What did Jesus really say?

by Misha'al Abdullah Al-Kadhi

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5.16 Does God need a "blood atonement"?

"And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there was certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion."

Mark 2:1-12

As seen in chapter one, when Paul came with his new and innovative ideas on how to improve upon the message of Jesus (pbuh), he began by dropping specific commandments. This continued until he decided that his alleged "visions" were sufficient authority to completely discard all of the commandments which both prophet Moses as well as prophet Jesus (pbut) both observed very strictly throughout their lives. The fact that both of these prophets are well known to have spent their lives commanding their followers to uphold these laws and commandments is casually brushed aside by "St. Paul." His "visions," we are told, are higher in authority than the commands of Jesus (pbuh) during his lifetime.

Once Paul was finished nullifying the law of God through Moses and Jesus and simplifying the religion for them he began to get many converts. This is because his "Christianity" only required "faith" and no actual work (Romans 3:28). But faith without work was too flimsy a concept to build one's whole way of life around. Paul needed a stupendous and monumental event to have faith IN order for his claims to be accepted by anyone. Thus the original sin and the atonement were born.

Paul claimed that God Almighty had created mankind inherently sinful and as inheritors of "the sin of Adam." He claimed that this hereditary burden was so great that the creator of all of the heavens and earth, and yes, the creator of the concepts of sin and forgiveness themselves, could not forgive this sin. This, in Paul's estimation, was beyond God's capabilities. Paul preached that the only way the creator of the heavens and the earth and everything in-between could forgive this sin was to have his sinless "only begotten son" beaten, spat on, stripped, whipped, cut, humiliated, and finally killed in the most gruesome and drawn-out way known to man at the time; by hanging on the cross, and thus becoming a curse upon mankind.

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree"

Galatians 3:13:

Only then would God be able to forgive this sin.

However, if we were to read the words of Jesus (pbuh) in Mark 2:9 we would find that Jesus (pbuh) informs us that for him to tell a man that his sins are forgiven is much easier than to cure a paralytic and cause him to walk, and since Jesus (pbuh) had the power to cure paralytics, therefore, he demonstrates to us that forgiving sins is much easier for him.

However, we already know that God Almighty the "Father" of all believers

"And call no [man] your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven"

Matthew 23:9

We further know that God Almighty is greater in power than all humans, inluding Jesus:

"..my Father is greater than I",

John 14:28

Finally, we know that Jesus (pbuh) gets his power from God:

"I can of mine own self do nothing...,"

John 5:30

"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:"

Acts 2:22

So it stands to reason that what is easy for Jesus (pbuh) is trivial and inconsequential for God Almighty Himself. Thus, if Jesus (pbuh) can forgive sins with the utmost ease simply by uttering the words "your sins are forgiven you," then it is well within the ability of God Almighty Himself to do the same simply by willing it, even without uttering a word. Indeed, we can even read in the Bible:

"Who [is] a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth [in] mercy."

Micah 7:18

"Nevertheless, He (God), [being] full of compassion, forgave [their] iniquity, and destroyed [them] not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For He remembered that they [were but] flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again."

Psalm 78:38-39

"I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins."

Isaiah 43:25

Well, how then does God Almighty forgive our sins? Is He able to simply say "you are forgiven" to those who turn to Him in repentance or must He first sacrifice a sinless individual before He can do this? To get the answer let us read the Bible:

"It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin."

Jeremiah 36:3

"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."

Isaiah 55:7

"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah."

Psalm 32:5

"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged..."

Proverbs 16:6

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

2 Chronicles 7:14

"But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: [and] not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, [and] doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked [man] doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? When a righteous [man] turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked [man] turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn [yourselves] from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin."

Ezekiel 18:21-30

"To do righteousness and justice [is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice."

Proverbs 21:3

"For I (God) desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."

Hosea 6:6

"Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, [or] with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn [for] my transgression, the fruit of my body [for] the sin of my soul? He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

Micah 6:6-8

"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. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them]. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

Isaiah 1:11-18

This is indeed the teachings of Islam. In the Qur'an, we are told that mankind were created to inhabit the earth. When Adam and Eve were first created, they were allowed to abide in the garden. However, soon after they ate from the tree and God sent them down to earth. Once Adam realized his error he was remorseful and repentant, however, he was the first man. He did not know how to repent or how to seek forgiveness. So, God Almighty provided him with a revelation teaching him how to ask for God's forgiveness. Adam did so and God accepted Adam's repentance. God did not mandate gruesome and torturous blood sacrifices of the sinless or anything else. He simply forgave Adam's sin. We can read this story in the Qur'an:

"And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the Paradise, and eat from it freely with pleasure and delight wherever you will, but do not approach this tree or you both will be of the wrongdoers. But Satan made them slip therefrom (the Paradise), such that he expelled them from that in which they were. And we said: Decend, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment until a time. Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He pardoned him. Verily! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful. We said: Decend, all of you, from hence; but whenever there comes to you a guidance from Me, then whosoever follows My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. But they who disbelieve and deny our revelations, such are the dwellers of the Fire. They shall abide therein forever"

The noble Qur'an, Al-Baqarah(2):35-39

"Say: O My slaves who have been prodigal to their own hurt (through excessive sin)! Despair not of the mercy of Allah. Verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful."

The noble Qur'an, Al-Zumar(39):53

Anas ibn Malik narrated in Mishkat Al-Masabih the following:

"Allah's Messenger (pbuh) stated that Allah said, "O Son of Adam, as long as you supplicate to Me and have hope in me I will pardon you in spite of what you have done, and I do not care. O Son of Adam, if your sins were so numerous as to reach the lofty regions of the sky, then you asked My forgiveness, I would forgive you, and I do not care. O Son of Adam, if you were to meet Me with enough sins to fill the earth, then met Me, not associating anything with Me (in worship), I shall greet you with it's equivalent in forgiveness.'"

Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi. And Ahmad and Al-Darimi transmitted it from AbuTharr.

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