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Evidences and reasons that indicate Jesus (a.s) was not crucified
The existence of abundant discrepancies and inconsistencies in the story of crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospels and also the way this story has been related in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and many other evidences in studying this event, makes up look more seriously and accurately into the death of Jesus (a.s). If one contemplates about this issue, he will simply discover the fact about this verse of the Holly Quran which says: “And for their saying, indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. 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.” (Surah An-Nisa’-verse 157).”
Evidence No.1: Resurrection of Jesus (a.s)
Regarding the resurrection of Jesus (a.s) it has been mentioned in the Gospels that Jesus himself said: After three days I will rise again: “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.” (Gospel of Matthew 62: 27).
“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Gospel of Matthew 16: 21). “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.” (Gospel of Marks 8: 31). On the other hand, according to Gospels we observe that this period is two nights and a day and not three days. Jesus was buried on Saturday evening and according to Gospels he was resurrected before the dawn on Sunday:
“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him” (Gospel of John 20: 1).
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.” (Gospel of Matthew 28: 1).
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb.” (Gospel of Marks 16: 1).
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.” (Gospel of Luke 24: 1).
If Crucifixion of Christ (Messiah) and consequently the story of his resurrection is true, then how is it that there are many inconsistences in its basic matters?
Evidence No.2: The tomb of Jesus
One of the issues which has been mentioned in the New Testament about the death and resurrection of Jesus (pbuh), is the existence of a large stone over his tomb and according to the Gospel it was a very large one. After the death of Jesus when they went to his tomb, they encountered by a strange happening. Accordingly, they saw that the large stone which was over the tomb had been moved and rolled away. (Gospel of Marks 16: 4). “But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away”. In Persian and English translations of the verses which are related to the tomb, all Gospels have used the term “to role away”. The interpreters of the Bible say that the reason for using this term is that the stone was very large as the Gospel of marks has mentioned so. These interpreters have stated that the height of the stone was 1.30 to 1.50 meters and its weight was two tons. Now, we should find out that whether the Greek scripture of the New Testament has used the term “to role away” for the stone or not? In Greek language the term “to role away” has been used with the equivalent of “kuli”. But the point which should be noted is that, when you combine a word with a letter or another word, the meaning of it will be changed and, hence the position of its using will be change too. When we look into the Gospels, we observe that some of them have used the same root and the same Greek term. Additionally, they have also added some suffixes by which the meanings have become different. Some of them used a totally different term. In the Gospel of Marks (15: 46) the Greek preposition of “pros” has been added to the root of “kuli” which means “to push forward” or “to lift” (proskul).
In comparison to other Gospels, the Gospel of Luke is more accurate. In this Gospel the term “kuli” has been used with preposition of “apo”, (apokuli) which means (far from) and in general it means "to separate" or "to space". The Gospel of Matthew has also used the same strategy (28: 2). In the Gospel of John a different term has been used. John has used the Greek term of (air) which means “to lift up or move”. Thus, it means that the stone was first lifted up and then was moved. As you observe, the reports are contradictory. One of the gospels says that the stone has been rolled away because it was very large. However, the other gospel says that the stone has been removed and accordingly it says that the stone has been lifted up and then moved away.
Evidence No.3: fear of death and complaining to God
The Gospels have depicted tragic moments for the crucifixion of Jesus. For instance, it has been mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew that: “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will” (Gospel of Matthew 26: 37).
For saving himself from suffering, Messiah requested three times with the same words from God. But finally he was arrested and crucified. When Jesus found out that he was going to be killed, while crying with a loud voice on the cross, he complained to God. According to the Gospel of Matthew (27: 46),” And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” That is to say, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When looking into the issue of death in terms of the beliefs of Christianity and the Bible, we observe that it bears a great resemblance to Islam. In Islam, the more a person is faithful to his religion, the easier the acceptance of death will be for him. In addition, such a person will fear less from his death like Imam Ali (a.s) who says that the inclination of the son of Abu Talib towards death is more than a baby’s inclination towards his mother’s breast and it is like what exists in Christianity. In the Old Testament we read that the Prophet David (a.s) becomes happy from hearing about his death through a prediction. Accordingly he says: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” (Psalms 115 15). According to Saint Ambrose, death does not make him frightened and it is neither painful for the poor, nor for the rich. He says that: Messiah could not have saved us with something better than his death, because his death is the life of all of us. What can be said about his death? Because through this divine exemplar we confirm that the death merely got eternal and the Lord saved himself. St. Bernard of Clairvaux says that joined unto the Lord, be one spirit with him. He no longer thinks of anything but the Lord, and fear no one but Him and the affairs related to Him because He has joined the Lord. Now, the Lord is love and the spirit so closely becomes united with Him and it becomes full of love. When Christian saints who are not even considered as the tenth Jesus’s (a.s) intimate disciples, have such beliefs about the issue of death and its pains and believe that death is the divine love, Jesus had definitely been far more firm and stronger in his beliefs and actions. Therefore, how is it possible that the person who is going to be crucified, complains to God and says that God has left him alone? Shouldn’t we doubt about the fact that the person who was crucified was really Messiah (Jesus Christ)?
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