12. Christian arguments for justifying the crucifixion of Jesus
The crucifixion posed a development that the disciples of Jesus, who worshipped him as the Messiah, were unable to explain. The promise of his resurrection and ascension to heaven and the covenant that he would return were, however, pow- erful proof to the believers that Jesus was the anticipated Messiah. Especially since the Hebrew Bible contained prophecies by Isaiah that could be interpreted as references to Jesus' fate. These were the Songs of the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), which the Jews believed symbolized the fate of the nation of Israel: "He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and ac- quainted with infirmity; and as one from whom others hide their faces he was despised, and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and af- flicted. (See chapter 19 for the interpretation of the word " ll'Þx' ".) But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did...
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