Christian Courier: Penpoints
Monday, December 30, 2002
In todays world of
religious pluralism, it is common to hear prominent politicians
and religious leaders commend Islam as one of the noble
religions of humanity. The truth is, Mohammeds system
is vigorously opposed to the facts of the Christian gospel.
asserts that Jesus was not crucified; rather, the Saviors
death was only made to appear as such. Actually,
it is alleged, he was raised up unto God without
dying on the cross (Sura IV.157-158). Here is the text in
That they said (in
boast), We killed Christ Jesus The son of Mary,
The Apostle of God; But they killed him not,
Nor crucified him, But so it was made To appear to them,
And those who differ Therein are full of doubts, With
no (certain) knowledge, But only conjecture to follow,
For of a surety They killed him not: Nay, God raised
him up Unto Himself; and God Is Exalted in Power, Wise;
This allegation is absolutely
void of evidence. For example, note the following.
- The Old Testaments prophets
foretold the death of Christ. The Lord was to be pierced
(Psa. 22:16; Zech. 12:10), led as a lamb to the slaughter
(Isa. 53:7), slain as the Passover victim (Ex. 12:1ff;
cf. 1 Cor. 5:7), and enter into Sheol (Ps. 16:10; cf.
Acts 2:22-32) the realm of the dead.
- Jesus himself declared
that he would be killed (Mt. 16:21), and that his body
would be in the grave three days (Mt. 12:40).
The New Testament spokesmen uniformly affirmed that Jesus
died. Peter proclaimed this message (Acts 2:23; 3:15;
1 Pet. 1:18-21), as did Stephen (Acts 7:52), Paul (Acts
13:28; 1 Cor. 15:1ff), and others (cf. Rev. 5:9; 11:8;
- Secular history confirms
that Christ died. Josephus, the Jewish historian, refers
to Jesus death (Antiquities18.3.3). The Roman writer,
Tacitus, said that Christ was executed by
Pilate (Annals 15.44). The early enemies of Christianity,
e.g., Celsus and Lucian, also conceded that Jesus was
put to death, as did the Patristic writers of the ante-Nicean
- The evidence for the
death of the Lord is absolutely overwhelming. Only someone
wholly oblivious to history, or with a diabolic agenda,
would dare deny this irrefutable reality.
A Moslem scholar, who has
written a brief commentary on the Quran, expresses
the Islamic viewpoint regarding this matter.
The end of the life
of Jesus on earth is as much involved in mystery as his
birth, and indeed the greater part of his private life,
except the three main years of his ministry. It is not
profitable to discuss the many doubts and conjectures
among the early Christian sects and among Muslim theologians.
The Orthodox Christian Churches make it a cardinal point
of their doctrine that his life was taken on the Cross,
that he died and was buried, that on the third day he
rose in the body with his wounds intact, and walked about
and conversed, and ate with his disciples, and was afterwards
taken up bodily to heaven. This is necessary for the theological
doctrine of blood sacrifice and vicarious atonement for
sins, which is rejected by Islam (Quran
Translation & Commentary, Islamic Propagation Centre
International, A. Yusuf Ali, 1946, p. 230).
Mr. Ali cites several sources
for the notion that Jesus never died, e.g., the Basilidans
and the Docetae. The gentlemans attempt to discredit
the death of Jesus Christ is absolutely futile. Concerning
these two sources we may observe succinctly:
- Basilides was an Egyptian
Gnostic of the 2nd century A.D. He was a false philosopher
who had only the remotest connection with Christianity.
Basilides taught many things that would be disputed by
Islam. He was hardly an authoritative source.
- The Gnostic movement,
known as the Docetists, denied that Jesus ever existed
in a human form; he only appeared that way.
The Moslems, of course, would not endorse this idea.
It is, therefore, wholly disingenuous to quote these sources
as though they had some bearing upon the true, historical
picture relative to Jesus of Nazareth.
The Islamic repudiation
of the death of Christ is grounded in an aversion to the
biblical doctrine of the Lords vicarious death to
atone for sin, and thus strikes at the very heart of the
gospel of Jesus of Nazareth. The religion of Mohammed is
hostile to the Christian faith, and it must never be viewed
as an optional religious system that has divine approval.
Unfortunately some politicians,
who ostensibly identify themselves with the Christian movement,
are willing to mute their personal convictions concerning
Jesus in the interest of soothing Islamic feelings
within the international community.
The genuine Christian would
not dare accommodate such compromise (cf. Mt. 10:32-33).