And (on account of) their saying, "We killed the Messiah, ‘Isa son of Maryam, Messenger of Allah." They did not kill him and they did not crucify him but it was made to seem so to them. Those who argue about him are in doubt about it. They have no real knowledge of it, just conjecture. But they certainly did not kill him.
Surat an-Nisa' 158:
Allahraised him up to Himself. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.
Just after these verses in Surat an-Nisa 159, there is no evidence indicating that "him" is used to imply someone other than Jesus (as).
In the Qur'an, Allah informs us that on the Day of Judgement, the "tongues and hands and feet will testify against them about what they were doing" (Surat an-Nur: 24 and Surah Yasin: 65). From Surah Fussilat 20-23, we learn that "hearing, sight and skin will testify against us." In none of the verses however, is there reference to "the Qur'an as a witness". If we accept that the "him" or "it" in the first sentence refers to the Qur'an - though grammatically or logically we have no evidence whatsoever - then we should also accept that the "he" in the second statement also refers to the Qur'an. To accept this however, there should be an explicit verse confirming this view. However, the commentator Ibn Juzayy does not mention the possibility of the Qur’an being the "him" referred to, and Ibn Juzayy transmitted the views of all the major commentators in his work.
When we refer to the Qur'an, we see that when the same personal pronoun is used for the Qur'an, there is generally mention of the Qur'an before and after that specific verse as in the cases of Surat an-Naml: 77 and Surat ash-Shu'ara: 192-196. The verse straightforwardly defines that People of the Book will have faith in Jesus (as) and that he (Jesus (as)) will be a witness against them.
The second point is about the interpretation of the expression "before he dies." Some think this is "having faith in Jesus (as) before their own death." According to this interpretation everyone from the people of the Book will definitely believe in Jesus (as) before he/she faces their own death. In Jesus' time however, Jews who are defined as the people of the Book not only did not have faith in Jesus but also attempted to kill him. On the other hand, it would be unreasonable to say that Jews and Christians who lived and died after the time of Jesus had faith - the type of faith described in the Qur'an - in him.
To conclude, when we make a sound evaluation of the verse, we arrive to the following conclusion: Before Jesus' (as) death, all the People of the Book will have faith in him.2
Firstly, it is evident that the verse refers to the future because there is mention of the death of Jesus (as). Yet, Jesus (as) did not die but was raised up to the presence of Allah. Jesus (as) will come to earth again, he will live for a specified time and then die. Secondly, all the people of the Book will have faith in him. This is an event which has yet not occurred, but which will definitely happen in the future.
Consequently, by the expression "before he dies", there is a reference to Jesus (as). The People of the Book will see him, know him and obey him while he is alive. Meanwhile, Jesus (as) will bear witness against them on the Last Day. Allah surely knows best. (3)
That Jesus (as) will come back to earth towards the end of time is related in another verse in Surat az-Zukhruf 61.
Starting from az-Zukhruf 57, there is reference to Jesus (as):