How Were the Believers that lived before the Crucifixion Saved? Pt. 1

In these series of posts I will be responding to a further desperate Muslim attempt https://bloggingtheology.net/2017/03/30/how-were-the-people-before-crucifixion-saved/ of refuting my rebuttal to a post where a specific Muhammadan sought to address the plain and explicit Biblical evidence that the OT saints were redeemed because of the work of Christ, which God applied to them in advance of the Messiah coming into the world to deliver them and everyone else who would trust in him for the forgiveness of sins.

The Muslim who goes by the name question mark (a most apt moniker if you ask me) makes the following assertion:

Quite probably if Shamoun had to make a case that sins before Jesus were forgiven in lieu of his future alleged death and resurrection then it must be first proven that the crucifixion was predestined. Shamoun quoted passages from New Testament to prove it. Nevertheless, except for a passage from Peter’s epistle none other even comes close to prove it. We leave it to the readers to decide. (Bold and underline emphasis ours)

He then quotes Mark 14:32-36 to show that Jesus seemingly didn’t believe that he was predestined to die on the cross, and had he been given the choice he would have never gone through the sufferings of the cross. Employing typical muhammadan logic at this point, question mark infers that Jesus’ reaction somehow undermines his essential coequality with the Father and his therefore having known the plan of human salvation included his having to die on the cross to redeem sinners from God’s wrath. The Muhammadan further cites Jesus’ cry from the cross in Mark 15:33-37 to prove his case, and then claims that the redactor(s) of Luke chose to remove this “controversial moaning and expressions of anguish on the cross.”(1)

For a refutation of this assertion I recommend the following article and rebuttal:

If Jesus is God… how can God die? http://answeringislam.net/Shamoun/q_god_dying.htm

Shabir on Jesus’ Prayer in Gethsemane http://answeringislam.net/Responses/Shabir-Ally/favorites2.htm

What I would like to do here is to use these very same Gospels that question mark employed (along with the testimony of Acts since it was written by the same inspired writer) to show that Jesus’ crucifixion was indeed predestined by God, and therefore confirms my claim that the OT believers were saved on the basis of the merits of Christ’s perfect righteousness and vicarious death, which God applied to them in advance. I will then quote OT passages to establish this point as well.(2)

Mark’s witness

Note what this inspired author says concerning Jesus’ betrayal, his vicarious death for sinners, and the scattering of his disciples: 

“In the evening He came with the twelve. As they sat and ate, Jesus said, ‘Truly I say to you, one of you who is eating with Me will betray Me.’ They began to be sorrowful and to say to Him one by one, ‘Is it I?’ and another, ‘Is it I?’ He answered them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread in the dish with Me. The Son of Man indeed goes AS IT IS WRITTEN CONCERNING HIM, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had never been born.’ As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Take and eat it. This is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them. And they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the new covenant, WHICH IS SHED FOR MANY. Truly I say to you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’  When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will fall away on account of Me this night, FOR IT IS WRITTEN: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” But after I have risen, I will go before you to Galilee.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Even if all fall away, I will not.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you that this day, during the night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.’” Mark 14:17-30

The risen Lord had already explained to his disciples what he meant that he would be shedding his blood for many:

“For even the Son of Man not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45(3)

The Evangelist clearly affirms that all of these events were foreordained by God and written down in the previous Scriptures. This confirms that the OT prophets were told that the Messiah would come to offer his life as a ransom for their souls.

With that said we are ready to examine what Luke has to say concerning this same issue https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/how-were-the-believers-that-lived-before-the-crucifixion-saved-pt-2/.

Endnotes 

(1) It is ironic that the Muhammadan cites the following verses,

“They came to a place which was named Gethsemane. And He said to His disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took Peter and James and John with Him and began to be greatly distressed and very troubled. And He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply sorrowful unto death. Remain here and keep watch.’ He went a little farther and fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. He said, “ABBA, FATHER, all things are possible for You. Remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.’ Then He came and found them sleeping and said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Could you not keep watch one hour?’” Mark 14:32-36

“And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “FATHER, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He gave up the spirit.’” Luke 23:46

 

Without realizing how these words of the Lord Jesus expose his prophet as a liar and an antichrist. Muhammad denied that his deity is a father to anyone,

The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say: Why then doth He chastise you for your sins? Nay, ye are but mortals of His creating. He forgiveth whom He will, and chastiseth whom He will. Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the journeying. S. 5:18 Pickthall – cf. Q. 6:101; 19:88-93; 21:26; 39:4; 72:3

Let alone the Father of Christ:

And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! S. 9:30 Pickthall

As such, the Lord Jesus’ own words that are recorded in the very same texts cited by the greenhorn end up condemning Muhammad as a deceiver and false prophet:

“Who is a liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? Whoever denies the Father and the Son is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father.” 1 John 2:22-23

“If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God which He has given concerning His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this witness in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made Him out to be a liar, because he does not believe the testimony that God gave about His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life, and whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:9-13

Therefore, Christ’s true followers have no choice but to speak out against Muhammad and expose him for the whole world to see him for what he truly was.

(2) As if the neophyte couldn’t further embarrass himself, he misapplies Paul’s words on 1 Corinthians 15:14 in order to show that Jesus had to rise from the dead, in order to argue that Mark’s Gospel raises additional problems for my position. Here is what the greenhorn writes:

However, the best and oldest manuscripts of Mark’s gospel end with absolutely no witness to the resurrected Jesus. This would have become so serious in the light of the Pauline philosophy of salvation that a “new” ending was added to Mark’s gospel!

Here is a classic example of the Islamic mindset at work!

Aside from the erroneous assumption that Mark’s longer ending was added to the Gospel, the Muhammadan deceitfully changes and misrepresents Paul’s argument from that of Jesus being raised from the dead as the foundation of our faith and the grounds for our forgiveness,

“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: how Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, rose again the third day according to the Scriptures… If Christ has not risen, then our preaching is vain, and your faith is also vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 14

A fact which Mark never denies, but goes out of his way to affirm,

“He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, AND BE KILLED, and after three days RISE AGAIN. He said this openly. And Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him.” Mark 8:31-32

“They departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. For He was teaching His disciples, saying, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will KILL HIM. After He is killed, HE WILL RISE THE THIRD DAY.’” Mark 9:30-31

“They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Again, He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what would happen to Him, saying, ‘Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and hand Him over to the Gentiles. They will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, AND KILL HIM. Then after three days HE WILL RISE.’” Mark 10:32-34

“Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will fall away on account of Me this night, for it is written: “I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” But after I HAVE RISEN, I will go before you to Galilee.’” Mark 14:27-28

“When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb at the rising of the sun. They said among themselves, ‘Who will roll the stone away from the door of the tomb for us?’ But when they looked, they saw that the stone had been rolled away. For it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white robe. And they were frightened. He said to them, ‘Do not be frightened. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. HE IS RISEN. He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go your way, tell His disciples and Peter that He is going before you to Galilee. There you will see Him, AS HE TOLD YOU.’ They went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Mark 16:1-8

To the issue of resurrection appearances of Christ to his followers! Only a Muhammadan mind could twist these sacred writings in such a shameful fashion in order to create a problem or contradiction when none actually exist.

And most unfortunately for this neophyte, his appeal to 1 Corinthians 15:14 supplies further evidence that the greenhorn’s prophet was a deceiver and antichrist, since Muhammad denied the explicit testimony of 1 Corinthians 15 that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day.

(3) Interestingly, in claiming to have the capacity to ransom sinners by the giving up of his own life, Christ was basically making himself out to be God in the flesh since the Hebrew Bible emphatically proclaims that no man is able to save a single human life, let alone a host of human beings:

“No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay… But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself.” Psalm 49:7-9, 15 New International Version (NIV) – cf. Isaiah 59:16; 63:5

Hence, the only way that the Lord Jesus could be able to redeem a multitude of human beings is if he is truly and essentially God (even though he is not the Father or the Holy Spirit).

 

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