Hi Dr. Craig,
I am a Muslim from Pakistan and an elementary level student of comparative religions. I have following questions about the issue of alleged crucifixion of Jesus Christ (pbuh) as portrayed in the Gospels: (Please note that I am asking these questions to enhance my understanding and I don't mean to attack or degrade your beliefs. If you find anything offensive, I apologize before hand)
1) The Gospels seem to suggest that when Roman authorities tried to get hold of Jesus, he avoided them and it seems that he does not want to get caught. Now if Crucifixion (and resurrection) is the ultimate goal of Christ's mission, then why is he avoiding the Roman authority? The Gospels seem to suggest that Christ did not avoid just once but multiple times. Infact If I recall correctly, Gospel of John suggests that when Jesus Christ came to know that Jews and Romans are after him, he limited his public appearances. Why is Jesus doing that ? Should not Jesus feel excited and thrilled when the first time Romans tried to capture him ? Should not he readily give himself up to the Romans ?
2) For Christians, Crucifixion & resurrection of Christ represent a victory for mankind, then why don't the Christians consider those people who were instrumental in Christ's crucifixion (Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate) as heroes of Christian faith ? I have seen no statues of Judas and Pontious Pilate in churches and no Christian seems to praise these people. Why is it so ?
3) If Crucifixion and Resurrection is the ultimate goal of Christ's ministry then what exactly was he doing in his 3-year (a rather long period) ministry ? I mean, Isn't this time period seems too long to achieve a rather simple task like this ?
4) In Gospel of John, there is a prayer attributed to Jesus before his alleged crucifixion in which he says that (rough paraphrasing and Bold done by me) "...and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do ". What is finishing means here ? If crucifixion is the ultimate goal, how could his work get finish before it ?
I shall be obliged if you can answer above queries. Thanks a lot
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