The Injil declares that the crucifixion and resurrection of the Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH were central to Allah’s plan. Exactly 50 days after the resurrection of the Prophet, Peter, the leader amongst his companions, publicly made this declaration about Isa al Masih:
“This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:23-24)
After Peter’s message, thousands believed and multitudes around the world embraced the message – all without any compulsion. The reason for the widespread acceptance was the writings of the Taurat and prophets of Zabur that already existed. The people examined these scriptures to see if they did foretell the coming, the death and the resurrection of Isa al Masih. Fortunately, these same unchanged scriptures are available today so we can also investigate the death and resurrection of Isa al Masih, and if it was according to “God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge” as Peter declared. Here we summarize some of what the first hearers of the Injil observed from the Taurat, going back as far as Adam and the six-day creation, as they
“…examined the scriptures every day …”(Acts 17: 11)
Examining new ideas carefully
They examined the scriptures carefully because the message from the apostles was strange and new. In general, we are not open to messages that are new and strange to us. However, if this message was from Allah, and they rejected it, the warning of Surah al-Ghashiyah (Surah 88 – The Overwhelming) would come upon them.
But if any turn away and reject God,-
God will punish him with a mighty Punishment,
For to Us will be their return;
Then it will be for Us to call them to account.(Surah al-Ghashiyah 88: 23-26)
They knew that the sure way to determine if this unfamiliar message was from God or not was to test the message against the writings of the prophets. This would keep them safe from the penalty of rejecting a message from God. Therefore, we are wise to follow their example and so will examine the scriptures to see if previous writings foreordained the message of the death and resurrection of the Prophet Isa al Masih PBUH. We begin with the Taurat.
Allah’s foreknowledge revealed from the beginning of Taurat and in Quran
From the first page of the Taurat, we can see that the days of Isa al Masih PBUH and his sacrifice were foreknown by Allah. Of all the Holy Books (Taurat, Zabur, Injil & Qur’an) there are only two weeks where the text narrates the events of each consecutive day of the week. The first such week is the account of how Allah created everything in six days recorded in the first two chapters of the Taurat. Notice how the Quran emphasizes the six days of Creation:
Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority): He draweth the night as a veil o’er the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession: He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!(Surah Al-Araf 7:54)
He who created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days and then established Himself above the Throne – the Most Merciful, so ask about Him one well informed.(Surah Al-Furqan 25:59)
It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded?(Surah As-Sajdah 32:4)
And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched Us no weariness.(Surah Qaf 50:38)
It is He who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth and what emerges from it and what descends from the heaven and what ascends therein; and He is with you wherever you are. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.(Surah Al-Hadid 57:4)
Isa’s (pbuh) last week compared to Creation week
The only other week with daily events recorded is the last week of the Prophet Isa al Masih. No other prophet, whether Ibrahim, Musa, Dawud, and Muhammad (PBUT) have daily activities narrated for one complete week. The complete creation week account at the opening of the Taurat is here. We have gone through the daily events in Isa al Masih’s last week. This table places each day of these two weeks side-by-side for comparison.
|Day of the week|
Isa al Masih’s last week
|Day 1||There is darkness and Allah says, ‘Let there be light’ and it was. There is light in the darkness||The Masih enters Jerusalem and says “I have come into the world as a light…” There is light in the darkness|
|Day 2||Allah separates the earth from the heavens||Isa separates things of earth from that of heaven by cleansing the Temple as a place of prayer|
|Day 3||Allah speaks and land rises out of the sea.||Isa speaks of faith that can move mountains into the sea.|
|Allah speaks again ‘Let the land produce plants’ and it was so.||Isa speaks and the fig tree plant withers in the ground.|
|Day 4||Allah speaks ‘Let there be lights in the sky’ and the sun, moon and stars come into being lighting the sky.||Isa speaks of the sign of his return to earth – the sun, moon and stars will grow dark.|
|Day 5||Allah creates all the flying animals, including the flying dinosaur reptiles = dragons||Shaytan, the great dragon, descends into Judas to strike the Masih|
|Day 6||Allah speaks and land animals come alive.||Passover lamb animals are slaughtered in the Temple.|
|‘the Lord God … breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life’. Adam started breathing||“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” (Mark 15: 37)|
|Allah places Adam in the Garden||Isa chooses freely to enter the Garden of Gethsemene|
|Adam is warned away from the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil with a curse.||Isa is nailed to a tree and cursed. (When Christ was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13)|
|No animal is found to be suitable for Adam. Another person was necessary||The sacrifice of Passover animals in the end were not suitable. A person was required.|
(It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
|Allah puts Adam into a deep sleep||Isa enters the sleep of death|
|Allah makes a wound in Adam’s side with which he creates Eve – Adam’s bride||A wound is made in Isa’s side. From his sacrifice Isa wins a bride – those who belong to him. |
(“I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb” – Revelation 21:9)
|Day 7||Allah rests from work. The day is declared Holy||Isa al Masih rests in death|
Mirror images of each other
Each day’s events for these two weeks are like mirror images of each other, or, they have symmetry. At the end of both of these weeks, first fruits of new life is ready to burst forth and multiply. Adam and Isa al Masih are reverse images of each other. The Quran says of Isa al Masih and Adam:
Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. (Surah Al-Imran 3:59)
The Injil says of Adam that
… Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. (Romans 5:14)
For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15: 21-22)
Comparing these two weeks shows that Adam was indeed a reverse pattern of Isa al Masih. Did Allah need to take seven days to create the universe? Could he not have done it with one command? Why then did he create in the manner that he did? Why did Allah rest on the seventh day when He was not tired? He did all in the manner and order that He did so that the final activities of Isa al Masih could be anticipated in the daily acts of the Creation week.
This is especially true of Day 6. We can see pattern even in the choice of words. For example, instead of simply saying ‘Isa al Masih died’ the Injil says he ‘breathed his last’, a direct reverse pattern in the words themselves to Adam who received the ‘breath of life’. Such a pattern from the start of time speaks of ‘foreknowledge’, just as Peter stated after the resurrection of Isa al Masih.
Subsequent Illustrations in the Taurat
Then, the Taurat records specific events and establishes rituals that serve as illustrations or pictures that point to the coming sacrifice of the Prophet Isa al Masih. These were given to help us understand the foreknowledge of Allah’s plan. In our journey through the Taurat, we have looked at some of these milestones.
When Allah confronted Adam after his disobedience, He spoke of a single male offspring who would come (only) from a woman (thus a virgin birth). Also, this offspring would crush Shaytan, but Shaytan would strike him in the process.
A sacrifice of death was required. In this case, Qabil sacrificed vegetables (which have no soul) but Habil offered the life of an animal. This was acceptable to Allah, and this illustrated the plan for the sacrifice of Isa al Masih.
Now the picture gains more detail as the location where the Prophet Ibrahim sacrificed his son was the same location where thousands of years later the Prophet Isa al Masih would be sacrificed, and the Prophet Ibrahim spoke of that future sacrifice. The son was to die but at the last moment, the lamb was substituted so the son could live. This pictured how Isa al Masih the ‘Lamb of God’ would sacrifice himself so we could live.
Further details of God’s plan are revealed when the lambs are sacrificed on a specific day – Passover. In the Sign of Musa, the Pharaoh of Egypt, who did not sacrifice a lamb, experienced death. But the Israelites who sacrificed a lamb escaped death. Hundreds of years later Isa al Masih was sacrificed on this exact same day in the calendar – Passover.
Harun institutes specific ritual sacrifices of animals. The Israelites who sinned could offer sacrifices to atone for their sin, but sacrificial death was required. Only Priests could offer sacrifices on behalf of the people. This anticipated Isa al Masih in his role as Priest who would give his life in sacrifice for us.
Isa’s (pbuh) mission
Because the Taurat of the Prophet Musa PBUH so clearly pointed to the coming of the Prophet Isa al Masih it says of the Law:
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. (Hebrews 10:1)
And Isa al Masih warned those who did not believe his mission:
I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5: 43-47)
Isa al Masih also said to his followers to help them understand his mission
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (Luke 24: 44)
The prophet clearly said that not only the Taurat, but the writings of the ‘Prophets and the Psalms’ also were about him. We look at this here. Whereas the Taurat used events that were illustrations of his coming, these later prophets wrote directly of his coming death and resurrection with oracles.
Here we understand how to receive the gift of eternal life offered to us by the Prophet Isa al Masih.