How Could God Punish Jesus for the Sins of Others? A post by David Wood of Answering Muslims

In Mark 10:45, Jesus declares: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He adds in John 10:14-18:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

His disciple John later said that “he appeared so that he might take away our sins” (1 John 3:5).

Jesus’ sacrificial death gives rise to one of the most common Muslim objections to Christianity: Wouldn’t it be unfair or unjust for God to punish Jesus for the sins of others? However, if Muslims think that this is a good objection, they apparently haven’t read their own sources.

Let’s take a closer look at this objection.

I. NO BEARER OF BURDEN SHALL BEAR ANOTHER’S BURDEN

Qur’an 6:164—Say, “Shall I seek a Lord, other than Allah while He is the Lord of all things?” And no soul earns evil but only against itself; nor does any bearer of burden bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord will be your return, and He will inform you of that wherein you used to differ.

Qur’an 17:13-15—And We have fastened every man’s deeds to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a book which he will find wide open. (It will be said to him): “Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.” Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of his own self. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray to his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another’s burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).

Qur’an 35:18And no bearer of burdens shall bear another’s burden, and if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted even though he be near of kin.

Qur’an 39:7—If you disbelieve, then verily, Allah is not in need of you, He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, so He will inform you what you used to do. Verily, He is the All-Knower of that which is in (men’s) breasts.

Qur’an 53:33-42—Have you then seen him who turns his back? And gives a little and (then) withholds. Has he the knowledge of the unseen so that he can see? Or, has he not been informed of what is in the scriptures of Musa? And (of) Ibrahim who fulfilled (the commandments): That no bearer of burden shall bear the burden of another; and that man shall have nothing but what he strives for; and that his striving shall soon be seen; then shall he be rewarded for it with the fullest reward; and that to your Lord is the goal . . . ?

II. SOME WILL BEAR THE BURDENS OF OTHERS

Qur’an 16:22-25—Your God is one God; so (as for) those who do not believe in the hereafter, their hearts are ignorant and they are proud. Truly Allah knows what they hide and what they manifest; surely He does not love the proud. And when it is said to them, what is it that your Lord has revealed? They say: Stories of the ancients; that they may bear their burdens entirely on the day of resurrection and also of the burdens of those whom they lead astray without knowledge; now surely evil is what they bear.

Qur’an 29:12-13—And those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Follow our way and we will verily bear your sins,” never will they bear anything of their sins. Surely, they are liars. And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own, and verily, they shall be questioned on the Day of Resurrection about that which they used to fabricate.

III. CHRISTIANS AND JEWS WILL BEAR THE BURDENS OF MUSLIMS

Sahih Muslim 6665—Abu Musa reported that Allah’s Messenger said: When it will be the Day of Resurrection Allah would deliver to every Muslim a Jew or a Christian and say: That is your rescue from Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim 6666—Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit in his stead a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire. Umar b. And al-Aziz took an oath: By One besides Whom there is no god but He, thrice that his father had narrated that to him from Allah’s Messenger.

Sahih Muslim 6668—Abu Burda reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: There would come people amongst the Muslims on the Day of Resurrection with as heavy sins as a mountain, and Allah would forgive them and He would place in their stead the Jews and the Christians.

110 Hadith Qudsi #8—Narrated Abu Musa: Allah’s Messenger said: On the Day of Resurrection, my Ummah (nation) will be gathered into three groups. One sort will enter Paradise without rendering an account (of their deeds). Another sort will be reckoned an easy account and admitted into Paradise. Yet another sort will come bearing on their backs heaps of sins like great mountains. Allah will ask the angels though He knows best about them: Who are these people? They will reply: They are humble slaves of yours. He will say: Unload the sins from them and put the same over the Jews and Christians: then let the humble slaves get into Paradise by virtue of My Mercy.

IV. MUHAMMAD HAD A BURDEN OF SIN

Qur’an 40:55—Then have patience (O Muhammad). Lo! the promise of Allah is true. And ask forgiveness of thy sin, and hymn the praise of thy Lord at fall of night and in the early hours.

Qur’an 47:19—So know (O Muhammad) that there is no God save Allah, and ask forgiveness for thy sin and for believing men and believing women. Allah knoweth (both) your place of turmoil and your place of rest.

Qur’an 48:1-2—Lo! We have given thee (O Muhammad) a signal victory, that Allah may forgive thee of thy sin that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favour unto thee, and may guide thee on a right path . . .

Sahih al-Bukhari 6307—Narrated Abu Hurairah: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying, “By Allah! I seek Allah’s forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance for more than seventy times a day.”

V. JESUS HAD NO BURDEN OF SIN

Qur’an 19:19—He [the angel] said [to Mary]: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son [i.e., Jesus].

Sahih al-Bukhari 3286—Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet said, When any human being is born, Satan touches him at both sides of the body with his two fingers, except Isa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), whom Satan tried to touch (but failed), so he touched the placenta-cover (instead).

Hebrews 4:15—For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.

1 Peter 2:21-22—To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

1 John 3:5—But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.

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12 Responses to How Could God Punish Jesus for the Sins of Others? A post by David Wood of Answering Muslims

  1. madmanna says:

    I am not going to allow you to post your rambling nonsense on my blog. Period. More of your nonsense for nirvanah.

  2. θ says:

    Trinitarian Father is not Jehovah.
    Jehovah says he fed up with fats and flesh of sacrifice, yet Christians assume the Father is somehow pleased by fat and flesh of Jesus?

  3. madmanna says:

    “the Father is somehow pleased by fat and flesh of Jesus?”

    How silly.

    The flesh and fat of Jesus is only the bodily means necessary to the spiritual acts of obedience that constitute his righteousness.

  4. θ says:

    “madmanna says: The flesh and fat of Jesus is only the bodily means necessary to the spiritual acts of obedience that constitute his righteousness.”

    The problem is, Jehovah says he’s fed up and doesn’t want any “death” anymore, even though he says it at time when Jews were still under Moses’ Law, that is at time of Isaiah.
    Isa 1:11
    To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

  5. θ says:

    Saviors of sins are many. Each Messenger of God acts as savior. Notice the phrase of Job 33:29 ” Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man” signifies the deliverance of men from sin and hell oftentimes.
    Job 33
    23 If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: 24 Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. 25 His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26 He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. 27 He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; 28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. 29 Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, 30 To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Are the men and people of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sheba equal in divinities to Christ on ransoming Jews for life? Jehovah says “I give men for thee and people *for thy life* “. The Trinitarians just tampered the Tanach with the wrong idea of divine ransom.
    Isa 43
    3 For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

  7. Anonymous says:

    When will Jehovah himself be the ransom? At the time when all repentance is over forever “repentance shall be hid from mine eyes”. On other hand, the theme of repentance is main idea of Jesus’ preaching, therefore Jesus is not Jehovah.
    Hos 13:14
    I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

    Jehovah never accepts the life of righteous ones as ransom, no matter how much the life is given by any means possible.
    Ps 49:7
    None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

    Jehovah just accepts the life of wicked ones and transgressors as ransom. Is Jesus wicked? Ransom of Jesus would be valid if his life turns sinful.
    Prov 21:18
    The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

    Jehovah accepts men’s properties (wealth, riches, money, animals) as ransom. Jesus’ soul and blood are not property of Jews.
    Exo 21:30
    If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.
    Prov 13:8
    The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Concerning the resurrection, Jesus never says he shall revive himself. Many – if not all – translators wittingly or unwittingly change the meaning of Greek words.

    (i) John 2:19 Awaking is not resurrecting.
    Word egerō means awake or stand.
    Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will awake (egerō) it up.

    (ii) John 10:17. Being given is not resurrecting.
    John 10
    17 Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it (labō) again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take (labein) it again. I received this command from my Father.

  9. θ says:

    Moreover, John the writer of Gospel corrects Jesus’ parable by interpreting his action on his body as rather the God’s action on him, that is by replacing or substituting the active word “egero” (I will stand) to a passive word “egerthe” (he was stood up) in Greek, meaning God revives him.
    Jn 2
    19 Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will stand (egero) it up. 22 When therefore he was stood (egerthe) from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

  10. θ says:

    Jews refer to the Tanach for insisting on the protection or safety on Christ.
    Jn 12:34
    The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

    After 1,200 years Paul refers to the “Scriptures” for insisting on the death of Christ.
    1Cor 15:3
    For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

    After 600 years, Moslems refer to Qur’an for insisting on both the safety (Tanach) and the crucifixion (Gospel), that the crucifixion just occurs on a likeness of Christ.
    Q.4, v.157 And their saying, Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah. And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but it was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Since Jesus says “It is finished”, the Son does die because his meat doesn’t sustain him any longer. If the Son were God, how can he need the feeding of immaterial meats to live on?
    Jn 4:34
    Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

    Jn 17:4
    I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
    Jn 19:30
    When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Moreover, Thomas didn’t get the Holy Spirit, he is the only Disciple who didn’t get the Holy Spirit, hence his personal exclamation “the God of mine” is not authoritative nor a spiritual inspiration.
    Jn 20
    22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

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