The death and resurrection of Christ was not only a fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies but was also predicted by Christ Himself (Ps 22: 7-18, Is. 53, Mt 16:21, Lk 9:22).
This is not just a matter of belief, but that of history as well. Secular historians living at the time of Christ all recorded the fact that Jesus died on the cross. Cornelius Tacitus (AD 55-120), a heathen historian, wrote about Christ “from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators” (Annals 15:44).
Jewish historian, Josephus Flavius wrote that “the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at first did not forsake him; And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.” (Josephus: Complete Works, 1978, book 18 Vol 3, p 379).
Tertullian (b. 150 AD), an early church father, in his work Apology gave a full report of the trial, death and resurrection of Christ quoting from the official law report of Governor Pontius Pilate (Ch 21:34-26).
Anti-Christian works such as the Jewish Talmud admits: “Jesus was crucified one day before the Passover. We warned him for 40 days that he would be killed…Whoever wished to do so was asked to defend him, and when none did, He was crucified on the eve of the Passover.” (1943, p 42)
Lucien (c 100 AD), a Greek anti-Christian philosopher wrote that Christians “still worship the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced this new cult into the world” (Harm. Luc, 13).
Now let’s go to the Quran:
“And for their saying ‘We did slay the Messiah, Jesus, the Son of Mary the Messenger of ALLAH;’ whereas they slew him not nor did they bring about his death upon the cross, but he was made to appear to them like one crucified, and those who differ therein are certainly in a state of doubt about it; they have no certain knowledge thereof, but only pursue conjecture; and they did not arrive at a certainty concerning it.” (4:157)
1. Every historian laughs at this verse. Who was the eye-witness to all these? To dismiss an historical event attested to by even non-Christians with the vision of one man 6 centuries after it occurred is intellectual lunacy. No reputable court of law in any civilized country will take the 23-year heavily abrogated recitations of a confused man as a valid witness.
2. The statement attributed to the Jews in that verse: “We did slay the MESSIAH, Jesus, the Son of Mary…” is an impossible one. The Jews who killed Jesus didn’t believe He was the Messiah. If they knew He was their long-awaited Messiah, they would never have killed Him. That statement is a forgery.
3. The ambiguity of that verse has led to several conflicting interpretations in Islam. Some Muslims say Jesus only fainted at the cross and later woke up in the sepulchre. Others say he was taken up before He could be killed. So Allah allowed Jesus to get ridiculed and tortured before pulling him to the sky? Why not rescue him earlier?
Other Muslims claim “another man” who looked like Jesus was crucified in His stead. Who is this “another man?” The Quran didn’t say and muslims are not sure. Tabari says it was a man named Sergius. Baidawi says it was a Jew named Titanus. Ath-tha-labi says it was a Jew named Fal Tayanus. Wahb-ibn Munabbah says it was a Jewish rabbi named Ashyu. So as it turns out, Sura 4:157 has led to more conjectures within the fold of Islam than any Jew or Christian could have ever invented.
4. That verse reflects poorly on the character of Allah. The statement “but so was made to them” means that Allah is a deceiver or trickster. If Sura 4:157 is true, it implies that for 6 centuries, Allah deceived many godly people- including the disciples of Christ- to believe the lie that Jesus was crucified until Islam came. So Allah was pleased that thousands went to hell believing the very lie he invented. Such a detestable attribute does not befit the God of the Bible. It fits the gods of Greek mythologies who enjoy playing cheap tricks.
5. Sura 4:157 contradict sura 3:144: “Muhammad is no more than an Apostle; many were the Apostles that passed away before him”– which includes Jesus.
And what Jesus allegedly said:
“And the peace of God was on me on the day that I was born; and it shall be on me on the day that I would die and the day I would be raised up to life.” (19:33). Note: Yusuf Ali’s version added the word “again” in brackets to make it look like Jesus is yet to die. But Muhammad claimed to be Jesus’ successor. Do you succeed a living person?
Allah also allegedly says:
“O Jesus! I will take thee [inni mutwafeeka]. And raise thee to Myself…” (3:55).
Jesus speaking to Allah:”…And I was a witness over then whilst I dwelt amongst them when thou didst take me up [tawaffaytan]. Thou wast the Watcher over them…” (5:117)
The terms “I will take thee” and “take me up” is used for one who is taken at death.
Now, how can Suras 3 and 5 teach one thing, that Christ died, and this is then categorically denied in sura 4? Does this make sense? This inexcusable contradiction and incoherence shouldn’t come from even a normal human being. Yet we are told this is a book from God. For starters.
6. Out of all those suras I showed above that teaches that Christ died, only sura 19 is a Meccan or early sura. The others (sura 3, 4 and 5) were Medinan or later suras. This makes the Quran more illogical. What could have made Muhammad switch over from fact to fiction within a limited timeline? There are two possibilities.
It seems Muhammad adopted the heresy that Christ escaped the cross from some heretical sects in Arabia who denied the crucifixion (like the Nestorians). Since he was borrowing Bible stories from some people, he must have also adopted their errors and recite them at some point. After his death, both truth and hearsays were collected and bound together by his followers as a single book.
Or its possible that Muhammad deliberately denied the death and resurrection of Christ because these would prove that Jesus Christ has power over death and is the Saviour of the world. Remember that Muhammad frequently distorted Bible events so as to parallel his own experiences. He tried to bring Jesus down to his level.
The fact that the Quran has no valid explanation for what really happened at the cross proves that Sura 4:157 is a big lie. Muhammad was under the influence of a lying spirit that has today kept millions of muslims from the only means by which they can obtain forgiveness and eternal salvation- the crucifixion of Christ. This is how the Quran crucified itself.