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This is the second in the series of three posts about the Christian concept of salvation through the cross.
The first post was be "Is Salvation Through The Cross Possible?"
The third post would be "Was Jesus Christ really crucified?"
Christian missionaries claim that Jesus Christ willingly went on the cross for the sins of the humanity. Lets analyse what does the Bible say about this.
Jesus Christ with the Cross

The royal entry of  Jesus(pbuh) and the COUP by Jesus(pbuh) and his disciples to establish the "Heavenly Kingdom" proves premature and turns out to be a failure. Click here to know about the coup to establish the heavenly kingdom.
Jesus(pbuh) prepares his disciples for the fight and instructs them to get armed after he comes to know about Judas's treachery.
"When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything?" And they said, "Nothing."
Then said he unto them, "But now, he that hath no purse, let him take it, and likewise his bag; and he that hath no SWORD, let him sell his garment and buy one!"(Luke 22:35-36)
The disciples were already armed.
". . . Lord, behold, here are two SWORDS." And he said unto them, "It is enough". (Luke 22:38)
Some Christian missionaries claim that these swords were spiritual swords. Let me make it clear "spiritual swords do NOT cut physical ears as a disciple of Jesus(pbuh) did.
"And, behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his SWORD, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and cut off his ear."(Matthew 26:51)
I ASK YOU, DID JESUS TAKE THE SWORDS TO DEFEND OR TO CUT APPLES AND BANANAS?
NATURALLY, TO DEFEND!
There is clear change of tactics on the part of Jesus(pbuh). He used to tell his disciples
"turn the other cheek"; "to forgive seventy times seven." Now he asks his disciples to get armed. WHY?
The situation and the circumstance have changed and as with any wise and able general, the
strategy must also change.
Jesus(pbuh) works like a master tactician and leads his troops to Gethsemane. Gethsemane -an olive press - a courtyard built of stone walls some 5 miles out of town. On the way, he unburdens to them the seriousness of the situation. He places eight of the eleven disciples at the entrance to the courtyard, commanding them:
". . . Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder."(Matthew 26:36 )
Why did they all go to Gethsemane? To pray?
Could they not have prayed in the upper-room? Could they not have gone to the Temple of Solomon, a stone's throw from where they were, if prayer is all that they wanted to do? No! They went to the Garden so that they might be in a better position to defend themselves!
Observe, Jesus does not take the eight with him to pray. He positions them strategically at
the entrance to the courtyard; armed to the hilt, as the circumstances would allow:
"And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. . .Then saith he unto them. . . tarry ye here and watch with me."(Matthew 26:37-38 )
Where is he taking Peter and John and James now? Further into the Garden! To pray? No! To
make an inner line of defence - he had put eight at the Gate, and, now these zealous Zealots
(the fighting Irishmen of their day), armed with SWORDS, to "wait and watch" - TO KEEP
GUARD! The picture is very vivid; Jesus leaves nothing to our imagination. A-n-d HE (alone)
prayed!
WOULD ANYBODY, WHO WANTS TO DIE WILLINGLY, ARRANGE DEFENSES?
NATURALLY, NO!

Jesus Christ Prays For Rescue
". . . and began to be sorrowful and very depressed. Then saith he unto them, 'my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death' . . ."
"And he went a little further, and fell on his face (Exactly as the Muslim does in Salaat), and prayed, saying, 'O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt'." (This is the quality of a good Muslim who submits his will to the will of God).(Matthew 26:37-39)
"And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground."(Luke 22:44)
Why was Jesus(pbuh) crying? Was he crying to save his own skin?
NO!
He was crying for his people - the Jews. They held a queer logic, that if they succeeded in killing any would-be Messiah (Christ), it would be a sure proof of his imposture. For God Almighty will never allow His truly "anointed one" (Christ) to be killed - (Deuteronomy 18:20).
The missionaries use this event to argue that Jesus(pbuh) was destined to die for the Original Sin and their actual sins as decided in the heavenly contract. That even before the material universe came into being, there was a contract between "Father and son," and that in the year 4000 A.A. (After Adam)
BUT!
Jesus seems completely unaware of the contract. From the "call to arms" in the upper-room, and the masterful deployment of forces at Gethsemane, and the blood-sweating prayer to the God of Mercy for help, it appears that Jesus knew nothing about the contract for his crucifixion.
If this was God's plan for a vicarious atonement to redeem mankind, then obviously He had chosen a wrong substitute. This candidate was most reluctant to die. Arming! Wailing! Sweating! Crying! Complaining!
Jesus even complains on the cross.
"Eli, Eli, La'ma sabach'thani? . . . Why hast thou foresaken me?"
JESUS(PBUH) IS ARMING, WAILING, SWEATING, CRYING AND COMPLAINING. HE IS NOT WILLINGLY TO GO ON THE CROSS.
Strange as it may sound, after every outpouring of prayer, Jesus Christ found his disciples lulled to sleep at their post. Again and again he bewailed: "What could ye not watch with me for one hour?" - (Matthew 26:40). "And again he (Jesus) went away, and prayed, and spoke the same words. And when he returned, he found them sleep again . . ." -(Mark 14:39-40).
The Christian scholars are no less wily in their translations and manipulations of the Bible. They have changed the words "Roman soldiers" to simply "soldiers" and from the word soldiers to now "band of men" and "the guard".
"Judas then, having received a BAND OF MEN1 and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh there with lanterns and torches and weapons."(John 18:3)
"Band of men": here and in verse 12 following, the words in the so-called original manuscripts are speira and chiliarchos respectively. Both Roman military terms, meaning "cohort" and "tribune". "That John is the first Evangelist to mention Roman soldiers among the party which went out to arrest our Lord . . ." See Knox's - "A New Testament Commentary", page 260.
The disciples were caught as the Englishman would say with their "pants down".2 Literally they were caught napping. The enemy trod over them rough-shod. Only one of the soldiers of
Christ had the presence of mind to ask:
". . . Master, shall we smite them with the sword?"(Luke 22:49)
But before Jesus could attempt a reply, the impetuous Peter struck out with his sword and cut off the right ear of one of the enemy. Jesus had not anticipated Roman soldiers.
Realizing that the tables were turned against his misconceived strategy, he advises his disciples:
". . . Put up again thy sword into its place; for all they that TAKE THE SWORD shall PERISH WITH THE SWORD."(Matthew 26:52)
Did Jesus not know the truth of this statement when he ordered his disciples to sell their garments and buy SWORDS? He surely did! Then why the contradiction now? There is really no contradiction! The situation changes, so the strategy must also change. He had sense enough to realise that against trained and well-equipped Roman soldiers it would be suicidal for his sleepy warriors to offer even a pretence of resistance.
Why do not the Christian controversialists give their "Lord and Master" credit for this simple common-sense? Because they have been programmed for a period of two thousand years that Jesus, the "lamb", the "prince of peace", couldn't harm a fly. They overlook the other side of his nature which demanded blood and fire! They forget his instructions to his soldiers regarding those of his enemies who would not like him to rule over them, to bring them forth:
". . . and SLAY1 them before me."(Luke 19:27)
"Think NOT that I am come to send PEACE on earth; I came NOT to send PEACE, but a SWORD."(Matthew 10:34)
"I am come to send FIRE on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? Suppose ye that I am come to give PEACE on earth? I tell you, NAY; but rather DIVISION."(Luke 12:49 & 51)
The march on Jerusalem had fizzled out. The sabre-rattling in the Garden had proved abortive. As there is a reward for success, likewise there is a price for failure. The odds are heavy! Hence the trial, the tribulation, the turmoil and the sweat and blood.
With heavy hands, the Roman soldiers dragged Jesus (pbuh) from Gethsemane to Annas, and
from Annas to Caiphas the High Priest, and on to the Sanhedrin as directed by the Jews, for trial and execution. Jesus(pbuh) was repeatedly put to trail.
The hot-gospellers are getting hoarse in the throat, singing and shouting, that Jesus was led "to the slaughter like a lamb, like a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth" - (Isaiah 53:7). Poor deluded souls, they hymn songs: "Hy het sy monde nie oop gemaak nie! Hy het sy monde nie oop gemaak nie!" (And he opened not his mouth). When you meet these cultists in the flesh, please ask them, "Did Jesus speak with his mouth closed?" How did the following utterances which are attributed to Jesus, escape his lips without him opening his mouth;
a. Before Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is not of this world" - (John 18:36).
b. Before the Sanhedrin: "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why smitest thou me?" - (John 18:23).
c. Before God in the Garden: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away . . ."
(Matthew 26:39).
We Muslims believe in the many, many miracles of Jesus, but we would be reluctant to believe that he dabbled in ventriloquism. Again and again, whenever the need arose, during his trials and tribulations, Jesus opened his mouth with telling effect, "according to the Scriptures". But for those who refuse to see or hear, we can only seek solace in the words of the Master:
". . . they seeing, see not; and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand."(Matthew 13:13)
So Jesus Christ NEVER wanted to go on the cross and that is why he armed his disciples, escorted them to a place they could better defend, prayed to be rescued, defended himself in the tribunals and even complained to God when he was put on the cross.

About Liaqat Qazi

Student of BA in Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University. Can be reached at @LiaqatQazi
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