Muslims respect the Bible, which clearly identifies Jesus as the Messiah.
Then how can Muslims reject Jesus as the Messiah?
Muslims claim that Jesus was just a prophet, not the Messiah who died to pay for our sins. This Muslim claim is based on the following passage in the Quran about the Messiah:
"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." - Quran 4:157
Muslims must answer two questions about Quran 4:157's denial of Jesus' death.
First, Quran 4:157 contradicts not just Jesus' death detailed in all four Gospels (see True Gospel), but the entire Bible. The Old Testament prophesies about the Messiah who will come to save people who cannot save themselves from their sins, as evidenced by the constant rebellion of Israel, while the entire New Testament testifies about Jesus fulfilling those prophesies by dying on the cross to pay the death penalty required for our sins:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
If Jesus did not die on the cross, the entire Bible is worthless and needs to be thrown out. Yet Muhammad showed great respect for the Bible:
"A group of Jews came and invited the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) to Quff. So he visited them in their school. They said: Abul Qasim, one of our men has committed fornication with a woman; so pronounce judgment upon them. They placed a cushion for the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) who sat on it and said: Bring the Torah. It was then brought. He then withdrew the cushion from beneath him and placed the Torah on it saying: I believed in thee and in Him Who revealed thee." - Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 38, Number 4434
So which is wrong: Muhammad's respect for the Bible or the Quran 4:157 he dictated as above? After all, a book that has been manipulated and infused with falsehood cannot be "believed."
Second, people who joined Muhammad's army as Muslims received plundered goods, land and women; they had seemingly rational earthly reasons to become Muslims. By contrast, the early Christians received persecution and even execution, so why did they become Christians in the first place?
They were told that Jesus is the Messiah who lived a sinless life and then died to pay the death penalty for their sins so that they can go to heaven instead of going to hell to pay for their sins themselves. Jesus having died for them is the very reason they became Christians in the first place.
Invite Muslims to answer: If Jesus did not die to pay the death penalty for the sins of those who believe in Him, why did people believe in Jesus in the first place?
(continued on Prophet Isa)
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