By Jerry Newcombe , CP Op-Ed Contributor
Virtually a week does not go by without some headline of a Muslim attack somewhere in the world. The latest stories involves the alleged crucifixion of a Christian priest on Good Friday, as well as an Easter suicide bombing targeting Christians in Pakistan, which killed 71 at last count.
Some Muslims get disgusted with their fellow Muslims for such attacks. What is the ultimate solution to radical Islam? I believe Jesus is the solution to whatever ails the individual, family, society, the country, and nations.
We have freedom in the West because wise leaders of time past recognized that humanity is best off when religion is not forced on anyone. Thomas Jefferson wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1777 (passed, 1786). This gave freedom to all in that state, regardless of religion.
Jefferson argues that it violates the principles of Jesus (“the holy author of our religion”) to force anyone as to how they believe.
Obviously, professing Christians have sometimes gotten this wrong through the ages — but Jesus, the Prince of Peace, does not operate that way.
So, how is Jesus the answer to the Muslims? I think some clues can be found within the Qur’an itself, for those willing to see the truth.
I had the privilege of learning many things about the Qur’an from the late Aril Edvardsen, a follower of Jesus from Norway who was a preacher. In 1998 and 1999, I went with him to Malawi, Africa and Islamabad, Pakistan.
Aril held open air Gospel meetings for Muslims and Christians in these places, using the Bible and the Qur’an. His goal was for everyone to have a better understanding of who Jesus (Isa bin Miriam, Jesus, Son of Mary) really is.
Here are some things found in the Qur’an worth highlighting:
- The Gospel (injil) is good, according to the Qur’an, but it does not specify what the gospel is.
- The Qur’an uses the term “Jesus Christ.” Christ was not the last name of Jesus. It was His title. The Hebrew word is Messiah; in Greek, it is Christ; in English, it means Anointed One.
- The Qur’an calls Jesus “the Word of God.” This means God has communicated to us through Jesus.
- The Qur’an teaches Jesus is born of a virgin and was conceived by the Spirt of God. There are liberal “Christians” — including many “Christian” leaders — who do not even believe that.
- The Qur’an references briefly the miracles of Jesus.
- It also says that Jesus will return one day. But Christians and Muslims disagree on the details surrounding that.
So what’s the point of all of this? That we all hug and sing Kumbaya? No. The point is that there is One who can be found in the Qur’an itself who can bring personal peace and salvation to those who believe in Him.
But doesn’t the Qur’an teach that Jesus was not crucified, but rather Judas in His place? No, but commentators on the Qur’an proclaim that. But that is just an interpretation. Who is to say that that interpretation is the correct one?
What the Qur’an actually says is that the Jews claimed that they crucified Him, but they crucified Him not. That is technically correct. The Romans took the right to perform capital punishment out of the hands of the Jews in AD 10, and it was they who crucified Jesus.
Meanwhile, the Qur’an teaches two of the most important things about Jesus: that He dies and rises again. Specifically, in Surah 19:33, where Jesus is talking, it is written of Him: “‘So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)’! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.”
Thus, the death and resurrection of Jesus are found in the Qur’an, although commentators dispute that too.
So why did Jesus die? When John the Baptist saw Jesus, he declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
Another great prophet, Isaiah, said that all of us like sheep have gone astray. But the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
When people come to believe in Jesus and ask Him into their hearts and ask Him to forgive their sins, they are amazed at the peace and positive transformation He brings. Through faith in Him, because of His substitutional death, we can find the removal of our guilt and shame, and find true forgiveness from all our sins. When people truly trust in Him, violence finds no place in their hearts.
As the late Andre Crouch sang, “Jesus is the answer for the world today. Above Him there’s no other. Jesus is the way