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By Saleem Ahmed
1.If Jesus's mission was to the lost sheep of Israel,why was it confined to Palestine where only two of the original tribes had settled? Did that mean that Jesus had failed in his mission? 2.Why should Jesus specifically forbid, on the one hand, preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles Matthew 7:6,15:24,26) and yet on the other, tell the disciples to teach all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost? (Matthew 28:19) 3.Why did Jesus prohibit the Gospel from being preached to the Gentiles during his ministry (Matthew 10:5, 7:6,15:24-26) but after his 'resurrection' tell them to preach the Gospel to the whole world? (Mark 16:15) If Jesus really had made the latter statement, why was there such a fierce debate within the early Church (and particularly between Peter and Paul) as to whether the Gospel should be preached to the Gentiles? (Acts 15:6-30) 4.Out of all the signs that Jesus could have given about himself, he chose to give the sign of Jonah: This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. (Luke 11:29, Matthew 12:39, Matthew 16) Jonah was swallowed alive by a whale and remained in its belly alive for three days. For Jesus to have properly fulfilled the prophecy, he would need to enter the tomb alive and come out alive. Why should Jesus give this, of all signs, if he was to die and be resurrected? 5.If Jesus's message was for the whole of mankind, why did he forbid his disciples to preach to the Gentiles? (Matthew 10:5-6) 6.When Jesus was asked what the only way was to true salvation,he replied: keep the Commandments (Matthew 19:17). The first of the Commandments was to believe in the Oneness of God (Exodus 20:3). Why did Jesus answer so if he believed in and was part of the Trinity? Why did he not refer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?
7.Jesus said that he had not come to change the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17-20, Matthew 23:1-3). The Law of Moses teaches that there is one God (Exodus 20:3). If Jesus was introducing the concept of Trinity, why did he not say that he was changing the Law of Moses or introducing a different
8.Jesus prophesied that men of his generation would not pass away without witnessing his second coming and the falling of stars (Mark 9:1, 13:30). Why was this prophecy unfulfilled? Why was it that Jesus did not return within the lifetime of his generation? 9.Why did Jesus forbid the disciples from calling people fools yet called the Jewish leaders with names like vipers and children of adultery? Is it conceivable that a Divine Being would behave in this way? 10.According to Luke, when the Jews tried Jesus they asked him Are you the son of God? Jesus replied you say that I am (Luke 22:70) which could mean: you say that I am but I do not. If his divinity was something he came to tell the world, why did he not plainly say yes instead of couching his answer in ambiguous terms? 11.In the Old Testament, the term Son of God was applied to David (Psalms 89:27), the nation of Israel (Exodus 4:22), the children of Israel (Psalms 82:6), and Solomon (1 Chronicles 22:10). Jesus also used it for the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9). If Jesus was referring to himself as the Son of God in the literal sense, why did he not make it clear that he was differentiating between a symbolic reference and a literal meaning of the term? 12.Jesus was the Messiah, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. He frequently made reference to himself as the suffering servant foretold in the Book of Isaiah (Matthew 8:17 & Isaiah 53:4; Luke 2:30 & Isaiah 52:10; Luke 22:37 & Isaiah 53:12). The Messiah of the Old Testament was, however, promised by God that he would not be killed (Psalms 34:19, Isaiah 53:10). How was it, therefore, that the Jews had succeeded in killing the Messiah if Jesus died on the cross? 13.If Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him, why did he continue to permit him as a disciple? Why did he not tell the other disciples so that Judas could be excluded from his closest circle of followers? 14.If Jesus knew that one of his disciples would betray him, why should he say that all twelve disciples would sit upon twelve thrones? (Matthew 19:28)
15.If Jesus knew that he was to die on the cross, why did he spend all night praying in the Garden of Gethsemane seeking deliverance: Father if it is possible may this cup be taken from me? (Matthew 26:39) 16.Jesus had taught that man's prayers are answered the Garden of Gethsemane? What effect would this incident have on the faith of his disciples and followers to see that a prayer had not been answered contrary to what Jesus had taught? 17.If Jesus believed that his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane would not be heard, why did he tell his disciples earlier that prayers are answered?: Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asked for bread (Matthew 7:9-10) which means that God hears the prayers of man more than a father answers the wishes of his children and Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be openedtoyou. And whatever you ask in your prayers, you will receive, if you have faith. (Matthew 21:22; John 11:41,42) 18.If Jesus's prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was not to be heard, why was it something that he wanted the disciples to witness? If the prayer was not to be heard, what useful purpose does this story serve? 19.Why should Matthew, Mark and Luke all report (Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42) that Jesus asked for the cup of suffering to be passed if possible yet John (John 18:11) reports that Jesus hastened for the crucifixion saying shall I not drink the cup the Father hath given me? 20.Why did Pontius Pilate just simply ignore his wife's plea to have nothing to do with Jesus on account of her bad dream? (Matthew 27:19) If the very mission of Jesus was to suffer death, why should God Almighty show a dream to Pilate's wife which would cause her to try and persuade her husband to release Jesus? Would not that appear to counter God's own plan? 21.If Pilate really wanted Jesus to die on the cross, why would he fix the crucifixion on a Friday evening knowing that the Jews would have to take him down before Sabbath and that such a little time on the cross was insufficient for him to die? 22.If Jesus knew all along that he was destined to be crucified to death (indeed if that was his purpose in life), why did he exclaim on the cross Eli, Eli Lama Sabachthani meaning my God my God why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)
23.If Jesus was about to die, how was he able to say in a clear loud and audible voice that he was thirsty? (John 19:28) Sabachthani (Matthew 27:46) reported in their original Aramaic form? Could it be that Jesus's helpless cry left such a vivid impression of a man seemingly bereft of hope that anyone who heard them would remember the exact words? 25.Vinegar is often considered to have a stimulating effect,rather similar to smelling salts. Why, in Jesus's case, did it suddenly lead to his death? (John 19:29, 26.How could an onlooker tell the difference between a man on the cross who had died and a man who had fainted (Mark 15:39) particularly when it is reported that it was dark at that time? (Mark 15:33, Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44) 27.If Jesus was dead when he was removed from the cross, why did his body release blood and water, since blood does not flow at all from a dead body? (John 19:34) 28.Why did Jesus die before the other two who were crucified with him even though the legs of the other two were broken to hasten death? (John 19:32) 29.It is reported that dead saints came out of their graves and made themselves known to many (Matthew 27:52). When the Jews saw this, why did they not immediately profess faith in Jesus? Where did these saints go? Who did they see? Why is there no account of this story elsewhere other than in Matthew's Gospel? 30.If the above story of saints rising from the dead is not based on an actual historical event, what other statements there in the Gospels which are not baon actual historical facts? 31.Jesus said that the killing of prophets ended with the killing of Zacharias (Matthew 23:35-36). How was it, therefore, that the Jews had succeeded in killing another prophet? 32.Crucifixion was meant to be an accursed death (Deuteronomy 21:23). If Jesus was crucified, did that mean he also suffered an accursed death?
33.Why was it that a Roman soldier was so readily prepared to allow Joseph (a subjected citizen) to take down Jesus's body from the cross without checking and without Joseph having any apparent lawful authority? 34.Why is there is no direct account by Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus that Jesus was dead when he was account would have settled the matter beyond dispute? 35.Why should Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus take so much trouble to recover the body of Jesus when this would have been the duty of the nearest relative?
36.Why did Pilate agree to release the 'body' to Joseph of Arimathea (a known Jew and follower of Jesus) if he was not sympathetic to Jesus? 37.Crucifixion was a slow death. It usually lasted several days. Death followed from exhaustion, inability to respire property as a result of being in an upright position or attacks by wild animals. Why did Jesus, who was a fit and healthy man used to walking the countryside for long distances, die so quickly in only a matter of a few hours? 38.If Jesus really was expected to die in such a short time, why did Pilate express surprise at Jesus's death? (Mark 15:42-44) 39.Why would the Jews bribe the soldiers to say that Jesus's disciples had stolen the corpse whilst they (the soldiers) were asleep? If the soldiers had truly related this story, they might have been asked how they knew that the disciples had stolen the corpse if they were asleep? 40.Why did the Jews not go and check the tomb themselves? They had put much effort into getting Jesus crucified. A friend of Jesus had been allowed to take the body away. Why did they not visit the tomb before Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus did? 41.Why did Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus not stay with Jesus in the tomb after taking down his body from the cross to witness the resurrection? Jesus had apparently told his followers that he would die and rise after three days. (Matthew 16:21, 17:23, 20:17-19) This report had even reached the Jews (Matthew 27:63). Why did not Joseph and Nicodemus remain with Jesus to witness the event? 42.Did the Jews really believe that Jesus had died? If so, why did they ask the Romans for a guard to be placed outside the sepulcher? Matthew says the Jews explained this by saying that Jesus's disciples could spread false rumors about him rising from the dead. However, if the Jews really believed this to be the reason for the request, why could they not have asked the disciples to produce the risen Christ as proof? If the disciples had then done so, the Jews could then presumably rearrest Jesus. 43.Why were the Roman authorities so disinterested about the apparent removal of the body if this is what the Jews were claiming? 44.Why was the stone moved from the tomb (Matthew28:2) if it was a supernatural rising? 45.When Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of Jesus saw him, he was wearing gardener's clothing (John 20:15). Where did Jesus get these clothes from? His own clothes had been taken by the soldiers who had divided them drawing lots (John 19:23). It was not through Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus because they are only reported of having taken in herbs, aloes and a linen shroud (John 19:39, 40). What was the significance of Jesus wearing gardener's clothing (as opposed to normal clothing)? Was it meant to be a disguise? If so, for what purpose? 46.Why were the women who visited the tomb terrified if Jesus was dead (Mark 16:8)? What did they have to be terrified of if the Jews had succeeded in killing Jesus? 47.If Jesus could conquer death and rise from thedead, why did he fear seeing the Jews afterthe crucifixion? particularly as death had no more power over him? (Romans 6:9) 48.Why did Jesus disguise himself afterthe resurrection and appear only to the disciples? Surely, this was the great manifestation of his power and the fulfillment of the purpose of his creation. What was the purpose in keeping it all a secret now? 49.If Jesus was the risen Christ, why did he meet his disciples behind closed doors and not in the open as he used to? (John 20:19) Note: All quotations are from the Revised Standard Version.
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