I continue from where I previously left off (https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/29/wheres-the-blood-responding-to-another-muslim-ruse-pt-1/).
The Lord Jesus continued the tradition of the Hebrew Bible by pointing to the need of substitutionary atonement for the remission of sins. This can be from the following parable of our Lord:
“And he spake also unto certain who have been trusting in themselves that they were righteous, and have been despising the rest, this simile: `Two men went up TO THE TEMPLE to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer; the Pharisee having stood by himself, thus prayed: God, I thank Thee that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax-gatherer; I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all things — as many as I possess. `And the tax-gatherer, having stood afar off, would not even the eyes lift up to the heaven, but was smiting on his breast, saying, God be propitious (hilastheti) to me — the sinner! I say to you, this one went down declared righteous, to his house, rather than that one: for every one who is exalting himself shall be humbled, and he who is humbling himself shall be exalted.’” Luke 18:9-14 YLT
The word translated as “be propitious” is the Greek hilaskomai. This is how one lexical source defines the term:
Cognate: 2433 hiláskomai (akin to 2434 /hilasmós, “propitiation, appeasement/satisfaction of divine wrath on sin”) – properly, to extend propitiation, showing mercy by satisfying (literally, propitiating) the wrath of God on sin; “to conciliate, appease, propitiate (so the LXX; see also Thackeray, Gr., 270f quoting from inscriptions and Deiss., BS, 224f)” (Abbott-Smith). See 2434 /hilasmos (“propitiation”). (Biblehub https://biblehub.com/greek/2433.htm).
And here are two additional renderings of the specific part of our Lord’s parable pertaining to the sinful man’s request for atonement:
“The tax collector stood off alone in the corner, away from the Holy Place, and covered his face in his hands, feeling that he was unworthy to even look up to God. Beating his breast, he sobbed with brokenness and tears saying, ‘God, please, in your mercy AND BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD SACRIFICE, forgive me, for I am nothing but the most miserable of all sinners!’ Luke 18:13 The Passion Translation (TPT)
“But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest[a] and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me[b]—a sinner!’”
a. Luke 18:13 = mourning
b. Luke 18:13 Lit God, be propitious to me; = May Your wrath be turned aside by the sacrifice Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
It is quite clear from our Lord’s own words that God showed mercy to the tax collector by accepting and/or making atonement for the man’s sins, which resulted in God justifying or making the tax collector righteous in God’s sight.
This isn’t the only place where the New Testament employs this specific Greek term:
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels to suffer death, crowned with glory and honor, so that He, by the grace of God, should experience death for everyone… Therefore, in all things it was necessary for Him to be made like His brothers, so that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in the things pertaining to God, to make atonement (hilaskesthai) for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:9, 17 MEV
Note the following rendering of v. 17:
“This is why he had to become like his brothers in every respect — so that he might become a merciful and faithful cohen gadol in the service of God, making a kapparah for the sins of the people.” Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Here it is Jesus himself who makes atonement for the sins of God’s people.
And as the foregoing lexical source I cited indicated, there is another related Greek word, which the NT writings employ in respect to the necessity of atonement for the remission of sins:
2434 hilasmós – properly, propitiation; an offering to appease (satisfy) an angry, offended party. 2434 (hilasmós) is only used twice (1 Jn 2:2, 4:10) – both times of Christ’s atoning blood that appeases God’s wrath, on all confessed sin. By the sacrifice of Himself, Jesus Christ provided the ultimate 2434 /hilasmós (“propitiation”). (Biblehub https://biblehub.com/greek/2434.htm)
The following is also related to this Greek term:
2435 hilastḗrion (a substantival adjective, derived from 2433 /hiláskomai, “to propitiate”) – the place of propitiation; the lid of the golden ark (the mercy-seat) where the blood of a vicarious lamb appeased God’s wrath on sin. See also 2434 (hilasmós). (Biblehub https://biblehub.com/greek/2435.htm)
Here’s how the NT uses these two phrases:
“whom God offered as a place where atonement (hilasterion) by the Messiah’s blood would occur through faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because he had waited patiently to deal with sins committed in the past.” Romans 3:25 ISV
“God put Yeshua forward as the kapparah for sin through his faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death…” CJB
“My little children, I am writing these things to you, so that you do not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice (hilasmos) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2 MEV
“Also, he is the kapparah for our sins — and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 CJB
“In this way the love of God was revealed to us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice (hilasmon) for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10 MEV
“Here is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the kapparah for our sins.” CJB
Hence, the teaching of Christ and his spokespersons concerning the need for atonement is perfectly consistent with the message of the Hebrew prophets. This is why Christ entered into the world, namely, to offer his life as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all those who would turn to God through faith in the Son:
“This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.” John 6:50-51 MEV
“This is far more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who becomes a priest not by a law pertaining to ancestry, but by the power of an endless life… And the former priests were numerous because they were hindered from serving because of death. But He, because He lives forever, has an everlasting priesthood. Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, because He at all times lives to make intercession for them. For such a High Priest was fitting for us, for He is holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners, and is higher than the heavens. Unlike those high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices—first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for He did this once for all when He offered up Himself. For the law appoints men who are weak as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son who is made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:15-16, 23-28 MEV
“And according to the law almost everything must be cleansed with blood; without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was therefore necessary that the replicas of heavenly things be cleansed with these sacrifices, but that the heavenly things themselves be cleansed with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter holy places made with hands, which are patterned after the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Nor did He enter to offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. For then He would have had to suffer repeatedly since the world was created, but now He has appeared once at the end of the ages to put away sin by sacrificing Himself. As it is appointed for men to die once, but after this comes the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to save those who eagerly wait for Him.” Hebrews 9:22-28 MEV
“For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifices and offerings You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, I have come to do Your will, O God,’ as it is written of Me in the volume of the book.’ Previously when He said, ‘You did not desire sacrifices and offerings. You have had no pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin,’ which are offered in accordance with the law, then He said, ‘See, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. But every priest stands daily ministering and repetitively offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He has been waiting for His enemies to be made His footstool. For by one offering He has forever perfected those who are sanctified…Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” Hebrews 10:4-14, 18 MEV
Ironically, and in spite of the NT’s explicit teaching on this subject, these same Muhammadan polemicists will quote the following words of our Lord,
“When He set out on His way, a man came running and knelt before Him, and asked Him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good, except God alone. You know the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’ He answered Him, ‘Teacher, all these have I observed from my youth.’” Mark 10:17-20 MEV
In order to prove that even Jesus affirmed that salvation is attained through obedience to God’s commandments without the need for vicarious sacrifice.
This is another instance where Muslims are reading passages out of their intended context since the chapter goes on to show that Christ was not teaching that salvation comes through observing the Torah:
“Then Jesus, looking upon him, loved him and said to him, ‘You lack one thing: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. And come, take up the cross AND FOLLOW ME.’ He was saddened by that word, and he went away grieving. For he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were astonished beyond measure, saying among themselves, ‘Who then can be saved?’ Jesus, looking at them, said, ‘With men IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, but not with God. For with God all things are possible.’ Peter began to say to Him, ‘Look, we have left everything and have followed You.’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left a house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields, for MY SAKE and for the gospel’s sake, who shall not receive a hundred times as much now in this age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, with persecution, and in the age to come, eternal life.’” Mark 10:21-30 MEV
It is evident that our Lord wasn’t claiming that salvation is to be attained by obedience to the commandments, but by wholeheartedly following him, even to the extent of losing everything for Christ’s sake.
Once a person is willing to place Christ first in his/her life, loving the Lord more than anything, even more than one’s own life,
“When He had called the people to Him, with His disciples, He said to them, ‘If any man would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever would lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Whoever therefore is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory of HIS Father with the holy angels.’” Mark 8:34-38 MEV
That person’s sins will be forgiven on the basis of Jesus’ sacrificial death, which is precisely what our Lord and his inspired emissaries taught:
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 ESV – cf. Matthew 20:28
“As they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, ‘Take and eat. This is My body.’ Then He took the cup, and after He gave thanks, He gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” Matthew 26:26-28 MEV – cf. Mark 14:22-24
Then He took the bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ In like manner, He took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you.’” Luke 22:19-20 MEV – cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
“There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all. This was the testimony given at the proper time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6 MEV
Astonishingly, Christ and his Apostles ascribe to the Lord a function and ability, which the Hebrew Bible explicitly attributes to God alone, namely the power to redeem human lives from everlasting destruction:
“none of them can by any means redeem the other, nor give to God a ransom for anyone, for the redemption of their souls is costly; even so people cease to exist forever, making efforts to live eternally, and not see the pit… But God shall redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, for He shall receive me. Selah” Psalm 49:7-9, 15 MEV
Hence, not only do Jesus and his inspired disciples emphatically teach that salvation is granted on the basis of Christ’s atoning death, but they also affirm the perfect Deity of our Lord and his essential unity with God the Father.
After all, since God alone is able to save human beings, Christ must, therefore, be God Almighty in the flesh since it is his sacrificial death that results in the salvation of the world, in fact of the entire creation:
“No one has ascended to heaven except He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man who is in heaven. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:13-18
“If anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” John 12:47
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him ALL THINGS were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; ALL THINGS have been created through him and for him. He IS before ALL THINGS, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself ALL THINGS, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Colossians 1:13-20 NIV
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 MEV
“and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6 MEV
“And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests unto our God; and we shall reign on the earth.’” Revelation 5:9-10 MEV
“Then I looked. And there was a great multitude which no one could count, from all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out with a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures and fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.’ Then one of the elders asked me, ‘Who are these clothed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ He said to me, ‘These are those who came out of great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. “They shall neither hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them,” nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and “He will lead them to springs of living water.” “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”’” Revelation 7:9-17 MEV
So much for the shameless Muslim mishandling of God’s Word in order to make the Holy Bible agree with their Islamic theology, which can never be done. The fact is, God’s Word condemns Muhammad as a false prophet and antichrist sent to mislead the world from the only hope of salvation, namely, by believing in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s uniquely begotten Son (Cf. Matthew 24:23-25; John 10:1-18; Romans 1:1-4, 16-17; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 John 2:22-23; 4:1-14).