John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
The Bible plainly tells us that Jesus died for our sins.
There are many, especially those of the Muslim faith, who deny that Jesus ever died.
There are many, especially Muslims and Jehovah Witnesses, who deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Each of these mistaken belief systems have failed to read the New Testament and the Bible as a whole correctly.
An atheist poster recently presented the challenge, “What gives you the authority to declare what the Bible really means?” I began my participation in that discussion thread by stating that I have been studying the Bible seriously since 1953. Of course, their first response to me was that just because I have read the Bible for a very long time does not qualify me to declare what it really means. Only their response to me was much more rude than my restatement of it here.
All this to say that most people do not really know how to read well. Most people do not do very much reading at all. Even college graduates do poorly on examinations that require them to use inference skills to arrive at proper answers. I was made a reading specialist and writing consultant because students in my classes showed remarkable improvement in reading and writing. I have knowledge of these things because this has been my profession for many years.
When it comes to reading with understanding, there are rules of interpretation that must be followed. I have listed 24 of these rules in two posts in the archives on the right-hand side of this very page for October of 2010. Be sure to go there to learn what these rules are.
Back to the issue of the death of Jesus. Jesus predicted His death and His resurrection:
John 2:18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
Joh 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Joh 2:20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
Joh 2:21 But he spake of the temple of his body.
Joh 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
Joh 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
Luk 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
Luk 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Luk 24:16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
Luk 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Luk 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luk 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Luk 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
Luk 24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
Luk 24:24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luk 24:28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
Luk 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
Luk 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luk 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luk 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luk 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Luk 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luk 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
The Muslim claim that I just read stated that Jesus did not die, the resurrection never happened, and that such claims about Jesus were fabricated by His followers afterwards.
Some discussion also concerned whether anything in the Bible actually predicted the death of Jesus and its purpose.
I submitted one verse:
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Of course, they had no way of understanding the implications of this verse. Lack of inference skills, once again, speaking on the natural plane.