The Passion of the Christ - What will my Muslim Friends think of it?
used with permission by www.christianityexplained.net.tc
In horror I watched what brutal men did to Jesus. How shocking were the vicious events that lead to his death! During the agony the question repeatedly came to my mind: What will my dear Muslim friends think of it?
Are they aware that the movie is substantially about what was foretold hundreds of years ago in the Torah1, Zabur2 and the Injeel3? Those are the books of the Jews and Christians which every Muslim is commanded to believe in4. They can not have been changed since the Quran, written in the sixth century, undoubtedly proves their trustworthiness.5 A comparison between today's Bibles and those of the sixth century will quickly reveal that they are largely the same. Since the Injeel especially centres on the death and resurrection of Jesus6 to a large degree, it would have been virtually impossible to change those many, most important passages. As a matter of fact, followers of Jesus from the very beginning in the first century AD have always been known as those who believed in His death.7 That is why they chose the cross to be their recognising symbol as early as in the 4th century AD. The most liberal `Christians' who deny just about everything concerning the life of Jesus have never ever doubted that he died on the cross!
If you are a Muslim have you been told that even worldly historians recorded the life and death of Jesus as historical facts? Their names are Pliny, Cornelius Tacitus, Thallus and particularly Josephus, (born 37/38 AD) a Jewish general who defected to the Romans and wrote the Jewish history for them:
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many Jews and Gentiles. He was the Christ (Messiah). And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal amongst us, had him condemned to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousands other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."8
Three Holy Books of God and secular history unmistakingly agree that Jesus died on the cross. However, many Muslims believe the Quran mentions he did not:
That they said (in boast) 'We killed the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah'- 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 a surety they killed him not- Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise'9
This passage has given rise to many Islamic interpretations. The most common one is that Allah changed someone's face to look like that of Jesus. That double was then killed and the real Jesus lifted up to heaven alive.10 Consequently this would turn the Holy and Righteous God into the greatest deceiver of all! From a Christian point of view it is totally unacceptable to think that He would be responsible for misleading 1.3 billion people, many of them sincere seekers of truth, who call themselves Christians today!
Since it has become apparent that Jesus Christ died, the final most important question needs to be addressed: Why die He die? Jesus himself said:
"...To give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage."11
The context makes it plain that by his death on the cross Jesus paid the punishment for our sin so that we could get forgiveness and a restored relationship with God. We no longer need to be hostages of Satan.
But are not all men responsible for their own sins? Yes, that is true. Mere human beings can not pay for other people's sins, because they have enough of their own. However, unlike all other prophets, Jesus alone was without fault from birth12. That is why he was uniquely able to take our punishment.
How will you respond to the most painful sacrifice Jesus made for you? For more information, a free Bible, Bible correspondence course, other literature, please write to me at:
1 Isaiah 53:5, 8-11
2 Psalm 22 although not mentioned by name, Jesus is the only one who has fulfilled those prophecies in every detail. That is why they clearly refer to him! He also confirms this fact himself! (Compare Luke 7:18-23 with Isaiah 35:1-6, Luke 24:44-47)
3 Matthew 27
4 Surah 2, Al Baqarah, verse 136 (all quotes from `The Meaning of the Holy Quran' by A. Yusuf Ali, 1989)
5 Surah 19, Maryam, verse 12, Surah 5, Al Ma'idah, verses 47,68,69, Surah 10, Junus, verse 64
6 1 Corinthians 15:12-14
7 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, the book was revealed about 55 AD.
8 Antiquitates indaicae Vol.18,III:3
9 Surah 4, Al Nisa, 157-158:
10 'The Meaning of the Quran' by Maududi, Islamic Publications, Pakistan, 1992, commentary on Surah 4, Al Nisa', verse 157.
11 Matthew 20:26
12 Surah 19, Maryam, verse 19, Hebrews 4:15. Bukhari, Volume 6, page 54, other prophets sinned: Surah 48, Al Fath, verse 2.