from Shane's Muslim Connect
Please see the special note at the bottom of this week’s email.
Remember why we call today Good Friday? Not just because my birthday lands on it this year! By choosing the cross, by enduring death, taking the evil and violence of the world, and each of us, on to himself, Jesus sets the stage for an entire reboot of creation. A restart for you and me, for the Earth, for everything tainted by the rebellion.
Ahh, this is so good.
But Muslims don’t see it as such. The various Islamic views on Jesus’ death (or not) get complicated in a hurry! Between the actual words of the Qur'an, the traditions of the Hadith, and the commentary of scholars over the years, it can be tough to discern a general belief.
Here are some of the thoughts on what happened with Jesus. I’d encourage you to kick these around in a genuinely curious manner with your Muslim friends.
- A follower of Jesus took on his appearance and died on the cross. God raised Jesus to Heaven.
- Judas died on the cross in place of Jesus.
- Jesus died a natural death. One sect of Muslims says he died in India.
- Jesus will return to earth as judge.
The first passage of the Qur'an usually referred to when talking about Jesus’ (non) death is Sura 4.157. I’m not your go-to person on Qur'an interpretation, but this passage seems to be talking about whether or not the Jews should take credit for killing Jesus, not whether or not he was crucified. I find it to be less than definitive in describing what happened to Jesus.
Bottom line: The story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is beautiful, good, and true. Today is indeed a good day. May this hope wash over Muslims everywhere.
Ramadan, the month of fasting, begins May 6th. I want to invite you to join believers all over the world in praying for Muslims as they diligently seek God. Please go here and grab a copy (or twenty!) of this amazing prayer guide. I’m getting them for whoever wants them in my church