Empty Tomb A Different Perspective-Jesus and Sign of Prophet Jonah
According to Christian doctrine Jesus was crucified, resurrected, and raised to heaven. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, founded by. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah, holds a unique opinion. As per their belief, Jesus survived crucifixion, left Judea, traveled toward the east, completed his mission, died a natural death at the age of 120 and is buried in Srinagar, Kashmir.
In support of their claim Ahmadi muslims say that in the Gospel we find, ‘For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’ (Matthew 12:39,40) . The Scripture testifies that Jonah went into the belly of the whale, stayed alive. in the belly and emerged alive after three days.
The fact is that Jesus was a true prophet of God and he knew that God would save him from a cursed death. The Gospel narrates that Jesus prayed to God in anguish and said, “Take. this cup. away from me” (Mark 14:36 ; Matt. 26:39 ; Luke 22:42) and his prayer was heard (Heb. 5:7). He was the Light of the world and a beloved of God. How can unholy attributes of an accursed death be ascribed to Jesus? That is against the dignity of a noble Prophet. It is admirable to seek salvation but why would God take life of his son for the sins he did not commit?
Also the Gospel claims that, when soldiers pierced Jesus’ skin blood and water gushed out of it (John 19:31–34 ). But it’s a known medical fact that when a person dies blood coagulates. Flow of blood is a certain sign of life.
Likewise the Gospel nullified the concept of Jesus being a spirit/ghost. According to (Luke 24:36–43) he met his disciples on the road to Galilee, ate with them and showed them his wounds. If he had been resurrected after death, how was it that his spiritual body had wounds inflicted upon him on the cross? Why did he eat food? The Gospel says, “…for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have” (Luke 24:39). Logically, Jesus never went to the heavens; rather, he came out of the sepulcher and went to Galilee like a common man, in ordinary clothes and a human body.
Additionally, Jesus stayed on the cross for approximately 2–3 hours. At that time it wasn’t unusual to take down a person alive from the cross after a day or two. Normally people used to die after at least 3 days of torment (starvation and broken bones).
Gospel indicates that soldiers did not break the legs of Jesus (John 19:31–34 ) Also subsequent events reveal that Pilate was astonished to hear that Jesus was already dead(Mark 15:44) as the time was too short for a healthy person to die on the cross.
Moreover, Jesus foretold that his message would also be heard and accepted by other tribes (John 10:16). The Gospel says, that he was sent “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Mathew 15:24 ). Even Jews in his time believed that the Lost Tribes of Israel were dispersed in different lands (John 7:34–35). And at the time of Jesus only two tribes were living in Judea and the remaining were settled in Kashmir, parts of India and the surrounding lands.
In the light of the above a logical conclusion that could be drawn is that, neither did Jesus die on the cross nor did he acquire a new spiritual body, rather, he was in a state of unconsciousness which resembled death and after surviving a certain death, he traveled eastwards to fulfill the purpose for which he had been sent by God. Otherwise, what similarity could there be between him and Jonah; the dead and the living? One who has completed the assigned task and the other who did not?
Thought provoking indeed!