When Prophet ^Isa was 33 years old, the blasphemers among the offspring of Israel plotted to kill him, but Allah saved him from their harm. Ibn Abi Hatim and an-Nasa’iyy narrated from the route of Ibn ^Abbas that he said:
Prophet ^Isa was in session with twelve of his elite companions in a house. He told them that among them would be who would blaspheme in the future. Then he asked them, “Who among you would want to be made to look like me, be killed in my place, and be my companion in Paradise.” The youngest among them stood up and said, “Me.” Prophet ^Isa told him to sit, then repeated his same question. Again, the same young man said, “Me.” Again, Prophet ^Isa told him to sit, then again asked the same question. After the same young man volunteered for the third time, Prophet ^Isa received the Revelation that this young man would be the one who would be made to look like him and killed instead of him. Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky from an opening in the ceiling of the house. When the Jews came after Prophet ^Isa, they saw that young man, whom Allah made to look like ^Isa. They took him, thinking he was Prophet ^Isa, and crucified him.
It should be noted here there are two widespread false stories about this matter. In one, it is claimed that one of ^Isa’s students was paid a great sum of money to lead those Jews to ^Isa however Allah made him look like ^Isa, so they though he was ^Isa and they crucified him. In another, it is said that the person killed in place of ^Isa was the leader of the Jews. Both of these stories are false.
After Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky, his nation lived following his guidance, teaching, and methodology for two hundred (200) years. However, the nation of Prophet ^Isa did not remain steadfast to Islam. Three hundred (300) years after Prophet ^Isa was raised to the sky, those who were following the ones who had perverted the teachings of Prophet ^Isa became very numerous, and those who were truly following the Religion of Islam were few and weak. After some five hundred (500) years, none of the believing Muslims of ^Isa’s nation were left. When Prophet Muhammad was revealed, he was the only Muslim worshipping only Allah from among the people of the earth.