Daily Bible Nugget #375, Hebrews 5:7

The Nugget:

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; (KJV)

Heb 5:7 During his earthly life Christ offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. (NET Bible)

Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, having sent up prayers and requests with strong crying and weeping to him who was able to give him salvation from death, had his prayer answered because of his fear of God. (BBE, Bible in Basic English)

My Comment:

I have just had occasion to take a closer look at Hebrews 5:7 and several other “proof texts” used by sincere but mistaken Muslims who argue that Jesus did not die on the cross, did not die in a grave [?], and did not die for our sins.

The Muslim speaker/writer is no doubt not a native speaker of English, but his assertions are, nevertheless, clear:

Jesus did not died on the cross read hebrew 5:7 and jesus did not died on the grave read matt 12:39-40 . The bible says that no one can die for ur sin read jer 31:30 and deut 24:16 . Believing that jesus died for sins is a sin read deut 21:22:23.

To this comment, I replied:

I must gently reply that your understanding of what the Bible teaches is totally mistaken. Did Jesus die for our sins? Most certainly He did. Try to understand 2 Corinthians 5:15, “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Jeremiah 31:30 hardly pertains to the subject, for it simply teaches that we are each accountable for our own iniquity, and shall die for our own sins, much as is stated in Ezekiel 18:4. Jesus Himself told the religious leaders of His day, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). Visit my little site at Real Bible Study, www.realbiblestudy.com, to learn how to properly study the Bible and get answers to any Bible questions you may have.

To this, the Muslim writer answered:

Smith you are wrong.

If you claim that Jesus died for your sin you are contradicting the Bible.

I replied,

Carefully consider what the Bible itself says in Philippians 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Therefore, the Bible clearly affirms that Jesus died on the cross. To arrive at truth, you must consider all the evidence, not simply “cherry pick” a verse or two out of context when other statements in the Bible, duly considered, refute your claim.

The reply:

Who wrote phillip

Paul the founder of christians speaks that jesus the seed of david whom he preach of his own not by God 2timothy 2:8. Says that jesus died lies. Jesus make it clear that he did not die just has jonah matt 12:40

I responded,

Faruq Kolodi, once again I believe you are mistaken in your understanding of the Bible. Paul preached the very central truth of Christianity and the Bible when he emphasized at 2 Timothy 2:8, “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” The emphasis upon “my gospel” stresses that Paul preached what he had been given directly and personally by the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ who personally confronted Paul on the Damascus Road (see Acts chapter 9), in contrast to the false gospel being propagated by the Judaizers prevalent in Paul’s day, against whom he wrote the book of Galatians. The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central fact of the Bible. The New Testament is the collection of 27 primary source documents that testify to the historicity of Jesus Christ, and contain all that has been preserved to our time of what Jesus both said and did. That Jesus Christ is of the seed of David is central to the truth of the Gospel of Christ because Jesus came in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant given in 2 Samuel 7:10-17. To suggest that Jesus did not die on the cross is nonsense. The historical primary source documents contemporary to the event itself say otherwise. You cannot just arbitrarily dream up silly affirmations to the contrary when all documentary evidence from eye-witnesses who saw it happen affirm that Jesus Christ died on the cross, and affirm that he arose from the dead, and was seen for forty days after His resurrection by over five hundred known witnesses at that time. What Paul wrote in his letters is called Scripture by the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 3:16). Paul defined the Gospel when he wrote, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; (2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I have preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. (3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; (4) And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the Scriptures: (5) And that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve: (6) After that he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:1-6). The Lord Jesus Christ Himself said of Paul, “But the Lord said unto him [Ananias], Go thy way: for he [Saul, also known as Paul] is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel” (Acts 9:15). There is no basis in historic fact to diminish or discount the testimony of Paul or his writings! The conversion of Paul to Christianity considered alone is remarkable evidence enough to establish the truth of Christianity itself.

It is hard in a Facebook conversation to adequately communicate the truth to a non-native speaker of English, but I pray some of what I said is understandable to him and others who read the discussion.

As for Hebrews 5:7, it does not deny that Jesus died for our sin. The Bible in Basic English best conveys the truth of this verse when it reads “…having sent up prayers and requests with strong crying and weeping to him who was able to give him salvation from death,” meaning, that God to whom Jesus prayed was able to give him salvation or deliverance from death–of course by means of bodily resurrection, for it is most certain that Jesus died on the cross (Luke 23:46; Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; John 19:30, 33).

Take a closer look at Matthew 12:39, 40, which the Muslim participant cites as proof Jesus did not die in the grave:

Mat 12:39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Mat 12:40 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.

I think the Muslim poster is saying that Jonah did not die in the whale or great fish; therefore, Jesus did not die in the grave.

Of course, Jesus died on the cross, as confirmed by the four separate eye-witness testimonies I just quoted immediately above. So we know Jesus did die a painful physical death on the cross.

Most Christian readers of the Bible may not be aware that the book of Jonah asserts that Jonah actually died in the great fish and was resuscitated at the point God had the great fish spit out Jonah, undigested, upon the shore. This is seen from Jonah 2:2, where Jonah is stated to have prayed “out of the belly of hell,” where “hell” is in Hebrew “Sheol,” which has reference not to the grave, as suggested by the KJV marginal reading, but the region of the dead, where the dead are indeed represented as being conscious, as Jonah had to be in order to be praying there. In Scripture, bodies are placed in graves, spirits go to Sheol, with the exception of perhaps two passages which are highly elevated Hebrew poetry (Ezekiel 32:27 and Amos 9:2, where see my notes in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge).

Another significant verse used in argument against the truth that Jesus died for our sins used by the Muslim poster is Jeremiah 31:30,

Jer 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.

The cross-reference given for the expression “every one shall die for his own iniquity” clearly explains what is meant here:

2Ki 14:6 But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the LORD commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

The glorious fact of the Gospel is that Jesus had no sin, so he surely was qualified to be our Saviour. He did not die for His own sin, because He had none. But He did die for our sin, and if we place our faith in what He did for us on the Cross, we can have the benefit of His sacrifice for us applied to ourselves that we might be saved.

The Muslim poster also cites Deuteronomy 24:16,

Deu 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

This passage of Scripture was cited by Jeremiah, so I need not repeat the explanation given there.

Lastly, the Muslim poster makes reference to Deuteronomy 21:22, 23,

Deu 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:
Deu 21:23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

This passage bears upon the issue that the Jews in the days of Jesus considered death on the cross a great curse, and since that is how Jesus was killed, Jesus could hardly be the Messiah. This constitutes what Paul speaks of as the “offense of the cross” (see 1 Corinthians 1:23).

This text in Deuteronomy has no connection with, and can lend no support to the mistaken notion that our Lord Jesus Christ could not die for our sins on the Cross. The historical evidence is perfectly plain that He did, to our everlasting benefit, in fulfillment of Bible prophecy about how the Messiah must first suffer before He can enter into His glory (Luke 24:26; 1 Peter 1:11).

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