Let’s take a look at the concept of Christ from the Tanach, which is the Old Testament and the Christ of the New Testament. What does the Bible actually say about this blessed man? It should be noted that no Muslim can be a Muslim while rejecting Christ as a Prophet of God. With that having been said, let’s begin with a quotation from the Book of Psalms, which reads:
“For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;” – Bible : Psalms (37) : Verse 28.
Our modus operandi from this verse onwards is intended to imply that Jesus would be the most faithful and the most just person of his time with respect to his life and personhood, whether you consider him to be a God, a man or otherwise. Both Muslims and Christians can agree on this following excerpt from the Gospel, which attributes these words to him:
“…I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.” – Bible : John (5) : Verse 30.
The verses from Psalms (Tehillim) and from John (above), promote the understanding that Jesus was just because he judged according to the rule and law of God and thus since the Old Testament says that God loves and will not forsake such a person, we all can accept that Christ was loved and would not be forsaken by God. However as a Muslim reading the New Testament, the image it portrays of Christ is in opposition to the promise of Psalms as we have previously read, the Bible says:
“About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Bible : Matthew (27) : Verse 46.
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” – Bible : Mark (15) : 34.
It is clear for anyone who is purely intended that these stories, depictions of a man forsaken by God, cannot be the man portrayed in John 5:30 and Psalms 37:28. Rather, it reminds of the man later spoken of in Psalms 37:28:
“…They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;” – Bible : Psalms (37) : Verse 28.
Am I supposed to believe that Christ was a wicked man, cut off from the mercy of God? As a Muslim, it burdens my heart to have to believe that this is what someone who loves Christ could possibly believe. In fact, even Christian scholars have purported that this alleged saying of Christ is out of his character and simply demeans him, Matthew Henry in his Commentary of the Bible, says:
“That our Lord Jesus was, in his sufferings, for a time, forsaken by his Father. So he saith himself, who we are sure was under no mistake concerning his own case.” – Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible, Matthew 27.
“That Christ’s being forsaken of his Father was the most grievous of his sufferings, and that which he complained most of. “ – Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible, Matthew 27.
What’s worse is that even an epistle in the New Testaments willingly admits that the one who is punished upon the cross is cursed by God:
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” – Bible : Galatians (3) : Verse 13.
These verses, quotes, scholar’s interpretations and more, really cause disdain for the Muslim who is taught otherwise. Jesus, Christ, the Messiah, may God be pleased with him, to us, was not forsaken by God, was not abandoned, cursed, tortured, abused, mocked or destroyed. To us, he delivered his message (risalah), to his people, the Children of Israel (Bani Isra’il), he did miracles and brought guidance to the masses by God’s will. Islam portrays him not be wretched and forsaken, but worthy of the protection of God, as the Psalms has said.
and God knows best.