19. According to Islam, who died on the cross?
The Koran is clear, according to believers, that Jesus escaped crucifixion and was raised into heaven without first suffering the death of mortal humans. But it is equally clear that there was a crucifixion, and that those who witnessed it doubted whether the man crucified died on the cross. The generally accepted belied in Islam – that Jesus (Isa) was raised bodily into heaven and will return at the end of time – has led into three contending theories over the crucifixion described in the Koran. Some believe that Jesus was crucified, but not long enough for death to have taken place before being rescued. Others argue that such deceit is not possible of the Supreme Deity, and another was crucified in Jesus’ place.
One such replacement argument is that it was Judas Iscariot, the traitor of Christian belief, who died on the cross, deservedly since he was a liar, traitor, and thief. Another is that Simon the Cyrene, the spectator who helped Jesus carry the cross on his path to Calgary, was executed after the minds of the executioners were confused by divine action. Another belief is that Simon Peter was executed in place of Jesus. There are other theories, involving the deaths of others on the cross as well as Jesus being taken down from his supposed execution still alive (the Jesus swooned theory), none of which fully counter the Christian belief of the crucifixion, at the end of which Jesus’s death was confirmed by his being pierced in the side by a Roman soldier with his lance.