Chapter 5: The redemption of Mankind - A Final Word
A FINAL WORD
To conclude this chapter, I should say that there are certain things that God cannot do.
God cannot lie, because He is Truth.
God cannot sin, because He is Holy.
God cannot forgive without atonement, because He is Just.
The Psalmist says:
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 97:1 - NKJ)
The declaration of war spoken by God to Satan after the fall of man is recorded in Genesis:
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15 - NKJ).
The only seed of the woman is Jesus Christ, because He was born of a woman without a man. He was born without sin. The Quran declares that Jesus was born pure and faultless.
The angel Gabriel said to Mary:
I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son (Surat Maryam 19:19 - M. M. Pickthall Translation)
Satan bruised Jesus’ heel when He was nailed to the cross. Jesus thwarted the plan of Satan and will bruise his head when He comes back and cast him into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
It was said that God created Jesus of a woman without a man to complete the creative cycle.
For He created Adam from the dust. Then He created Eve from Adam to show his power.
Then He creates human beings from man and woman together.
Then to complete the cycle He created Jesus from a woman without a man.
This is a great error.
Because God created Eve from Adam to make her equal to him, we read in the book of Genesis:
And the LORD God said, it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him (Genesis 2:18)And when God brought Eve to Adam, Adam said:This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man (Genesis 2:23).
But Jesus was born of a virgin without a man, not to complete the cycle of creation, but that He should be born without sin.
This is what we read in Hebrews 10:5:
Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.
Jesus was born by a miracle that He would not inherit the sin of Adam. The apostle John says:
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin (I John 3:5).
The sinless Savior died for the sinful man.
We have to remember an important fact, which is that the principle of redemption is predominant in all the history of mankind.
The Quran mentioned redemption explicitly when God called Abraham from heaven and commanded him not to slay his son. Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw a ram caught in a thicket by his horns, Abraham took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. The Quran mentioned this event in the words:
Then we ransomed him with a momentous [great] sacrifice"(Surat Al-Safat 37:107).
That was said concerning Abraham’s son. But we have to realize that God is the one who ransomed Abraham’s son. The great sacrifice was prepared by Him. Redemption was His plan, not Abraham’s.
Here I should emphasize that redemption is by blood. The ram was slain to redeem Abraham’s son.
God commanded the children of Israel to offer four kinds of bloody offerings. The burnt offering. The peace offering. The sin offering. The trespass offering. All these offerings were a symbol of the final and complete offering of Jesus Christ on the cross.
For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14 - NKJ).
It is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.
For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11 - NKJ).
And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission (Hebrews 9:22 - NKJ).
Now let me ask you a question concerning the ram which Abraham offered:
Do you think that the cheap ram which Abraham offered as ransom for his son was a great sacrifice, or was it a symbol of the real great sacrifice, Jesus Christ, who gave His life a ransom for many?
Most certainly that ram was a symbol of Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus Said:
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it and was glad (John 8:56).
John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said:
Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
That means that Jesus Christ took away the penalty of the sin of the world by His death. This refers to the sin which we inherited from Adam.
Moreover, Christ bore the sins of every individual who will believe in Him, for these sins were known to Him before that individual was born, for with God all things are present.
The apostle Peter says:
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (I Peter 2:24).
God knows the end from the beginning. Before you were born, He knew you and all what you will do:
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them (Psalm 139:16 - NKJ).
By the foreknowledge of God, Jesus bore our sins in His body.
The Quran declares three days in the life of Jesus Christ.
The day of His birth.
The day of His death.
The day of His resurrection.
The Quran quotes Jesus as saying:
Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive (Surat Maryam 19:33).
It is clear that these are successive days..
The day of Jesus’ birth.
This is the day when He was born in Bethlehem; that is the day when He took the form of a servant, and became a man. Here I should say that it is impossible for the finite to be infinite, but it is quite possible for the infinite to become finite and remain infinite. The king can wear a soldier’s uniform and remain a king. Incarnation does not belittle Jesus Christ, for all the bodily functions are God’s design, and are pure as long as they are used in the manner which is in accord with that design.
The day of Jesus’ death.
This is the day when He was crucified on the cross for the sins of mankind; that is the day He died. Any other explanation will be in error.
The day of Jesus’ resurrection.
This is the day when He was raised from the dead by His own power. He said to the Jews, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up... He was speaking of the temple of his body (John 2:19-21), and by the power of the Father (Acts 2:24), and by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:4).
This is the day of His resurrection. Again, we see the Triune God in that glorious day.
By His triumphant resurrection Jesus Christ was declared to be the everlasting Son of God. The apostle Paul says concerning this fact:
Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:3,4).
The death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary was a necessity to demonstrate God’s love, God’s wisdom, and God’s justice and righteousness, and that is to glorify the holiness of God and redeem mankind.
These are three successive days. The day of birth, the day of death, the day of resurrection. That is the only logical interpretation.
I have to conclude with these words: If Jesus Christ demonstrated by His death on the cross the love, the wisdom and the justice of God, if He said on the cross, "It is finished" (John 19:30), that means that the plan of God for the redemption of man was accomplished. It means that no one will come after Jesus Christ,it means that Jesus Christ is God’s Last Messenger.