If you ask any Muslim today “Do you love Jesus?”, the answers will be very revealing as all the answers will be about how Muslims honor Jesus deeply and see in him God’s Miracles, from the moment of Jesus’ birth till God raised him to heavens and until his coming back to earth before the Day of Judgment. Thus, Jesus has a vital and unique role to play in the Muslim faith. However, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified and that Jesus was spared death because he was God’s holy Word. Muslims also believe that Jesus’ enemies could not triumph over him because he is God’s chosen servant. Surprisingly, this actually was what Jesus said himself in the Christian bibles through his speeches.
In this article we will answer some essential questions:
Did Jesus’ enemies really kill him and crucify him?
Where did the Christ go?
Did the Christ ascend to Heaven?
Did the Christ descend to Hell?!
So let’s start…
The prophecies of the Christ that he will be saved from killing
According to what has come in the famous book “The Christ as Seen in the Sources of the Christian Beliefs”
In this part, we will mention some prophecies of the Christ which assert his safety and deliverance from the plot of his enemies. They are simple prophecies, needing no commentary:
- “The Pharisees heard the crowd thus muttering about him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Jesus then said, “I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to Him who sent me. You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.”
This saying is clear that the Jews will seek him for killing, but they will fail to do so because he will go to a place where they cannot follow him. He will go up to heaven, in a manner similar to that of Eli’jah.
The Jews thought that he was speaking of a special place, but they could not realize the truth.
The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What does he mean by saying, ‘You will seek me and you will not find me’, and, ‘Where I am you cannot come’?” Jn7:33-36
- In a succeeding challenging situation between the Jews and the Christ:
So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” … Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” (John 8:21-29)
- The last words of the Christ were:
“The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:32-33)
We know that the man on the cross was overcome by his evil enemies. Therefore, he should be some man other than the Christ, who asserts that he has overcome the whole world.
And in the last controversy with the Jews, the Christ challenged them saying:
“I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Mt 23:39)
The challenge is big and clear here: the Jewish priesthood will not see the Christ again, till his second coming “with power and great glory.” But that crucified man was once again seen by and in the hands of the chief priests and elders captive during the trials, victim of mockery, scourging, crucifixion, and finally a dead body.
Truly, what the Christ has prophesied of his safety is a confirmation of what the Psalms had previously predicted, as we have seen before.
Where did the Christ go?
Christian sources disagreed about the place where the Christ is said to have gone after the crucifixion attempt, as well as the timing of his going to the supposed places. Some said that after the resurrection he has ascended to heaven, others said that he descended first to hell, before his ascension!!
Did the Christ ascend to heaven?
Now, according to Luke, ascension to heaven took place on the very day of the crucifixion, but according to John, it was some days after the crucifixion. But Luke, in fact, has changed the date of ascension, which he had said to be on the day of the crucifixion into a later date. Luke said in Acts, that ascension took place no less than forty days after the crucifixion.
Adolf Harnack says:
“According to the Valentinians and Ophites, Christ ascended into heavens 18 months after resurrection …, according to Pistis Sophia 11 years after resurrection.”
Did the Christ descend to Hell?!
In the Apostles’ Creed, there is a statement about Jesus descending into hell. Did he really go there?
Each Sunday, millions of Christians around the world recite the Apostles’ Creed, including that statement:
“I believe that Jesus … descended into hell.”
According to this so-called creed, Christ descended into hell before resurrection!
The writer of John’s gospel also made all prophets before the Christ “thieves and robbers.” 10:7
How is that! How can he attribute to the Christ such sayings! How could it be said that the prophets go to hell while the Christ has clearly shown, as Luke recorded, that good believers, who are inferior to prophets, go after death directly to Paradise, while wicked go to Hell.
No doubt that such sayings and beliefs like the Christ descended to Hell to deliver the former prophets and saints, is a proof of the demonic ability of some human beings who considered themselves Christians to fabricate such myths.
It must now be quite clear that the stories of the Christ’s resurrection, appearance, descending to Hell, are all narratives of doubtful origin, diffused in suspicious circumstances.
Indeed, God Almighty said in the Quran:
“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. Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” (quran.com/4/157-158)