QUESTIONS FOR THE CHRISTIANS ABOUT REDEMPTION AND THE CRUCIFIXION
QUESTIONS FOR THE CHRISTIANS ABOUT REDEMPTION AND THE CRUCIFIXION
In the Islamic religion, if somebody commits a sin, he assumes responsibility for that action; no one will be punished for it except him. Allah says in the Quran, “And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative ‘’ (Fatir 18). The sinner should ask forgiveness from Allah, and Allah has promised him that He will forgive him if he did that.
He also says in the Qur’an, “But indeed, I am the Perpetual Forgiver of whoever repents, believes, does righteous deeds and then continues in guidance ‘’ (Taha 82). That is what happened to Adam, the father of humans, when he disobeyed His Lord and ate from the forbidden tree, then repented from his sin and Allah forgave him. Allah says in the Qur’an :’’ And Adam disobeyed his Lord and erred Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him].’’ (Taha, 121, 122).
Many Christians believe that Jesus carried the sin of Adam and was killed on the cross to redeem the sins of mankind.
We invite the Christians to think over their beliefs related to crucifixion and redemption and consider the following issues discussed by Dr. Mohammad Jameel Ghazy, may Allah forgive him, in his book, Debate between Islam and Christianity (1/161).
This is the text:
Some Christians contend that Jesus was crucified for the cause of justice and mercy, but what mercy is there in torturing an innocent person and crucifying him? They say that it was he who asked for that. We would say that any one who cuts his hand, tortures himself, or commits suicide is a sinner even if he prefers that.
If Jesus were the son of Allah, where was the Father’s affection or Mercy when the Son was being unjustly tortured with crucifixion and nails in his hands?
Can Christians truly maintain these beliefs while still believing that of God is loving, merciful, and the Forgiver?
The Christians claim that the descendants of Adam should be punished because of the sin of their father. Which divine law punishes the offspring for the sins of their ancestors? Their own Bible says, "Do not kill the parents for the children, nor kill children for parents. Each man bears his sin" (Deuteronomy 16-24)
If Jesus’ crucifixion were only representative, then why do the Christians hate the Jews and blame them for killing Jesus? According to what they believe, they should say that the Jews, especially Judas Iscariot, were pious for practicing God’s will by crucifying His son.
Was it necessary that God’s son should come down to earth to be crucified to forgive people’s sins or is God able to forgive people’s sins by other means?
For example, the Christian priest, Paul Sabat wrote, “It was not necessary to materialize the word in order to save people, and no one who knows the natural Outstanding Divine Power thinks that”. The writer continues to explain what some Christians believe is the reason for choosing the Word (Jesus) to redeem the sins of people. He wrote, “Although God has a lot of means to redeem human people and save them from perishing because of sin and the refusal of Divine Order, He decided that redemption should be of the most precious thing that He has, because that is more encouraging to reach the goal in a short time’’.
On the other hand, as Muslims, we believe that the simplest means for forgiveness was for God to say, “I forgive you, Adam’’, as we find in the Holy Qur’an: “Then Adam received from his Lord [some] words, and He accepted his repentance. Indeed, it is He who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful’’ (Al Baqara 37).
As the saying goes, it is not wise to buy with a dollar what we can buy with a cent.
Another Christian writer named Father Paul Al Yafi wrote, “Jesus undoubtedly could redeem people so that they make peace with His Father with only one word, or with a simple act of prostration in the name of humanity to His Divine Father, but He preferred to suffer; not because He was ill, loved pain or because His Father was unfair and loved to spill blood, especially the blood of His only son. God is neither bloody nor unfair, but God the Son, together with the Father want to give an eternal example of love which lasts for all time, and which urges people to be regretful for the sins they have committed, so that they may exchange love with God”.
Although this writer has given a good description when he wrote about the pain, blood and harshness, when he wrote about the proper remedy, he failed in his logic. Furthermore, since some Christians believe that the Word was materialized to redeem the original sin, what about the sins which were committed later? In other words, even if one sin is redeemed, millions of other sins remain and people will be judged for them. Many of these sins are are more dangerous than that of Adam was, such as denying the existence of God, attacking His prophets and making fun of Paradise and Hellfire. Why should there be a redemption for one sin and a great number of great sins left without redemption? Also, we may ask them, where was the justice and mercy of God since the event of Adam until the crucifixion of Jesus? Was God, glory be to Him, confused between justice and mercy for thousands of years until Jesus agreed only two thousand years ago to be crucified to redeem Adam’s sin?
It is a principle of criminal justice that the punishment should be proportional and related to the sin. Is it fair to crucify Jesus for the sin of Adam which was not more than eating from a prohibited tree? Adam was punished when he was chased from the temporary paradise to do hard work. This punishment was chosen by God Himself. He could have amplifies the punishment, but He didn’t. Why did He keep such anger for so many years until the time of Jesus crucifixion, and what was the purpose of punishing Adam in the first place?
Many events happened, and many arrogant people perished from the time of Adam to the time of Noah when all the people drowned and nobody was saved except for those who believed in him and boarded the ship. Those people were the ones that God was pleased with. If the evil people of the time of Noah and many after him were already punished, then why should God redeem their sins? What was the purpose for the original punishments?
There was a Christian writer who converted to Islam, Abd Al Ahad Dawud, who was a bishop in Mosul who criticized the story of the redemption of the sin. He said, “It is surprising that the Christians believe in a Devine Secret of the sin of Adam and the anger of God at humanity to the point that it was hidden from all previous prophets until the Christian church discovered it after the crucifixion of Jesus”. He also mentioned that the reason that he left Christianity was that he discovered the falsehood of the crucifixion and that the church ordered him to do things that he didn’t believe in such as proclaim that the human species are sinful in nature and that they deserve to be punished forever and teach that God doesn’t save these sinful people from Hellfire without an intercessor who is both a complete god and a complete human. He rhetorically inquired as to whether or not Jesus inherited a part of the sin from his mother. Since they answered that God had purified Mary from the sin before her son was put in her womb, the writer asked, “Since God can purify some of His creatures so easily, why doesn’t He purify all of His creatures with the same ease without having a child and subjecting him to crucifixion?”
We hope that those ascribing to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches will consider the logical questions posed in this article and undertake a serious investigative journey to learn about the positions of the Quran and the religion of Islam on these issues. We at IslamLove are ready to help in any way that we can.