5.12 Eli, Eli Lama Sabachthani:
Both Muslims as well as Christians affirm that God Almighty is a just and merciful God. Muslims believe that the sign of God's mercy is that He multiplies the good deeds of mankind from ten to seven hundred times, or even more. He also counts an evil deed as a single evil deed or forgives it. The Church, on the other hand, claims that the sign of God's mercy is that He sacrificed His only begotten son to save mankind. Let us study this claim:
If God Almighty decided to sacrifice His only son for the redemption of mankind, then we have one of two cases:
1) Jesus (pbuh) did not know of this plan and the fate God had decreed for him.
2) Jesus (pbuh) knew of this plan and the fate God had decreed for him.
In the first case, if Jesus (pbuh) did not know of God's plan, then this insinuates that God either tricked Jesus (pbuh) into this fate, or God forced Jesus (pbuh) into this fate. In other words, Jesus' mercy and sacrifice require God Himself to be savage, blood-thirsty, and ruthless. This, of course, is preposterous.
In the second case, if Jesus (pbuh) did know of this plan, then we are faced with three problems:
a) If Jesus' (pbuh) sole mission to mankind was to die on the cross, free them from the original sin, free them from the law of Moses (pbuh), and provide salvation for them, then why did he never in his lifetime mention it to his followers? Why did he not spend night and day drumming these new concepts into their minds? Why did he himself observe the commandments of Moses (pbuh) so completely and so faithfully even up till his alleged death? In Matthew 19:16-21 when Jesus (pbuh) was asked for the path to heaven, why did he emphasize the keeping of the commandments of Moses but never mention the crucifixion nor the redemption or having "faith" in them? Why, when he was pressed for more, did he still not mention either a crucifixion nor a redemption but only claim that anyone who kept the commandments of Moses (pbuh) and sold his belongings would be "perfect"? Why did he not say "have faith in my crucifixion and forsake the commandments and you shall be 'perfect'"?
b) If Jesus' (pbuh) sole mission to mankind was to die on the cross, free them from the original sin, free them from the law of Moses (pbuh), and provide salvation for them, then why, when he was in the garden of Gethsemane did he plead with God Almighty and implore Him "Eli, Eli Lama sabachthani", meaning "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)? Why are the words of Matthew 27:46 the only words of all of the New Testament reported in their original Aramaic form? Could it be that Jesus' alleged helpless cry left such a vivid impression of a man seemingly bereft of hope that anyone who heard them would remember the exact words? Why did he allegedly beseech God to "let this cup pass" (Matthew 26:39, Mark 14:36, Luke 22:42)? Did he get cold feet? Was he trying to back out of a fate he had previously accepted? Was the redemption of mankind not so important any more?
c) If Jesus' (pbuh) sole mission to mankind was to die on the cross, free all of Mankind from the original sin, free them from the law of Moses (pbuh), and provide salvation for them, then why when he spoke to the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:22-8 did he refuse to heal her daughter on the grounds that he was sent to the Jews alone "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,"? According to Jesus' words in these verses, his mission was for the Jews alone, therefore it was not fitting for him to even heal a non-Jewess woman since in his own words "It is not meet to take the children's bread and to cast it to dogs." Was Jesus to die on the cross for the Jews alone? If Jesus (pbuh) did not see fit to even heal non-Jews then how could we claim that he knew and accepted from the beginning of time that he was going to endure torture, humiliation, and finally a very gruesome death in order to provide eternal salvation for all of mankind? Did God and Jesus (pbuh) not know when he was first sent what his ultimate mission would be? Did his mission change later on? Did they not decide that it was necessary for Jesus (pbuh) to die for the "original sin" until the end of Jesus' mission?
Once again, we find both alternatives preposterous. As has been previously proven in chapter one from both the Old Testament as well as the Qur'an, mankind does not inherit sin, nor does God hold them responsible for the same. God only judges mankind according to their own individual actions and forgives much of their transgressions. Jesus (pbuh) was human messenger of God sent to the Jews alone in order to return them to the message of Moses and discard the innovations that had crept into their book over the ages. The "universal messenger" (Muhammad, pbuh) would not come until six hundred years later. He would teach mankind that God Almighty was capable of all things and that mankind's salvation lies within their own hands if they worship Him as He commanded and seek His boundless mercy.
Leave No Stone Unturned: An Easter Challenge For Christians
To successfully complete this challenge, all you have to do is explain what happened on Easter. The author doesn't demand "proof", but only that Christians tell him exactly what happened on the day that Jesus supposedly rose from the dead. The only catch: you can't leave out a single detail of any of the separate Biblical accounts - all of which were supposedly inspired by the Holy Spirit. As mentioned below, the first person to solve this puzzle can win $2,000. The prize is still unclaimed, so have fun . . .
A Two-Thousand-Dollar Oppurtunity
There is a longstanding offer of a $1,000 reward to anyone who can take all accounts of the resurrection in the four gospels, Acts, and 1 Corinthians 15, and write a single narrative in which he includes every event and detail mentioned in the separate accounts and do so without omitting anything or injecting inconsistency, contradiction, or purely speculative materials into the narrative. To sweeten the pot a little, The Skeptical Review will add another $1,000 to the original offer.