The Antichrist in Muhammad: Muhammad's Fear of the Cross
evidence. Not only is it the constant witness of the Church, it is attested to in Jewish and secular sources as well. So, for example, we find reference to Jesus' crucifixion and death in the Roman historian Tacitus (Annals, XV.44). Likewise, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus refers to Jesus' death on the cross in his Antiquities (XVIII, 33). We might also point to the Greek satirist of Lucian of Samosata who mentions Jesus and his crucifixion in his play The Death of Peregrine.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (sections 613-18) gives a concise summary of the theological significance for all mankind of the death of Jesus by crucifixion, weaving together the teaching of the Scriptures, Church Councils, the Saints, the Church's liturgy, and the Church's hymns. The Church insists that Christ's death by crucifixion was a unique and definitive redemptive sacrifice, involved Christ's substitutionary death on mankind's behalf, and merits for us the forgiveness of our sins, our salvation, and a renewed relationship with God.
"Christ's death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption of men, through the 'Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world' (John 1:29; cf. 8:34-36; 1 Cor 5:7; 1 Pet 1:19), and the sacrifice of the New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to God through the 'blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'" (Matt. 26:28; cf. Ex 24:8; Lev 16:15-16; 1 Cor 11:25)
"This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices. (Cf. Heb 10:10) First, it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man, who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for our disobedience." (Cf. John 10:17-18; 15:13; Heb 9:14; 1 John 4:10.)
"'For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous.' (Rom 5:19) By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished the substitution of the suffering Servant, who 'makes himself an offering for sin,' when 'he bore the sin of many,' and who 'shall make many to be accounted righteous,' for 'he shall bear their iniquities.' (Isaiah 53:10-12) Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to the Father. (DS 1529, Council of Trent).
"It is love 'to the end' (John 13:1) that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. (Cf. Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25) Now 'the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.' (2 Cor 5:14) No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himself the sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. The existence in Christ of the divine person of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constitutes himself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all."
"The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christ's sacrifice as 'the source of eternal salvation,' (Heb. 5:9) and teaches that 'his most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited justification for us.' (DS 5129) And the Church venerates his cross as she sings: 'Hail, O Cross, our only hope.'" (Hymn Vexilla regis)
"The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the 'one mediator between God and men.' (1 Tim 2:5) But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, 'the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery' is offered to all men. (GS 22 § 5; cf. § 2) He calls his disciples to 'take up [their] cross and follow [him]' (Matt 16:24) for 'Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps.' (1 Pet. 2:21) In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries. (Cf. Mark 10:39; John 21:18-19; Col. 2:14) This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering." (Cf. Luke 2:35)
"Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven." (St Rose of Lima)
Obviously, the Qur'an denies the entire theological value of Christ's incarnation and his redemptive death on the Cross. But the Qur'an goes beyond this. Though not without some ambiguity as to precisely how it ...
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Muhammad, antichrist, redemption, salvation, Jesus, cruciphobia, cross, crucifixion, Andrew M. Greenwell
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