Page 123 - Islam In Focus

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6. Does the belief of crucifixion and blood sacrifice appear in any religion apart from
the pagan creeds of the early Greeks, Romans, Indians, Persians, and the like?
7. Is there any parallel to Jesus in human history besides the fictitious figures of
Bacchus, Apollo, Adonis, Horus and other Virgin-born gods?
8. Does it not give new insight to compare the words attributed to Jesus with those of
Bacchus, who said that he was the Alpha and Omega of the world, and had came to
redeem humanity by his blood? Could the similarity of these words to those ascribed
to Jesus in later years stimulate a new zeal to search for the whole truth of the matter?
9. What did the Roman authorities have against Jesus? He was no threat to their
control. In fact he did many favors for their leading personalities and their
households. He taught his followers to render unto Caesar what belonged to Caesar
and unto God what belonged to God. He was a peaceful preacher and a great help to
the Roman authorities in keeping law and order in the land. Why then would they
crucify him and lose such a good law-abiding citizen and supporter?
10. How much is known about the character of the Roman Governor, Pilate? Was he
on good terms with the contemporary Jews who appealed to Rome against him? Was
his rule in Judaea not expressive of his hatred and contempt of them? Was he not
vulnerable to bribes? Why then would he hasten to do their will or implement their
order? Why would he not accept the bribe of a rich admirer of Jesus such as Joseph of
Armathaea? This Joseph, according to Luke, was wealthy and very interested in Jesus,
and was a counselor who did not consent to the counsel in the decision to refer Jesus
for crucifixion. Could he not have tried, even by bribing the corruptible governor, to
save Jesus from crucifixion after he had failed to do so in the council chamber?
11. How many disciples did actually witness the alleged crucifixion of Jesus, and
what were their reactions? Can it be true what Matthew says (26:56) that all the
disciples forsook Him and fled? Is this the criterion of the integrity and character of
such great disciples of a great teacher? Only the beloved John is reported to have been
present at the scene. But how long was he present and how long did it take the
condemmed person to die on the cross in those days? According to some reliable
historical sources (see the article on the Cross, The Chambers’ Encyclopedia, 1950), it
usually took a few days for the condemned to die on the cross. But why was it only a
few hours, not the usual few days, in the case of Jesus? And why did he “ die” on the
cross while his two other companions survived him? What about the darkness which
overshadowed all the land for three hours of the crucifixion period (Matthew, 27:45;
Mark, 15:33; Luke, 23:44); Could a replacement or substitution have taken place on
the cross under the purple robe during that period of darkness and confusion?
12. How familiar with Jesus were those Roman soldiers who came to take him to
cross? How certain were they that it was the right person they took to the scene? Did
they really recognize him when they went to arrest him? Did they have any particular
interest or urge to identify Jesus at that time when public festivities were taking place
and fear of public outburst was imminent?
13. Can a believer imagine that Jesus (who was one of the five most determined and
persistent messengers of God) would speak to God from the cross in the manner he is
said to have spoken, in a tone of reproach or at best of anxiety? Is it proper for a
distinguished prophet like Jesus to say to God at a trying time that God has forsaken
him? Is that to be taken as a pattern or precedence in addressing God or in reacting to
the trying experiences?