Making someone who looked like Jesus hang on the cross is not consistent with the character of God

An all-powerful God can save Jesus without having to fake his crucifixion

Why would Allah want to fake the crucifixion of Jesus?

If God chose not to let Jesus die, why was it necessary for Him to satisfy the Jews by putting another person on the cross? How would a fake crucifixion bring any glory to Allah?

A holy God cannot be the deceiver

Muslims believe that God can deceive because He is sovereign.

It has also been said that God is sovereign and can do whatever He likes.

But that truth cannot be carried beyond limits. We cannot have a statement “God can…..” and feel free to put anything in the place of the dotted lines. God certainly cannot sin. Why then do we use this argument and say that God can plot evil to deceive people.

The Quran did say that God is the best of plotters. But a plot is simply a secret plan. People, for example, may plot to overthrow an evil king. You can plot and still not sin. God certainly could plan in secret to achieve His purposes but plotting does not imply that it has to be evil. God is not capable of plotting evil.

The Quran also teaches that God can lead astray.

Whom God guides aright, he allows himself to be guided aright, and whom He leads astray, they are the losers. (Sura 7:178)

But this is to be understood that God can allow people to be led astray by giving up on them.

But in the case of death of Jesus, we can’t say that God allowed the people to be led astray.

When we see how so many people would have been mistaken about Jesus’ identity and how the crucified man would have to be deceived about his own identity, this is clearly a miracle that needs God’s intervention. God did not just allow them to be deceived; He would have to deceive them.

A loving God would not hide the truth all these years

The Quran describes Allah as a mercy and loving God.

Surah 11:90. “But ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn unto Him (in repentance): For my Lord is indeed full of mercy and loving-kindness.”

90] Dan mohonlah ampun kepada Tuhanmu kemudian bertobatlah kepada-Nya. Sesungguhnya Tuhanku Maha Penyayang lagi Maha Pengasih.

Why would a loving God choose to hide the truth all these years? Many people thought that the person who looked like Jesus was really Jesus until Allah revealed in the Quran 600 years later.

A just God would not blame Christians for believing in Jesus’ death if that person indeed looked like Jesus

One of the names of Allah is The Just (al-‘Adl).

Surah 4:40. Allah is never unjust in the least degree.

40] Sesungguhnya Allah tidak menganiaya seseorang walaupun sebesar zarrah, dan jika ada kebaikan sebesar zarrah, niscaya Allah akan melipat gandakannya dan memberikan dari sisi-Nya pahala yang besar.

Would a just God cause someone to look exactly like Jesus, then blame people for believing that the person who died on the cross was indeed Jesus?

Everybody would have to be deceived into thinking it was Jesus

Surah 4:157-158 says that Jesus was not crucified but so it was made to appear to the Jews. Some Muslims interpret “crucified” to mean “hanged on the cross” and therefore argue that Jesus was never hung on the cross. They interpret the words “so it was made to appear to them” to mean that it wasn’t Jesus but someone else who was made to appear like Jesus.

How could so many people be mistaken about Christ’s death? Joseph of Arimathea prepared the body of Jesus for burial and must have realised if that person wasn’t Jesus. When he laid Jesus in the tomb, Mary Magdalene and the mother of Jesus were there to witness. Could all these people including Jesus’ mother have made a mistake thinking it was Jesus when it was someone else?

This mistaken identity could only have happened if that person, who wasn’t Jesus, was made by God to look exactly like Jesus. I find this interpretation not consistent with the character of God. Why does God not think it fraudulent to misrepresent one man as another? We consider it a felony to forge a signature on a check or to impersonate another person. Would God rely on trickery and deceit to accomplish His purposes?

Even the crucified man was deceived into thinking he was Jesus

Not only that, that person has to believe that he was Jesus as seen from the words spoken to Jesus’ own mother.

(John 19:26-27)  When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” {27} and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Therefore, not only were all the people deceived, even the person crucified in Jesus’ place was deceived into thinking that he was Jesus.

God in the Bible was also involved in deception?

(2 Chr 18:18-22 NIV)  Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing on his right and on his left. {19} And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. {20} Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. {21} “‘I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ {22} “So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you.”

God cannot deceive. However, He allows deception to be used to accomplish His purposes the same way He allows man to continue sinning (in their free will).

Although God does not deceive, since He allows it, the Bible expresses the fact as if it was God who did the deception.

In the Quran, when it was said that Allah deceived the people into thinking Jesus was crucified, can we interpret it the same way to say that Allah only allowed the people to be deceived because of their own blindness?

Would Allah deceive the true disciples of Jesus?

We read in history that Jesus’ disciples preached his death and resurrection everywhere they went.

Acts 2:22-24 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. {23} This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. {24} But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

They even died for what they believed in. But to what end? A deception by God? Surely we cannot believe this. Why would God allow all these people who have sincerely and faithfully fol­lowed Jesus to be deceived?

The Quran says that the disciples of Jesus are true disciples of God (Quran 61:14, 3:52).

The Quran further teaches that God will not mislead His followers.

And God will not mislead a people after He hath guided them in order that He may make clear to them what to fear. (Surah 9:115)

If Allah can deceive, can I still trust the Quran?

If the Quran says that such deception of the honest seekers of truth is part of the character of Allah, then I do not know on what basis I can trust the rest of the Quran. If God ever did deceive those who desired to know and follow him, how can I have any assurance he did not do it again and the Quran is not part of this deception?