One summer, I was in the UK with my Saudi friend Faisal. It was a nice warm day, and we passed by a beautiful church in Birmingham.
At the entrance of the church, Faisal noticed the tall crucifix about 5 metres high.
On it lay the figure of a man with open arms, his head hanging low, a crown of thorns on his bleeding head, a large gash in his stomach, and nailed to the cross by his hands and feet.
Written by Mohammed Francis
Quite shocked, Faisal asked me, ‘Who is that man, and do you know why is he nailed to a cross?’
Respectfully, I told him Christians say it is the figure of Jesus Christ or the one that Muslims call Prophet Jesus (AS).
I explained that Christians also claim that Jesus (AS) is the son of God and that the Romans had crucified him to death.
I also told him the biblical story of how Jesus (AS) mystically rose to heaven after his crucifixion and three days later returned to earth in a new human form.
Muslims Reject The View Of The Crucifixion of Jesus (AS)
Faisal then asked, ‘Is that true? Did the Romans kill Prophet Jesus (AS) in such a way?’
I replied, ‘No, they did not.’
As Muslims, we do not believe Prophet Jesus (AS) was crucified or died in such a way.
The Quran categorically states Jesus (AS) was not crucified (An Nisa 4:157), and Muslims think it is not logically possible.
Then Faisal thought for a while and reflected. ‘If he were the son of God, wouldn’t Jesus (AS) have had exceptional powers and tried to have stopped himself from being tortured and crucified?‘
I explained to Faisal that according to the Christians, Jesus had to experience torture and crucifixion before he died.
He asked why.
I told Faisal that Christians say God wanted his son Jesus (AS) to suffer torture and to have a sacrificial death to atone for or make up for the sins of all the people in the world who lived and died.
Christians believe that God forgives all their sins through the crucifixion and that they enter paradise through Jesus, the son of God.
The Christian View Of The Crucifixion
Faisal summarised the Christian viewpoint in the following way.
‘So, according to Christianity, God allowed the Romans to kill and crucify his earthly son, Jesus (AS), and take on upon himself (Jesus) all the sins of all the people in the world so that God (his father) would forgive the people and allow them a place in heaven after death.’
The Christian View of The Crucifixion Of Jesus (AS) Is Illogical
Faisal then went on to explain the absurdity of this viewpoint.
First, a human cannot be a god. Humans are born, live and die. Only the true God is everlasting. So, though Jesus (AS) had been a unique historical character, he logically could not been a god.
Second, no father would ever permit his son to be tortured and to die by crucifixion, least of all the one true God.
Third, an all-merciful God could easily show his mercy to all human beings for their sins without needing a sacrificial intermediary.
Who Actually Got Crucified?
I ended by explaining that Muslims believe the person crucified was not Jesus (AS) but the man who had betrayed him to the Romans.
Allah (SWT) miraculously caused this man to appear in the likeness of Jesus (AS), and it was this man who the Romans had mistakenly crucified to death.
In the end, Allah (SWT) knows best.