Before I start I ask this in no disrespectful way and ask for that in return in your replies :) So this is something that has been bugging me for a while. I am a Christian who struggles with faith from time to time and whenever I come to reading up on Islam more and more the one thing that I can't understand is why Allah made it seem to Christians that Jesus died on the cross. My reasons for this are: In Allah doing this he essentially created the faith and as he is all knowing he would know that millions of people would follow Jesus. Secondly the Quran and Muhammad coming many years after Jesus makes it hard for me to believe that these words are true. As he couldn't have seen it for himself. Also, before anyone mentions anything about the bible being unreliable and corrupted I know from lots of research that the bible through the thousands of copies of the original new testament that it is not changed how many Muslims say it has been. Finally, with my understanding the Quran has several different versions but muslims only believe in one? If I am correct. Thank you for your help
We know that a Christian will struggle with this topic, that's why Allah says:
29:46 ۞ وَلَا تُجَـٰدِلُوٓا۟ أَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا۟ مِنْهُمْ ۖ
And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them.
Allah is the One whom Christians call father, who according to Acts is Elohim in Judaism, the God of Abraham:
Acts 3:22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me.
The reason for God to put the fake Jesus on the cross and save the real Christ are three:
- To punish the Jews who planned to kill Jesus and [verbally] attacked the Virgin Mary.
- To test the Christians in their faith, which happened with all Christians approaching Islam.
- To see the trust of the Muslims, if they should trust Him about Jesus, or the People of the Book.
The problem of the crucifixion started early in the Old Testament, when God threatened the Israelites to break the covenant of Isaac in Jeremiah 33:
25 Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth;
26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.
Jesus comes centuries later and prophesy to Israel that the Kingdom of God will be taken from them in Matthew 21:42-44, and mentions a nation that God will choose to take the covenant of Abraham, which fulfills Israel's prophecy in Genesis 49:10-12 about the appearance of the Shiloh, the figure whom will inherit the Kingdom of God from the Jews.
Jesus also prophesied the Second Temple will be destroyed in Matthew 24, which happened after the crucifixion with 40 years, and inspecting Ezekiel 33:
25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land?
26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land?
God promised the Israelites to take them out of the Holy Land if they kept transgressing, so when Jesus came, did they obey?
+600 Years later, Allah explained what happened before the crucifixion:
And [We cursed them] for their breaking of the covenant and their disbelief in the signs of Allah and their killing of the prophets without right and their saying, "Our hearts are wrapped". Rather, Allah has sealed them because of their disbelief, so they believe not, except for a few.
And [We cursed them] for their disbelief and their saying against Mary a great slander
And [for] their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah."
Then when we investigate the New Testament around that crucifixion, we find interesting points:
First, the one who taught Christians about the sin atonement by Jesus death is not Jesus himself, but Saul of Tarsus, Jesus has different teachings about repentance in Mark 1:14-15 and Mark 2:15-17.
Second, Jesus prayed God to save him in the endings of the Synoptic Gospels. Exempli gratia, in Luke 22:43-44, an Angel appeared to Jesus in that prayer, but what was the Angel [actually] doing? ... And what did God reply to Jesus for the prayer?
What the angel did with Jesus is explained in Psalm 91: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-Chapter-91/
But what was God's reply to the prayer is not in the Bible, it's in the Qur'an:
3:55 إِذْ قَالَ ٱللَّهُ يَـٰعِيسَىٰٓ إِنِّى مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَىَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَجَاعِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوكَ فَوْقَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَىَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
[Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.
Then when we see the ending of Luke 22, the "strange" Jesus makes important statements to the Jewish crowd:
- He refused to answer if he is the Jewish Messiah.
- When they asked him if he is the "son of god" [i.e. the messenger], he refused to admit anything about his real identity.
- In between the words, he said that the son of man is now sitting on the right hand of God, i.e. the real Christ has ascended the heaven.
This is definitely against the Christian belief, we certainly know that, but you must bear in mind that the Gospels are the oral tradition of early Christians who heard about Jesus, see Luke's introduction and the ending of John.
The Gospels and the Torah we have today indeed hold many of God's words, and these words were transmitted by scribes and people of tradition to us, and we as Muslims believe in God's revelation, but we also take caution that the Bible authors were writing what they heard, not the ultimate truth about Jesus and the crucifixion:
Matthew 28:17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
Id est, the Disciples didn't literally worship him, they prostrated to honour him, and this was allowed in the old law before Islam stops it, look Qur'an [2:34] & [12:100].
The early Christians doubted the crucifixion, and Allah knows that:
4:157 وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱخْتَلَفُوا۟ فِيهِ لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُم بِهِۦ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا ٱتِّبَاعَ ٱلظَّنِّ ۚ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًۢا
And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.
Allah has showed mercy to Christians [who didn't know] before the emergence of His Kingdom, so don't ask about their fate, God is Merciful:
2:62 إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَٱلَّذِينَ هَادُوا۟ وَٱلنَّصَـٰرَىٰ وَٱلصَّـٰبِـِٔينَ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلْيَوْمِ ٱلْـَٔاخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحًا فَلَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
Indeed, those who believed and those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.
God tested the Christians with Jesus, in the same way He tested the Jews and the Muslims, and we have no issues if Christians disagree.
Christ was not sent to die for anyone, but to tell you the +600 years difference were worth the wait:
Luke 4:43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.