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Did Jesus Escape Crucifixion?


Q: Was Jesus Crucified, since the Qur’an specifically mentions that HE was raised to God?jesus cruz

A:There are a few verses from Qur’an, which comes in mind:
Surah Imran 3:54-55 says, “And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them): and Allah is the best of schemers. 
(And remember) when Allah said: O Jesus! Lo! I am gathering thee and causing thee to ascend unto Me, and am cleansing thee of those who disbelieve and am setting those who follow thee above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then unto Me ye will (all) return, and I shall judge between you as to that wherein ye used to differ.”
Surah Al-Nesa 4:157-158 says, “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger - they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain. But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.”
Surah Ma’edah 5:117 says, "Never said I to them aught except what Thou didst command me to say, to wit, 'worship God, my Lord and your Lord'; and I was a witness over them whilst I dwelt amongst them; when Thou didst take me up Thou wast the Watcher over them, and Thou art a witness to all things.”
The qur’an presents one picture, but when we look at history we get a very different picture. The reliability depends a lot on how close the witness and the record are to the event. The dates are very important. For example, if someone robs a bank, and I stand as the witness after 20 years, obviously the authorities will ask me why wasn’t I available all these years? During the time of Jesus, there were historians who believed in Jesus and wrote about him. Even the verses I listed from the Qur’an point toward Jews who admit that they killed Jesus. This was a confirmed historical event for them.  In addition, the book of Romans talks about history as confirmed by the historians.


Q: If Jesus was raised to God before being crucified (according to islam), who was his replacement or what was his name?
A:
 According to various scholars, historians, etc., there are various suggestions:
Titulus is the name according to Baisabi. 
In Araisu't Tijan, Sheol is mentioned.
In QasasUlAmbia, it says “King of Jews.”
Again in Araisu't Tijan ,Faltianus is the name mentioned for that person.
According to Tabari Tafsir, it is Sergios. 
Abdul Majid Daryabadi in his Tafseer of the Qur’an mentions his name as Shamoon Qurunei, so does Basileet.
It is Judas Iscariot according to the Gospel of Barnabas. (This Gnostic source came much later.)

Here we notice that there are different accounts and different thoughts. No one is sure about who the person on the Cross was if it was not Jesus. These great minds are giving theories about a topic even they are not sure of. I must say, it is not wise to assume that someone else died on the cross and not Jesus Himself. 


Q: According to Ahmediya sect, Jesus was crucified but did not die on the cross; he simply went unconscious. He later traveled to Kashmir, India and died there. What is the Christian response to this?
A:
 Maulana Muhammed Ali speaks of this in his English translation of the qur’an. Before he wrote of this, David Friedrich Strauss had already written similar theories in his book Das Laben Jesu. There were more similar stories in existence along with that of David Strauss. Saying that Jesus was not crucified because the Ahmediya sect teaches this won’t be very satisfying answer, since these theories existed before the Ahmediyya sect began. We cannot give the credit of saying Jesus did not die on the cross to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Moreover, Mirza Ahmed taught that Jesus somehow managed to escape and traveled to Kashmir, where he died at the age of 120.  However, most historians have come to the conclusion that Jesus died at approximately 33 years of age. If we calculate this difference, we see a gap of almost more than 80 years, though in Kashmir the population of Christians are around 400 people only. So how it is possible that Jesus did not preached in the Valley of Kashmir all these years?  If Jesus traveled to Kashmir, there should have been many Christians or many other historical evidences of Jesus. No one other than Ahmediya Muslims believes that Jesus died in Kashmir. This simply proves, Jesus never traveled to India. 


Q: Jesus stayed on Cross for only a few hours, though if we all know that death on cross was always a very slow process. What do Christians have to say about this?
A:
 The key word here is “Always”. The word “Always” is taken from the translation of Maulana Muhammad Ali (Ali was the editor of the Review of Religions, one of the first Islamic journals in English. When MirzaGhulam Ahmad established the Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, the first governing body of the Ahmadiyya Movement, in 1905, he appointed Ali as the Secretary of its executive council. He translated the Qur’an in Urdu as well as English.) Translation of qur’an Tafsir. IF this word is translated correctly, it is good enough to establish that Jesus may not have died. Why this not true will be seen as we read further.


Q: When the two thieves who were crucified along with Jesus were brought down, they were still alive. Is it possible that Jesus may also be alive?
A:
 When we deal with history, we do not see what the possibilities were, but we see that what exactly happened. It is possible that a man can escape from the cross, but did he really manage to escape? Does History affirm this? It is very possible that Porus may have been able to defeat Alexander, but history confirms Alexander’s victory over Porus. Saying that because the two thieves might have been alive after they were pulled down means that Jesus may have been alive too does not help in the light of real history.


Q: After the thieves were brought down, their legs were broken, but Jesus was spared. Why is that so?
A:
 According to Mirza Ahmed, Jesus escaped since Jesus’ legs were not broken. The Actual answer for this is given in the Gospel itself. It is written in the gospel of John 19:33, “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” This verse confirms that by this time Jesus was dead; henceforth, there was no need to break the legs of Jesus. 


Q: When the side of Jesus was pierced, blood and water came out. How is that possible?
A:
 If we examine this scientifically (in context to Dr. Hobart Caunter’s research in regards to crucifixion), we will see there is a layer around the heart which is called the Pericardium. It is a tough, double layered membrane which covers the heart. The space between the two layers of it is filled with a pericardium fluid which protects the heart from any kind of external jerk or shock. There are two layers to the pericardial sac: the outermost fibrous pericardium and the inner serous pericardium. The serous pericardium, in turn, is divided into two layers, the parietal pericardium, which is fused to and inseparable from the fibrous pericardium, and the visceral pericardium, which is part of the epicardium. The epicardium is the layer immediately outside of the heart muscle proper (the myocardium). Since I am not a science student, I found this important information from “Got Questions Ministries.”according to them, the Roman flogging or scourging that Jesus endured prior to being crucified normally consisted of 39 lashes, but could have been more (Mark 15:15; John 19:1). The whip that was used, called a flagrum, consisted of braided leather thongs with metal balls and pieces of sharp bone woven into or intertwined with the braids. The balls added weight to the whip, causing deep bruising and contusions as the victim was struck. The pieces of bone served to cut into the flesh. As the beating continued, the resulting cuts were so severe that the skeletal muscles, underlying veins, sinews, and bowels of victims were exposed. This beating was so severe that at times victims would not survive it in order to go on to be crucified. Those who were flogged would often go into hypovolemic shock, a term that refers to low blood volume. In other words, the person would have lost so much blood he would go into shock. The results of this would be the followings:Did-Jesus-Escape-Crucifixion-2
1) The heart would race to pump blood that was not there.
2) The victim would collapse or faint due to low blood pressure.
3) The kidneys would shut down to preserve body fluids.
4) The person would experience extreme thirst as the body desired to replenish lost fluids.
There is evidence from Scripture that Jesus experienced hypovolemic shock as a result of being flogged. As Jesus carried His own cross to Golgotha (John 19:17), He collapsed, and a man named Simon was forced to either carry the cross or help Jesus carry the cross the rest of way to the hill (Matthew 27:32–33; Mark 15:21–22; Luke 23:26). This collapse indicates Jesus had low blood pressure. Another indicator that Jesus suffered from hypovolemic shock was that He declared He was thirsty as He hung on the cross (John 19:28), indicating His body’s desire to replenish fluids.

Prior to death, the sustained rapid heartbeat caused by hypovolemic shock also causes fluid to gather in the sack around the heart and around the lungs. This gathering of fluid in the membrane around the heart is called pericardial effusion, and the fluid gathering around the lungs is called pleural effusion. This explains why, after Jesus died and a Roman soldier thrust a spear through Jesus’ side (probably His right side, piercing both the lungs and the heart), blood and water came from His side just as John recorded in his Gospel ( John 19:34).


Q: Why did Pilate doubt after hearing about the death of Jesus?
A:
 the answer lies within the Bible. If we read the Gospel of Mark 15:44-45, we read, “Pilate was surprised to hear that he should have already died. And summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.  And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the corpse to Joseph.” This verse does not say Pilate questioned who Jesus was. He was surprised by how quickly Jesus died, so he asked the centurion to confirm the death of Jesus.


Q: The day prior to crucifixion, Jesus prayed the whole night seeking this event to pass away. It is believed that the prayers of righteous men are always accepted. Why was the prayer of Jesus not accepted though he was a righteous being?
A:
 According to the gospel of Matthew 26:39, “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’” According to Geneva study Bible, taking the cup is figurative speech for that which is contained in the cup.  The Hebrews understand by the word “cup,” to be:
1) The manner of punishment which is rendered to sin, (Psalms 11:6).
2) The joy that is given to the faithful, (Psalms 23:5), or; 
3) a lot or condition (Psalms 16:5). 

Getting back to the main question,, the word “Always” is again present. It is true, the prayers of the righteous are always heard,, but nowhere is it written they will be fulfilled. According to the Hebrews, the prayer of Jesus was heard and the greatest example is the second part of the verse mentioned above: “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” The father’s will was a sacrifice of His only Son, so the will was done. I would like to add that Jesus DID humble Himself in obedience to the Father, and to glorify the Father I encourage you to read Philippians 2:3-11, which says this, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

So, He chose to be humbled by looking like men in order to glorify the Father and to save us. What would we think of a king who thought it was more important to look good than to save his people? What would we think of a parent who would let a child drown rather than get his or her hair messed up in the water? A doctor who would not assist plague victims in a poor part of town or a third-world nation because he didn't want to dress in a way that made him appear less wealthy that he was? Frankly, God's majesty and pride is not so fragile that He has to put on a show for us. Appearing in a more humble form does not change who He IS. Even humans realize this when we're talking about other humans; we recognize that caring for appearances more than we care for other people is a vice.

Sources Used:

Pickthall and Yusuf Ali Translation of Qur’an, Notes by Heather Baker Blackburn, ESV Study Bible, Notes by Allama Johar, Wiki Images, www.gotquestions.org (Pericardium).Special thanks to Anthony Weber for proof writing.