Some of my Muslim friends have told me, with absolute confidence that of course, Jesus didn’t die on the cross. It’s just not possible.
Their argument is simple; either someone else took his place or, he was nailed to the cross, fell unconscious and was taken down alive.
One would hear such reasoning and assume the matter had long since been settled by the community of Islam, but it’s not that simple.
The Quran contains more than a few teachings about Jesus, including statements about his virgin birth, power, knowledge, death, resurrection and ascension. I would quote some of those verses here, but I have no authority to translate even a fragment of the Quran into English.
If you have a Quran, check out these verses:
- Al Imran (3):55
- Al-Nisa (4):157
- Al-Ma’ida (5):117
- Maryam (19):33
The fact is, you can read the Quran as supporting some of the most important Biblical teachings about Christ. And that’s been a problem, or better said, a puzzle for Muslim scholars. It’s not something that’s escaped their attention.
Over the centuries, Muslim teachers have wrestled with the Quranic teachings about Christ. Often, their dialog has centered around the correct translation of ancient Arabic words.
We, Christians can appreciate that. After all, we have our debates about words and their meanings and context and the application of specific verses.
On this issue I’m happy to say, “I believe. Perhaps someday, you will, too.” And of course, I’m comfortable with the realization that truth exists independently of all of us.
One day, we’ll all understand. In the meantime, a word to my Muslim friends; keep searching, keep wrestling with your own texts, keep looking for God. I like it that you desire God, too. Knowing him is worth more than all our efforts combined.