Jesus died at the cross

Last updated on March 8, 2024

“And when they had crucified Him, […] they sat down and kept watch over Him there.” (Matthew 27:35-36)

The Roman soldiers sent to crucify Jesus and two criminals, took their work seriously. They nailed the condemned to their crosses, took their clothes as spoil for themselves and then stayed at their posts to guard the crucified. Not that they could get off the cross by themselves. But it was not unthinkable that there were relatives or friends among the spectators who might try to save their loved one. The soldiers remained on guard until the condemned had actually died. Sometimes that could take days!

Besides the soldiers, there were also many followers of Jesus who watched from a distance what had happened to Him.
These seem like mere details. Yet it is important. For Islam teaches that Jesus did not actually die on the cross, but someone else took His place. According to them, God would not have allowed His Son to be killed so shamefully. The Bible contradicts this thought in numerous places. It is crucial to our faith that God the Son Himself suffered, died and conquered death! The details of Matthew’s story confirm this. It was impossible for anyone else to take Jesus’ place; His followers would have noticed this and the soldiers would have prevented it.
Can you understand why Muslims embrace the idea that God saved His Son from the shame of death on the cross? And what does it mean to you that this did not actually happen?

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