiritualized.
C. Interruption. How can you be sure that resurrected bodies are spiritualized?
M. That is what Jesus himself said in the Bible: that they are equal to angels.
C. Where in the Bible?
M. In (Luke 20: 34-36): "And answering said unto them: 'The children of the world marry, and are given in marriage. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and then resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection’.”
Then Jesus convinced them, by letting them touch his hands and feet, that he was the same person. As they could not believe him yet, he asked for meat to show them that he still ate like any living individual. Read (Luke 24:36-41): "And as they [the disciples] thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them: 'Peace be unto you.' But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them: 'Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me.' And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them: 'Have ye here any meat?' And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them."
8. If you still believe that he died on the cross, then he was a false prophet and accursed of God according to these passages: (Deuteronomy 13:5): "And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death ..."; (Deuteronomy 21:22-23): "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance."
To believe in his death on the cross is to discredit his prophethood. The Jews maintained to have killed Jesus on the cross and consequently portrayed him to be false in his claim to prophethood. Christians believe in the crucifixion, necessary for their redemption of sin and, consequently, have to accept the accursedness of Jesus, too. This Christian belief opposes the Bible's teaching in (Hosea 6:6): "For I desired mercy and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." It also opposes Jesus' own teaching (Matthew 9:13): "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice ..." Again Jesus said (Matthew 12:7): "But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless."
C. Why do people believe in the resurrection then?
M. It was Paul who taught the resurrection (Acts 17:18): "... And some [Jews] said: 'What will this babbler say?' other some, He [Paul] seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection." Paul, who never saw Jesus, also admitted that the resurrection was his gospel (II Timothy 2:8): "Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." He was also the first who declared Jesus as Son of God (Acts 9:20): "And straightway he [Paul] preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."
So Christianity is not a teaching of Jesus but of Paul.
C. But (Mark 16:19) mentioned that Jesus was raised up to heaven and sat on the right hand of God: "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. "
M. As I told you under the discussion of the Holy Bible that (Mark 16:9-20) was expunged in certain Bibles. See remark in The Revised Standard Version, The New American Standard Bible and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures of the Jehovah's Witnesses Church.
If you still believe that Jesus is divine because he was raised up to heaven, why don't you accept other prophets as divine who were raised up to heaven?
C. Who were they?
M. Elijah (II Kings 2:1 1-12): "... and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried ... And he saw him no more ...". Also Enoch was also taken by God to heaven (Genesis 5:24): "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him". This was also repeated in (Hebrews 11:5): "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death, and was not found, because God translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."