The Crucifixion of Christ, Fact or Fiction? - You can print tract

One of the main controversies between Christians and Muslims is the authenticity of the crucifixion of Christ. Since the crucifixion is a main doctrine of the church as a whole, I would like to invite you, the reader, to survey with me the following testimonies.

1. The Testimony of History

Cornelius Tacitus (55 A.D.) a heathen historian, who is considered to be one of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, recorded Christ’s crucifixion in detail as seen in his annals contained in 18 volumes.

Josephus (37-97 A.D.) a Jewish historian who wrote the history of his people in 20 volumes, recorded the account of the life of Christ, His teaching, His miracles, and the detailed account of His crucifixion, which was ordered by Pontius Pilate.  He mentioned also that Christ appeared to the disciples alive on the third day.

Lucian, the Greek, an outstanding Greek historian, wrote on the crucifixion of Christ and of the Christians who were willing to die for their faith in the Christ.

Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, sent to Tiberius Caesar a full report of the crucifixion of Christ.  This report was one of the documents with which Tertullian, a Christian scholar, supported his famous defense of the Christians.

2. The Testimony of the Talmud

The Talmud is a holy book for the Jews.  A copy published in Amsterdam in 1943 states the following information: “Jesus was crucified on the eve of the Passover."  This information is found on page 42.

3. The Testimony of the Old Testament Prophecies

There are over forty-seven prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the death of Christ on the cross, all of which were literally fulfilled.

Some of these is Isa. 53:3-12.  Other prophecies fulfilled are found in the following passages:

Prophecy

Fulfillment

Sold with 30 pieces of sliver

Zack. 11:12

 

Matt. 26: 15

Hated without a cause

Psa. 35:19

 

John 15: 25

His disciples left Him and ran away

Zack. 13:7

 

Matt. 16: 31-56

His pierced hands and feet

Psa. 22:16

 

Luke 23: 33

Casting lots for His garments

Psa. 22:18

 

John 19: 23-24

His severe thirst

Pas. 22: 15

 

John 19: 26

Given vinegar for His thirst

Psa. 59: 21

 

Matt. 27: 34

His acquaintances forsook Him

Psa. 31: 11

 

Matt. 14: 48-50

Piercing of His side

Zech. 12: 10

 

John 19: 34-37

He bore the sin of many

Isa. 53: 12

 

Heb. 9: 28

Intercession for His enemies

Isa. 53: 12

 

Mark 15: 28

Not one of His bones was broken

Ex. 12: 46-Psa. 34: 20

 

John 19: 33-36

4. The Testimony of Christ Himself

The death of Christ on the cross plays the most important and climactic role in His life.  For this reason the writers of the Gospels gave considerable attention to this matter.  In fact, more so than any other part of His ministry.  Before His crucifixion, the Lord Jesus spoke on many occasions about His death on the cross and His resurrection.  For He said, ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death.” (Matt.20: 18).  “From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and the chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matt. 16:2).

For more detail please read these verses:

Matt. 17: 22; Mark 8: 31; 9: 31; 10: 32b-34; Luke 9: 22; 18: 31-33; John 3: 14-17; 10: 11; 12: 32-33.

5. The Testimony of the Gospel

One half of the Gospel of John and one third of the Gospel of Mark, Matthew, and Luke are designated to the crucifixion of Christ.

6. The Testimony of John the Baptist

The message of John the Baptist was “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29).

For up until then, there had been many lambs, but now there is just one lamb – “the Lamb”

Up until then, there had been many lambs chosen by men, but now there is one lamb sent by God- “Behold the Lamb of God."

Up until then, there had been lambs that covered sin, now this lamb “takes away sin.”

Up until then, we had many lambs for the nation of Israel, now we have one lamb for the whole "world.”

In Genesis chapter four we read about one lamb for one person.  In Exodus chapter twelve we read about one lamb for the whole family.  In Leviticus we read about one lamb for the whole nation, now Christ, the Lamb of God, is for the sin of the whole world.

7. The Testimony of Moses

In Deut. 18:15 Moses spoke about Christ and this prophecy was fulfilled in Acts 3:22

8. The Testimony of the Nicea Creed

In the year 381 AD a group of Christian bishops gathered in the city of Nicea from all over Christendom and pinned down the Christian creed, which summarizes the doctrine of the church.  The purpose of this creed was to guard against the heretics, which arose in the Christian church, in the creed they mentioned that Jesus was crucified during the time of Pontius Pilate.

9. The Testimony of the Symbol and Sign of the Cross

The cross has been the emblem of the Christian Church since its inception.  They have raised it on the steeples of their churches and engraved it on their tombs.  Their kings wore it on the top front of their crown to remind them of the greatest love of God in the redemption of mankind.  Such a symbol is also etched in a great number on the walls of the catacombs in Rome.

10. The Testimony of the Words of Christ on the Cross

No one else but the Lord Jesus would have uttered these seven words from the cross, for who can say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23: 34).

11. The Testimony of Joseph of Arimathea

When Joseph of Arimathea asked Pontius Pilate for the body of Jesus, his request was granted (Mark 15: 42-46), and if the body, which Joseph took from the cross, was not the body of Christ, surely Joseph would have known.

12. The Testimony of Judas Iscariot

The theory, which states that Judas was crucified in the place of Jesus, could not be true for the following reasons:

  1. This will make God a deceiver.

    • The prophecy of taking the 30 pieces of silver from the chief priest would not have been fulfilled (Zech. 11: 12 and Matt. 26: 15).

    • The prophecy of taking the money and buying the potter’s field would not have been fulfilled (Zech 11: 13 and Matt 27: 7).

    • Judas would have protested by saying I am not Jesus.

13. The Testimony of the Jews

The Jews asked Pilate to seal the tomb, not for fear that Christ might come out, but they were afraid that His disciples might come and steal his body and say that He had risen.

14. The Testimony of the Lord’s Supper

“The Lord Jesus the same night He was betrayed took bread and when He had given thanks, He brake it and said, "Take eat this is my body which is broken for you, this do in remembrance of me… For as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord’s death until He comes” (1Cor. 11: 25b-26).

Throughout history, Christians all over the world gather together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of God’s most wonderful act of love—that Jesus Christ shed His own blood as a substitutionary atonement for the sins of all mankind.

15. The Testimony of the Apostles’ Teaching

The teachings of the apostles were rooted in their firm belief in the death of Christ on the cross and in His resurrection.  There will not be enough room to enumerate the apostles’ teaching in the epistles about Christ’s death and resurrection.  Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost said to the Jews: "Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by Him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know; Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2: 22-23).

16. The Testimony of the Believer's Baptism

When the believer is baptized he is testifying that he died with Christ, was buried and rose again into the newness of life  (Rom. 6: 3-6).

17.  The Testimony of the Animal Sacrifices of the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, on the Day of Atonement sacrifices were required as redemption for the soul (Lev. 17:11).  Jews, Christians, and Muslims have the doctrine of the atonement.  Jews celebrate the Passover, Christians celebrate the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and Muslims celebrate the Al-Adha.  Christ, the Lamb of God became the ultimate sacrifice who gave meaning to all these sacrifices.  If these sacrifices are not only the shadow of the real sacrifice, which Christ offered at the cross,then they are rendered meaningless.

18.    The Testimony of the Death of the Apostles

It is a well-known fact that all the apostles of Jesus, except for John, died as martyrs because of their faith in the death of Christ on the cross and His resurrection.

The question is asked, “Could all these evidences be wrong and the Qur'an alone be right?”

May God help you in making the right decision.

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you… that Christ died for our sin according to the scriptures” (Acts 3:13-15).

“Being justified freely by his grace though the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” Rom. 3:24).

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commandeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5: 6-8).

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Rom. 10:9).

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).

“For I determined not to know anything about you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 21:1-2).

“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.  For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7).

For more information please read the following verses:

Acts 2: 36; 3: 13-15; 4: 10; Rom. 1: 4; 3:24; 4: 24-25; 5: 8; 6:3-4; 6:10; 10:9; 1Cor. 1:18, 23; 2:2; 5:7; 6:14; 11:26; 15:3-4, 17, 20; 2Cor. 4:10-14; 13:4; Gal. 2:20; 4:4; 6:14; Eph. 1:7; 2:13; 5:2; Col. 1:18, 20; 2:12, 14; 3:1; Phil. 2:6-8; 3:18; 1Thess. 1:10; 4:14; 5:10; 1Thim. 2:6; 2Tim. 2:11, 18; Heb. 2:9, 14-15; 5:8; 9:12, 14; 10:10, 14; 12:2; 13:12; 13: 20; 1Peter 1:3; 1:11, 18-19; 2:21-24; 3:18; 4:1; 5:1; 1John 1:7; 3:16; 4:10; Rev. 1:5-7; 5:9, 11