A Muslim may ask:
Nobody can die for someone else’s sin? Why your faith say that Jesus died for our sins?
In Islamic tradition, a martyr could intercede for 70 other people and lead them into paradise.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The intercession of a martyr will be accepted for seventy members of his family. (see Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 14, Number 2516).
Also in the same tradition, intercession is accepted by prophets for their followers. The most famous of these intercessions in Islam is the one Prophet Muhammad said that he will use at the Day of Judgment to let his followers into paradise. (see Muslim, Book 001, Number 0378).
If a martyr could intercede for other people because of his sacrifice for God. Is it not possible for the sinless Jesus Christ who innocently was killed on the cross, could also intercede for those who follow Him and put their trust in Him?
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, a death He did not deserve since He did not commit a sin in His entire life or even inherited Adam’s ability to sin. The death punishment all mankind received because of Adam’s transgression, was carried on by a perfect man (Jesus) who should not die for His own sins.
If you look back in the Jewish tradition, you will find that according to Moses’ laws, Jews had to bring an animal sacrifice for their sins. (Leviticus 1:2) They put their hands on the head of the animal as a sign of the sin being transferred from them to the sacrificial animal. (Leviticus 1:4) The animal dies instead of them. We all know that this animal (who also should be perfect) did not sin, still the animal died instead of the sinner.
You might disagree and do not like this sacrifice business. Well, in Islamic tradition it is known that Ibrahim (Abraham) who was going to sacrifice his son as God commanded was given a sacrificial animal instead of his son. (Quran 37:99-111)
Interestingly enough, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca ends with a commemoration of Ibrahim (Abraham) sacrifice on the mountain of Arafat by sacrificing animals so the pilgrim’s pilgrimage is complete. After this event, the pilgrimage ends.
It is also interesting to know that the pilgrimage to Mecca if preformed correctly, the pilgrim former sins were forgiven!
The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “Whoever performs Hajj for Allah’s pleasure and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.” (Bukhari, Vol. 2, Book 26, No. 596)
May be you need to think about this pilgrimage ceremony and compare it to the old Jewish ritual of animal sacrifice!
These animal sacrifices has to be repeated as it only redeem the former sins. A Jew has to go back to the temple every year to perform this sacrifice. A Muslim could clean his former sins in pilgrimage, he will need to go back to preform it again to clean up his new sins accumulated after the pilgrimage.
Now, God’s plan was to give only one sacrifice. A perfect sacrifice which could redeem believers former and future sins. He deiced that the second Adam (Jesus) He sent to earth, will die as acceptable sacrifice to God. (Hebrews 10:12,14) Through the blood shed of Jesus Christ, men and women who follow Him are redeemed and reconciled with God. (Hebrews 10:19)
The Scripture says:
We believe that we have an intercessor between us and God, Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:34)