The death of Jesus is equally a controversial affair with the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims. The Jews believe that Jesus died on the cross because he was a false prophet. In this connection, they quote the Bible that says:
“His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”. (Deut.21:22-23)
According to the verse mentioned above, the Jewish point of view is that Jesus died a cursed death on the cross, proving that he was a fabricator (God forbid).
The Christians also believe that Jesus was hanged on the cross in Atonement and died an accursed death. Paul says :
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree”. (Galatians 3:13)
The Holy Quran declares that Christ did not die on the cross. God saved him from death by crucifixion in the same way as He saved His dear ones from tribulations. Did Jonah (as) not come out alive from the belly of the whale? The fact of the matter is that Jesus Christ only fell into a swoon on the cross, but when he was taken down from it, he recovered, lived on and later then died a natural death at the good old age of 120 (according to a hadith).
On the strength of their belief that Jesus was a false prophet, the Jews, particularly the Pharisees (Jewish scholars) of his time, brought severe political charges against him, alleging that he was disloyal to the Roman Emperor and that he claimed himself to be the King of the Jews. Pilate, the governor, was not convinced of his guilt but was influenced by the multitude tumult; dictating Jesus to be crucified. They put him on the cross where he remained for three to four hours and then was taken down in a state of swoon and placed in a sepulchre in a garden nearby.
In those days it took several days for criminals to die on the cross. They suffered the pangs of hunger and thirst, and in most cases, their legs were broken. They died a lingering death extending over several days. However, it was not so in the case of Jesus Christ. Incidentally, he was put on the cross on a Friday afternoon followed by the day of Sabbath – a day of religious observance by the Jews – no criminal could remain on the cross on that Holy day, and this is why he was taken down. The loss of blood caused him to fall into a swoon that affirmed his death by the enemies. Jesus’ body was placed in a spacious sepulchre in a garden by his disciple Joseph of Arimathaea, and the ointment Marham-i-Isa was applied to heal his wounds. Being alive in the sepulchre, he left on the third day in disguise to meet his disciples at Galilee.
This is the factual story of Jesus’s crucifixion. However, the Christians gave a peculiar, illogical and fictitious description of his death. They believe that he died on the cross but rose to the heavens on the third day. But if it is proved that he did not die on the cross, nor did he rise from the dead, then the whole edifice of Christianity tumbles to the ground. Paul, who is the real founder of modern Christianity, himself says:
“And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith also vain”. (Corinthians 15:14)
The late Dr. Zwemer, the well-known American missionary, says:
“If our belief in the death of Christ on the Cross is wrong, then the whole of Christianity is a farce”.