According to Ibn Kathir, a tradition that goes back to Ibn Abbas concerning the meaning of Surah 4:157 is the following:
On the night of the Lord Jesus’ betrayal, he was with his disciples. The traditions vary – some say there are 13 disciples, some say 17, some say 19. Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, asked the disciples which one of them would volunteer to look like him, which one of them would volunteer to take his appearance, Jesus’ appearance on himself, die in the place of Christ. Whoever is willing to accept this proposal to die in Jesus’ place, Jesus supposedly said he would be given paradise. In other words, the disciples were asked to look like Jesus in his place and Allah will give you paradise. According to the tradition, the youngest disciple said “I will.” It says that Jesus ignored him because he thought he’s maybe being overzealous because he’s young and he’s not thinking of the implications, the ramifications of looking like Jesus and dying a very brutal, painful, shameful death, so he asked it again the second time. Again, the youngest disciple said “I will”. Again Jesus brushes him aside and asked for a third time. When the youngest disciple again said “I will volunteer”, Jesus says “ok”. At that moment, Allah miraculously made that disciple look exactly like Jesus from head to toe and at that moment Jesus ascended through a hole in the roof and entered into paradise. So when they came in to arrest Jesus, they found what they thought was Jesus and then they crucified him. In other words, Jesus didn’t die in our place according to this tradition. Someone died in Jesus’ place. Who? His youngest disciple? How? By Allah transforming him to look exactly like Jesus Christ.
Are you telling me that according to one of our earliest traditions, from one of Islam’s greatest scholars, that what happened was (Muslims have such a big problem with Jesus dying in the place of others) someone dies in Jesus’ place? And it wasn’t by accident, it was actually Allah’s plan and Jesus is in on it. Allah can’t just save me, just protect me, so someone has to die tonight. Someone’s going to get taken, nailed to a cross, it’s not going to be me, instead one of you has to die in my place. According to Christianity, Jesus dies willingly in the place of others. According to Islam, someone dies for the sake of Jesus, in his place, willingly.
The real Jesus, whom we know, cried in the garden because he wanted the cup to be passed from him, but he took the cup anyway. But Isa ibn Miriam of the Quran is like a coward, he doesn’t want to take the cup. Somebody else has to take the cup for me. Die and his place and Allah permits it. If Allah was going to let anyone die, why not just let Jesus die? And if you didn’t want Jesus to die, why allow someone else to die in this place? But again, Allah is the greatest deceiver of them all. Surah 3:54 says regarding Jesus’ final moments “And they plotted (meaning the disbelieving Jews) and Allah plotted too and Allah is the best of plotters. This translation translates the word “makr” as “plot”. However, I challenge any Muslim and any Arabic-speaking Christian or Arabic speaker, look at the Arabic lexical sources and check up the meaning of the word “makr”. The word “makr” is defined as “deceit, tricking, scheming, conniving”. In other words, it’s a negative word. It refers to someone who will use deception, deceit, connive and use trickery to accomplish his purpose. According to the Quran, who is the greatest of all deceivers, connivers, tricksters and schemers? Not Satan but Allah. This passage is composed with respect to Jesus’ final moments. Now it makes sense. How did Allah out-scheme, connive, out-deceive the Jews? The Jews thought they were going to kill Jesus. What Allah did was to make someone look like Jesus and the Jews killed that look-alike thinking they had got rid of Jesus. Who made them think that they got rid of Jesus? Allah. How? By deceiving them.
Allah makes everyone think that Jesus died by crucifixion, knowing that this is going to start the world’s largest false religion. Who really messed things up for Jesus’ followers? Allah. Muslims say Paul came in and corrupted Christianity. Allah came in and corrupted Christian according to according to Islam. Allah is the deceiver who corrupted Jesus’ message. So Jesus comes, he preaches for 33 years (remember Jesus started preaching from birth according to Islam), wins a ton of followers, people are converting to this early first century Islam, things are going great, Allah promises Jesus that his followers would be victorious until the day of resurrection, then Allah comes in and tricks the Jews into believing that Jesus died by crucifixion when he really didn’t. And then even Jesus followers come to believe that he died by crucifixion. That started Christianity, what we believe in today. Why do I believe that Jesus died by crucifixion according to Islam? I believe Jesus died by crucifixion because Allah deceived so many people. He’s such a great deceiver that he’s even still deceiving people today with this. He deceived me.
If we want to say God’s going to deceive someone, it should at least be some kind of good reason. For instance, I’m walking down the streets of Dearborn and a bunch of Muslims come to kill me or something like that and Allah decided to trick them, to deceive them in order to save my life. Well, Allah saved my life by deceiving people. What was the point of deceiving people about Jesus’ death according to Islam? Why would Allah do that? Why would Allah deceive people in that way? What good came of it? What great thing did Allah need to accomplish that was so important that God has to deceive people? In Islam, there’s just no reason? If you ask them, they’ll say “to save Jesus.” No, Jesus gets taken to heaven. Doesn’t get any safer than that. No one’s going to hurt Jesus, he’s in heaven. Why do you need to deceive everyone? Why not just show that Jesus is victorious? In other words, you got all these people “we need to get Jesus” and then too bad he went to paradise. Instead “let’s make everyone think that they had the victory that Jesus failed, that Jesus was stopped, Jesus is not the Messiah because he died, let’s make everyone think that”. That’s what Allah does and he doesn’t just deceive the Jews, he deceives even Jesus followers.