The incarnation of Christ is a major stumbling block for Muslims. Christians believe that Jesus is God’s Son…”God in the flesh”…God having taken human form to dwell among mankind. Muslims cannot accept this.
Muhammad, influenced by the polytheistic environment of pre-Islamic Arabia, thought Christians believed God had married a human woman and produced a son by her. That’s what much of polytheism is all about – the “gods” marrying human beings and producing offspring’s, many to have supernatural powers.
Very rightly, Muhammad rejected this as a pagan belief. However, Muhammad also mistakenly thought Christians believed the Trinity was composed of Jesus, God and Mary! The various heresies surrounding the worship of Mary at the time of Muhammad were abundant – it is not too difficult to see how Muhammad concluded that Christians worshiped more than one God.
Islam contends that Jesus was a prophet of God. The religion accepts Jesus’ miracles. Christians have special status in Islam as “People of the Book”. But Muslims do not believe Jesus was divine or that He was resurrected. Islam not only denies that Jesus is the Son of God, but it pronounced a curse on all who confess Jesus to be the Christ, the son of God, and the Lord worthy to be followed.
Islam not only denies that Jesus is the Son of God, but it pronounces a curse on all who confess Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of God, and the Lord worthy to be followed.
From the Koran (9:30)...”Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth.” A “curse” in Islam is tantamount to a death sentence.
The purpose for the Cross eludes Muslims because they see no need for a sacrifice for sin. Furthermore, substitutionary atonement is a primitive and savage idea to the Muslim mind. Muslims do not abhor the shedding of blood, but they vehemently reject virtue in dying for someone else, for the sake of other Muslims. Muslims die for the sake of the advancement of Islam, but not for the sake of other Muslims.
Muslims cannot comprehend what to Christians is the highest expression of love – a love that takes the consequences of sin upon itself and finds its meaning in forgiveness and redemption.
Actually, substituitionary death is a moot point because Muslims believe that when the Roman soldiers came to Jesus at night in the Garden of Gethsemane, but before they laid hands on Jesus, God pulled Jesus up to heaven. Therefore, they believe that Jesus was never crucified, did not shed blood and did not die. Rather, Muslims believe Jesus ascended directly to Heaven.