“For us Muslims, Jesus Christ is only a prophet. We honour him and honour God while believing that God has delivered him from death on the cross. On the other hand, you Christians affirm that he is the Son of God and teach that God did nothing to help him while he was crucified. How can I believe this? God would never allow one of his prophets to die in that way.”
In an interview with a Christian friend, a Muslim wanted to push the discussion further. He asked, “How many sons do you have?” “He replied,” Three.” “Well,” he added, “if you see bandits attacking one of them to kill him, would not you go to his rescue? Don’t you love your son enough?”
I then intervened in the discussion: “Allow me to give even more weight to your objection before answering you. And if you saw our friend himself walking in the street, a knife in one hand and his son in the other, ready to cut his throat? He replied, “That would be the most barbaric act I ever saw.” Then I went on: “Would you dare to say the same thing about the prophet Abraham? How can you believe that Abraham was a great prophet and a good father when that is what he did? He was ready to sacrifice his own son, according to the Koran. How can you continue to think of Abraham’s good while he was ready to sacrifice his own son?”
Our Muslim friend replied, “No, no, you did not understand. It was a different case, God was testing his faith to know if he was willing to offer his own son to God, if he was also willing to give everything to him. “Exactly,” I replied, “That’s what we’re explaining to you about God. He did not remain at a distance, indifferent to the fate of man, on the contrary, he voluntarily gave Jesus to die to save us from our sins. This was the supreme proof of his love and the most precious gift he gave to humanity. The Bible declares that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (The Bible, Injil, John 3: 16). By ordering Abraham to offer him his son as a proof of his faith, God demonstrated how – in his turn – he would show his love for us in the highest degree. through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. We Christians know that God has given His best and done His best for us. It must be known that no one forced Jesus to be crucified, he gave himself.
Concerning the objection that God could not “allow one of his prophets to suffer such a death,” I would like to remind my Muslim friends of some Koranic verses that teach that God’s messengers have been killed in the past:
And [We cursed the Jews] for their breaking of the covenant and their disbelief in the signs of Allah and their killing of the prophets without right
(Sura 4: 155).
And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed.
(Sura 2:87, see also Sura 2:91 and Sura 3: 183).
In conclusion, we can see that God does and has allowed His prophets to suffer and to be killed. We have also seen that God has displayed the extent of His own love for us by sending the Messiah to die for us to save us from the penalty we deserve for our own sins.
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