Well, that is my translation of a famous verse from the Qur'an often cited to refute the charge that Jesus was crucified. It is a very weak verse though because of the obscure Arabic verb used. Also, the 'they' in question refers to Jews, to which any person can respond, indeed, it was the Romans who crucified him, at the behest of the Jews (well, some of them). But these realities aside, the predominant theory in the Muslim world today is that God caused the appearance of Jesus to be cast on someone else (probably Judas Iscariot), who was then crucified in his place. Jesus was saved from humiliation and suffering by God.
But what are the implications of this theory? David Wood unpacks some of them here. Here is one snippet:
So who is responsible for the Christian belief that Jesus died on the cross? If Islam is correct, God started this idea when he decided to trick Jesus’ enemies into thinking that they had killed Jesus. This leads to even more problems. If the deception of the disciples was unintentional, then we must conclude that God didn’t realize that he was about to start the largest false religion in the world. If it was intentional, then God is in the business of starting false religions. Therefore, the God of Islam is either dreadfully ignorant or maliciously deceptive.
Muhammad’s position also means that Jesus was the greatest failure in the history of the prophets. He spent 33 years preaching (again, he began preaching Islamic theology at birth), yet shortly after his death, the children of Israel were divided into two broad camps. Those who believed his message became Christians, all of whom were guilty of the worst sin imaginable (shirk), while those who rejected his message were guilty of rejecting one of God’s greatest messengers. Thus, whether people believed in Jesus or rejected him, everyone would ultimately be condemned and cast into the hellfire.
It’s strange, then, that Muslims consider Jesus to be one of the greatest prophets ever. It seems that he should have been able to win at least one lasting convert to Islam. But he didn’t. Further, a true prophet of Islam should have warned his followers not to turn away from Islam by falling for God’s deception. But Jesus never got that message across. Indeed, millions of people from around the world now refuse to accept Islam because they believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, a teaching that goes back to a deceptive God and an incompetent Messiah.
It would be nice to hear a Muslim response to these points.