Unity among Abrahamic Religions Is Possible by Solution of the Mystery of Jesus’ crucifixion
Ancient Jews of Jesus’ period, were in fact in a very bad shape. They had been invaded by the Romans, who destroyed their sacred places, humiliated them and occupied Jerusalem and appointed a Governor to rule over them. The morale of the Jewish people of that time was at their lowest ebb. It was a difficult time for the Jews. They were in abject misery. They had vivid memories of King David and King Solomon when they had ruled their part of the world. They had lost everything. Their entire solace was now in their scriptures where they had been promised advent of Moshiach or Messiah from the lineage of King David and before Moshiach return of Elijah as a prelude to Moshiach. They were waiting for him. The scriptures always only prophesize about the spiritual and religious reformers but the Jews had tied their hopes on him in despair and held that he would be a warrior, siding with whom they would fight with their enemies. Moshiach, they thought, would release them from the shackles of slavery of the Romans and improve their material lot and they would rule their part of the world like they had before in the times of David and Solomon.
The Jewish people were waiting for Messiah or what they call Moshiach and they according to OT believed that Elijah would descend from the heavens and would pave way for the advent of the Messiah.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of God. (Festivals (3:23)-Shabat HaGadol),“Christians may refer to Malachi 4:5 or in some versions 3:24.”
When Jesus announced his prophet-hood from one God and started criticizing Jewish people of the malpractices they had indulged in, their religious clergy started strongly opposing him. Jesus spoke with wisdom and he was supported by God, a lot of people among the Jews started accepting him to the anguish of the Jewish priesthood, rather they became his deadly enemy. To prove that he was a false prophet as per their scriptures :-
“If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams–and he give thee a sign or a wonder”
“And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death;” (Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 13:2, 6 Jewish Bible: Christian OT 13: 1, 5)
They, the Jewish priesthood of that period hatched a conspiracy resulting to kill him on the cross. Now what happened to Jesus on the cross is very important for three Abrahamic Religions i.e. Jews, Christians and Muslims. If a true unity is to be brought about among these religions, solution of this mystery is very essential. To every body’s surprise sufficient evidence is even now (after 2000 years of the incident!) available, on the internet.
Moshiach did arrive from G-d in the shape of Jesus of Nazareth, chosen by G-d and sent by Him for reformation of the Jewish people but to their utter disappointment he was not as envisaged in their emotional thinking.
Jesus was a humble and righteous person a man of G-d, a teacher reformer docile with the ordinary downtrodden people who loved them. He was taught spirit of the Holy Scriptures by G-d. G-d accepted his prayers and as such he healed their diseases and with His support he showed many signs and miracles. He taught them the inners of the scriptures. People started flocking around him. His reputation as a prophet started spreading around. He criticized the clergy of the prevalent Jews whom he described as seeing only the outer side of the scriptures, materialistic and not spiritualists, they were not acting on the Book and disregarded it and instead of that they preferred on acting on the manmade traditions of their elders (Mark 7:6-10) .“ 9 ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”
Jesus was a Jew and like other Jews he was entitled to enter the Jewish Temple, pray there and was free to deliver a religious lecture to the audience as a free man, which he did. He did not manhandle anybody or say anything abusive against some person specifically. He was not aggressive even as per the present human rights of the modern time.
The Jewish rabbis, Pharisees and Sadducees could not like this. Jesus was openly denouncing and demolishing the edifice of their hollow religious hierarchy. Instead of accepting him with humility they turned violently against him and his poor, humble and peaceful followers. The Jewish priests of the time tried to stop him and they opposed his teachings, ridiculed him, started calling him a false prophet, and in fact issued an edict to this effect. Jesus far excelled them in reason, arguments and character. Their opposition miserably failed against him. The clergy then decided to deal with the matter politically.
Firstly, to ridicule him and to prove him a false prophet, they asked him a pertinent question: You claim to be a Moshiach and as per scriptures Elijah was to descend before Moshiach/Messiah to pave way for him and as a sign for him; where is that Elijah? The answer was reasonable and alright but they rejected it and said this confirms that you are a false claimant.
Secondly: Jesus had announced of a heavenly kingdom of which he was a truthful representative, so the Jewish priesthood of the time planned secretly and informed the Roman rulers that this man Jesus is a very dangerous person, he claims to be a King of the Jews and he is amassing people around him that would culminate as revolt against the roman rule. Jesus should be arrested, tried for the offence of treason and put on cross and killed. As per injunctions of their scriptures (refer Deuteronomy 13:1-11), what they could not do themselves now they tried to accomplish it by hands of the Roman officials, and thus emerge triumphant. (John 11:47-54) “47Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.” “53Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.”
They took out processions and pressurized the Romans officials to issue verdict against Jesus, who was a peaceful and law abiding citizen and had done nothing against the Romans or their rule. Roman Officials knew and were convinced of this. The Jews threatened that if the Official would not accede to their demand they would report against his person to the Roman capital that he is supporting the revolt. The New Testament is full of the account of the incident. Pilate did not believe that Jesus had committed any offence against the Roman Government and as can be discerned from the events narrated in the New Testament, if intently read, Pilate considered Jesus an innocent man, being a weak Official himself, he secretly tried to help him out and save him from the death on the cross, though prima facie he succumbed to their pressure and could not save him from injures.
It does not at all necessarily mean that all Jews in Judea participated in putting Christ on cross to kill him mercilessly. But any number of them who practiced Judaism and who considered him a false Moshiach, who had not fulfilled their worldly aspirations, they considered him a false prophet and must have most likely participated in that secret planning as they were enjoined in Torah, Deuteronomy chapter 13; it was their individual duty to try him in the court of Law and put his hand on a false prophet and get him executed. (Mathew 26:47-68). “57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.59Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 67Then did they spit in his face”
If somebody was ignorant of Jesus’ claim, he was naturally absolved of the responsibility. Anyway G-d is the best judge and we are not to issue any verdict in this connection. But it is plausible that all those who opposed him in the city of Jerusalem, secretly planned it,(Mathew 27:1-5) devised this strategy, humiliated Jesus, rebuked him, put a crown made of straw and thorns on his head, then taunted on him as being a King of the Judea, spitted ( Mathew 27:27-35) on him, took out a procession ,shouted and demanded of the Roman Official to execute him, made it sure that they are present on the scene to see him being put on the cross or were jubilant on his being executed; they cannot be absolved of this crime.
It should also be noted that Jerusalem was a center of the Judea and the Jewish high priests and grand temple was located there and priesthood hierarchy lived their and centered there and in fact they were the leaders of the entire planning and those who followed them all such mischievous people were certainly involved in it. But now it is a matter of history, we leave it to G-d to judge them. “1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. (Mathew 27:1-2)
Pilate was a weak personality; he washed his hands before the Jews to show them and express that he was not involved in their scheme and was not agreed to crucify Jesus, and he considered him innocent in the matter.(For conduct of the priesthood and Pilate refer Mathew 27:11-26). “20But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 24When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.”
After all Jesus was a peaceful, law abiding citizen of the Roman Empire and had done nothing to invoke their anger.
So, it was the Jews of that time who did it and onus of this cruelty and inhuman act falls on them and not that much on Pilate. But that is a matter of history now and the Jews of the present time have nothing to do with it. Many of the moderate and balanced Jews, not under influence of the corrupt clergy had already accepted him and when Christian Movement after this grave incident in the city had to go underground, many must have among the Jews accepted him later on. And if the present time Jews can’t be blamed for crucifying Jesus, they must now have no excuse of not accepting him when it has become very clear that Jesus did not die on cross and he miraculously survived the collective attempt of the Jews present on the scene to kill him. His status as their beloved Moshiach hence becomes ratified and also as a true prophet of G-d.
When Jesus last departed from his followers they saw him going up the hills disappearing in the clouds, which scene is common in the hill sides and mountainous regions where clouds are very low, some followers might have resorted to think that Jesus has risen to the skies while he disappeared up the hills above the clouds and went to accomplish his mission assigned by God to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:23-25).
The situation was very tense that generated all sorts of doubts, stories and alibis. The Jews were in doubt, due to the storm which followed soon after Jesus was crucified, they absented from the scene and when the storm subsided they were not sure what took place during their absence.
When queries were made Jews were told that Jesus had got resurrected from the dead and raised to heavens and hence the weak Christians resorted to deify him as God or son of God. This has nothing to do with Jesus who only believed in one G-d as Jews believed; rather he was sent by G-d to strengthen unity of God, which faith had been obscured by the priesthood. The stance of present day Jews that Jesus becoming God or son of God is an alien belief to the Jewry, they were not waiting for a person proclaiming these notions and hence they deny identifying such person. On the other hand the Christians resorted to such beliefs when Jesus and his close confidantes secretly disappeared from the scene and as history reveals reappeared in other part of the world.
The Christians in Jerusalem; those of them who knew where Jesus had gone could not disclose lest his persecutors may follow him and harm him and those who did not know this kept telling the people that he had resurrected and gone to heavens. Such beliefs were in fact product of the period of persecution of the weak Christians and which at a very later stage got formally adopted, modified or added by St. Paul and his epistles under no express instructions of Jesus. Others did not do that and remained on the pristine teachings of Jesus and later most of them accepted Islam. This is the reason why the Jews even after several thousands years are so small in numbers than the Christians and Muslims.
Now the time is changed. Christians of day don’t have to compromise any alibi or any negotiated religious belief. When it is proved that their beloved Jesus did not die on Cross and after healing of his wounds, migrated to far off lands.
Christians at present must revive their faith based on this revealed truth and follow no myth so that Jews could identify Jesus clearly and accept him. This would culminate in merging of the two Abrahamic Religions. This would benefit the Jews more as once they have denied Jesus; they are daily for the last two thousands years have been praying to G-d to send the Moshiach but to no avail. They could not even believe a dozen claimants of this office later among themselves. They have developed a circular argument belief for rejection. If a claimant of Moshiach does not succeed he is not a Moshiach in retrospect. Neither they support him nor G-d, since G-d supported miraculously Jesus, the first true claimant chosen by him and sent by him.
The Christians should avoid deifying Jesus and would become close to Jews and Jews identify and accept Jesus their Moshiach, both religions get reconciled. This is done in the roots of the faith and not done politically or diplomatically. End of two thousands years of religious hostilities.
Rambam’s thirteen principles followed by Jews were not revealed by G-d on Moses or on any other prophet. Present day Christian’s principles were not revealed on Jesus, if both stick to the original word of G-d the strife ends.
Lately the Jewish people have shown some relief in the questions they used to ask for the claimants of the office of Moshiach. They are not now asking the question they asked to Jesus which was well answered.
The question; Where is Elijah who ascended to the skies with his chariot and who was to descend before the Moshiach to pave way for his arrival? The Jews are not asking this question anymore and have excluded it from their list of the signs of the Moshiach. In fact logically, to be sincere, they should have prayed for the arrival of the Elijah first because he was to come first and when they would have accepted him upon his arrival then they should have prayed for the advent of Moshiach. They have now a circular argument as pointed out earlier. God is not to match and fulfill their desired signs of an ambitious and warring Moshiach, however and how-much they pray or wail. The Jewish people have to match to G-d’s will and accept the truthful, humble, loving and loved by G-d, Jesus of Nazareth.
Jesus when visited the temple in Jerusalem, he did not violate any code of civil liberties or human rights as understood by the present man. We are living in an age where we have to analyze things as per present requirement of time. The present human rights speak of the conscience of the humans the world over, and we judge things from the vantage point of present times. We cannot afford to be day dreamers living in the past and the unreal animosities of the past.
We have to live in the present age and have to forget the unwise acts of the past and the past people. We can pray for them but we only follow if they did things rightly and we should not insist on doing what they did wrongly. We cannot be their descendants in mistakes. If we are sincere to them we shall have to accept the truth with open heart and open mind. If they were wrong and it is proved they were wrong we leave their footsteps. In fact there was no case against Jesus of aggressively assaulting in the temple; if they had had it they would have registered with the authorities accordingly. Instead they registered a case that he was a rebel of the Roman Empire by virtue of being claimant of the office of Moshiach, King of the Jews. They were jealous of him as to why he has been chosen by G-d instead of one among themselves who were high priests of the temple.
Jesus did not violate any of these principles. He was himself a Jew, from the lineage of David. He did not pronounce a new religion. He only announced himself after a word of God as Moshiach which was well within the concept of Judaism then; and even now the Jewish People pray for the advent of Moshiach. He did not create any commotion, strife or fight there in the temple. He only professed his own faith. He did criticize the religious establishment, the decadent priesthood as he said they leave the injunctions of the Book (Torah) and more adhere to the self made tradition.
Actually the hollow and shallow priesthood became jealous of his pronouncement of being Moshiach, a very high office of the Jewish thought, perhaps the highest office in the Jewish religion after Moses. They became jealous that G-d made an ordinary and humble, popular among the people, pious man a Moshiach. If at all the office was to be given it should have been given to somebody amongst them. In fact every body amongst them thought for himself deserving for the post. Jealousy of office made them an enemy of Jesus. If he were a Moshiach, then all of them had to become a subordinate of him. Their stiff necks could not bow before him, tolerate this situation.
Jesus made no aggression, the priesthood made aggression and assaulted. When Jesus noticed that priesthood had become jealous of him and they were not agreed to have any tolerance towards his teachings and preachings, he shifted to suburban town to defuse the tension. “54Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples”.(John 11:54)
This is a research article. There is no compulsion in accepting it. Any body disagreeing with it can disagree and send me his arguments and reasoning and it is welcome. I will revise the essay accordingly, there is no ill will or hatred intended against anybody belonging to any race, religion, creed or color. Everyone is at liberty to believe in any thing whatsoever true or untrue, fact or myth and nobody else can harm him physically or discriminate against him; God has given choice to man which cannot be denied to him. Human beings are to be honored and loved whatever their belief, nobody can interfere with them. It is another thing that every person is responsible to God for whatever he believes in or whatever he acts upon and would be judged, accounted for and rewarded accordingly. That is why every person should purify one’s beliefs and actions with facts and reasoning and find out the truth and leave false beliefs and actions not based on reality, others can only help and assist one to come out from the wrong beliefs and myths and would be rewarded accordingly. One should keep in mind that blind faith is of no avail and is not acceptable to God and is against human dignity and honor. Only truth could generate permanent peace and love among human beings; myths and false beliefs create hatred and differences make them fall apart.
The Jews believe in oneness of God that is alright and is appreciable. But how oneness was revealed to Jews, it was through Moses, a prophet of God. Whenever belief in unity of God gets obscured, God sends a prophet to revive it and to establish it. Belief in unity of God is not lost by only in being idolatrous that is worship of idols but also when one becomes materialistic and one absorbs oneself too much in worldly matters and does not bow before God and thinks that he is complete in himself and does not need God or His help in his affairs. One is proud and arrogant and thinks downward on other human being. God chose Israel among the people and promised Holy Lands to him, alright but only when they are themselves holy, humble and loving mankind like prophets Abraham, Moses, Jacob and Joseph etc., and not when they are arrogant and haughty; If they do not follow in the footsteps of these great prophets, they themselves deny the Holy Land and there is no promise to them, rather they incite the indignation of God. The prophets are a test from God. With them true oneness of God and true character of man is established in the world.
If people don’t accept a prophet and don’t go with him they fail in the test and invite wrath of God. So, the Jews have to accept Jesus as Moshiach or a prophet of God to become a chosen people as they became when they accepted Abraham, Moses and Joseph and accepted their character as a model. On one hand claiming lands from the mouth of God and then leaving Him and not obeying his wills, this would mean that their own hearts are devoid of love of God and they are not God-fearing and loving the fellow human beings, so their hearts are not a resort of love of G-d or the love of human being. One becomes higher in nobility when one is higher in character and not in race, color or mere outward faith. By denying a true prophet of God all these attributes are lost and then those who accept the prophets become chosen People and Chosen Land belongs to them and hand of God is on them i.e. they are assisted and helped by God.
The simple and common Christian thinks as if behind the cover of atonement they could do any sinful acts they like and have a license to live sinful life as they please. This is not the case, like with every prophet of God, in the Christ Era also whoever accepted him for the first time he had a new birth in belief and hence deserved that his previous sins should be forgiven by God being very kind to them. This atonement is observed in the era of every prophet to the believers for the first time. This does not require any sort of dying of Jesus on cross. Every Christian has to do good deeds to earn and attain real forgiveness of God and he has to abstain himself from evil deeds.
If a Christian tells a lie or makes a false statement in the court or steals or makes a dacoit in a house there is no atonement available for him, he has to cease doing evil deeds and to earn atonement and mercy of God, he has to show firm resolve for not repeating the crime he has done .So there is no unusual thing in this regard with Jesus, only a myth has been formed by shallow believers to please the ordinary people and win their support.
The essence or lesson of the incident of crucifixion of Jesus is that the believers shall have to prepare themselves for all sort of hardships in the way of God like Jesus has suffered and have to be steadfast and then God will give their faith conquest over all the religions and success in life and hereafter.
So, the fact is that Jesus never died on cross. Jews of his time just to prove that he was not a true prophet and as per Jewish scriptures God always causes an untrue prophet to be killed .They secretly planned and tried to kill him by putting him on cross, but they did not succeed in their attempt to kill him .
Jesus did not die on cross, he was delivered from the cross unconscious but alive, was treated in the room-like tomb by his close disciples, thus he survived from death, migrated to 10 tribes of the Israel exiled to far off lands as already hinted by Jesus and died later at some point in the history. The topic is very important and needs to be discussed in detail. The Bible contains sufficient evidence to prove this truth if read intently and between the lines. Consequently the idea that Jesus’ crucifixion was essential for salvation of the sinners is not correct and needs to be revised accordingly. Jesus’ crucifixion and salvation dependent on this is just a myth created out of doubts and not facts of the incident.
It may be noted that the present Jewish people are in no way responsible for crucifixion of Jesus. The responsibility lies on the corrupt clergy of the time. The present Jewish people are enlightened people; I believe they could discern the facts and modify their stance. They have already suffered a lot for not accepting their truthful Moshiach and they had been forced into an eternal waiting position for Moshiach. They daily pray for advent of the Moshiach and it is their cardinal belief that he would come. Just for a misunderstanding they have been kept away from acknowledging him. They could forge unity of belief with the Christians by accepting him a truthful Moshiach.
The fact as to what happened at cross needs to be investigated as it is very important for bringing unity in the Abrahamic religions i.e. Jews, Christians and the Muslims or if not possible at least for an understanding among the three.
Similarly, the poor ordinary followers of Jesus were forced due to the course of events, they could not openly announce that Jesus’ life has been saved from death, lest the Jewish people follow him and torture him again. For face saving they told the Jews when asked that Jesus has resurrected and gone to heavens. One could though observe that all the close and trustworthy followers secretly got absented from the scene (city of Jerusalem, the centre of the Jews) and joined Jesus at far off lands to spread the gospel.
Importance for the Jews
It is to be investigated as to why they tried to kill Jesus Christ or put him on the cross. Were they politically motivated or due to some personal enmity or due to religious injunctions? Since they believed in Torah or the Old Testament as named by the Christians, and the Muslims also believe in Torah to an extant. The motive and the incidence of putting Jesus on cross should therefore be discussed with the Jews .Anybody could take part in the discussion but references if any should be mainly from Torah the religious book of the Jews, not from the New Testament or Quran as Jews don’t believe in these books and reference to these books will be of no significance for them. The Jews have to state as to why they (or their elders in history) tried to kill an innocent person called Jesus. They should clear off their position in this respect.
Importance for the Christians
The incident of crucifixion and the events related to it should be discussed with the Christians and the arguments should be primarily based with reference to the testimony of the New Testament and the historic evidences if any. Giving arguments from Quran would be of little significance for Christians unless somebody first convinces Christians of authenticity of Quran.
Importance for the Muslims
This is also very important for the Muslims. All Muslims do not believe that Jesus (or Essa) died on cross or even he was put on cross, there are different interpretations and beliefs among the Muslims supposedly based on Quran or tradition. Resolving this issue could unite the Muslims also.
This mystery has been solved by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and arguments on the issue have been amply provided for the point of views of Jews, Christians and Muslims.