‘Isa (Jesus) is an intercessor and not a redeemer
It is not meet for a man that Allah should give him the Book and the Judgment and Prophethood, then he should say to men: “Be my servants rather than Allah’s;” but rather (he would say): “Be worshippers of the Lord because of your teaching the Book and your reading (it yourselves)”. Or that he should enjoin you that you should take the angels and the prophets for lords; what! would he enjoin you with unbelief after you are Muslims (Submitting Ones)? (Qur’an, 3:79-80)
The Christians believe that Jesus Christ atoned for their sins with his blood; and that is why they call him the Redeemer, the Savior. They explain this belief as follows:
“Adam disobeyed Allah by partaking of the forbidden tree; it was a sin which remained with Adam, and it is inherited by his progeny who came into this world burdened by that original sin; and the recompense of sin is punishment in the next world, the eternal perdition, the everlasting ruin – which cannot be warded off. And Allah is Merciful and Just – both at the same time.
“This situation created a knotty problem which defied all solutions: If Allah were to punish Adam and his progeny for their sin, it would have been against the mercy for which He had created them; and if He were to forgive them, it would have been against His Justice. Justice demands that a sinner should be punished for his sins and errors, just as a good-doer and obedient person should be rewarded for his good deeds.*
“This problem remained unsolved until Allah solved it through Christ. Christ – the Son of God who was Himself God – entered the womb of a descendent of Adam, that is the Virgin Maryam, and was born from her as a human being is born. In this way, he was a complete man, because he was a son of man; and at the same time, was complete God, because he was the Son of God.
“And the Son of God, being God Himself, was sinless and protected from every sin and error.
“He lived among his people for sometime, mixing and dealing with them; he joined them in eating and drinking, talked and walked with them and befriended them. Thereafter he surrendered to his enemies enabling them to kill him the worst killing – killing by crucifixion, because one who is crucified is, according to the Divine Scriptures, cursed by God.
“He took upon Himself the Divine curse and crucifixion, with all the condemnations, sufferings and chastisement which it entails. In this way he redeemed the people through his sacrifice, in order that they might be saved from the chastisement of the hereafter and the eternal perdition. Thus, he is the atonement for the sin of the believers, nay, for the sins of the whole world.” **
This is what the Christians believe.
The Christians have made this theory (i.e. the crucifixion and atonement) the foundation of their religion. It is the Alpha and Omega of their call and mission – in the same manner as the Qur’an has founded the Islam and its mission on monotheism; as Allah says addressing His Messenger (s.a.w.a.): Say: “This is my way: I invite (you) unto Allah: with clear sight (are) I and he who follows me; and glory be to Allah; and I am not of the polytheists” (12:108).
It is the Christians’ belief in spite of the fact that Christ (as the Gospels clearly say, and we have mentioned earlier) used to admonish them first of all to believe in one God and to love Him.
The Muslims as well as many non-Muslims have shown the Christians the defects and invalidity of the above-mentioned belief of Christianity. Countless books and booklets have been written and numerous pamphlets and articles published, showing that this theory is not only contrary to logic and reason, but it also contradictory to the Books of the Old and the New Testaments. What we are concerned with here – and what comes within the purview of this book of ours – is to show how this idea is opposed to the basic Qur’anic teachings, and to explain the difference between intercession (as confirmed by the Qur’an) and atonement (as claimed by the Christians).
Moreover, the Qur’an clearly says that it talks with the people explaining the things in such a way as to bring it to the level of their understanding, to make it easier for them to grasp its realities. It explains what helps them to distinguish the truth from falsehood, so that they may accept that and reject this. It enables him to differentiate between virtue and evil, between beneficial and harmful, so that he may take the one and leave the other. The fact that the Qur’an keeps in view the level of the healthy reason and understanding is abundantly clear to all who study the Divine Book.
Now let us have a critical look at the above-mentioned Christian theory of atonement.