As we keep finding more and more info that proves that the vast majority of Muslims always believed that Esa (as) would physically return, we see more and more evidence that proves the falsity of the Ahmadiyya doctrine on this matter. In this specific case, Upal has written in his book the same as my assertions on the scholarly consensus on Esa (as), and his escape from the cross. Upal goes on to quote Robinson, who quotes one of the oldest Tafsir’s as follows:
“””Tafsīr Muqātil accepts that tawaffā refers to God causing a human to die, but he insists that theQuran uses it for Jesus only in reference to his death in the end times, after his return to earth…Some interpreters, Tabarī notes, are of the opinion that when the Quran applies tawaffā to Jesus it refers not to death but to sleep… According to a second opinion, however, tawaffā – when it applies to Jesus – is synonymous instead with qabada, “to seize”; that is, with this term the Quran is not referring to Jesus falling asleep before God took him into heaven, but rather to the act of God taking Jesus into heaven, or to the moment when God took hold of Jesus before raising him to heaven. These two views of tawaffā, of course, redound to precisely the same doctrine about Jesus. In both cases the interpreters are eager to prove that the presence of the verb tawaffā can be reconciled with the doctrine that Jesus did not die, that he was taken body and soul into heaven, whence he will return… Still Tabarī also cites a third view, that tawaffā – even in the case of Jesus –can only mean “to make die”. Most traditions that reflect this view reconcile it, as Tafsīr Muqātil does, with the doctrine of Jesus’ eschatological return. If in sūrat āl ʿImrān (3) 55 tawaffā appears before Jesus’ ascension, then this verse must be read with hysteron proteron or taqdīm al-mu’akhkhar. Yet Tabarī also notes that some scholars concede Jesus did indeed die. One tradition to this effect insists that he was dead for three hours (another version has seven hours). In the end, however, Tabarī declares his support for the second view, that tawaffā refers in the Quran to God taking hold of Jesus. He justifies this position by referring to the preponderance of hadīth in support of it, but there are other factors at play here. First, for Tabarī the doctrine of Jesus’ eschatological return is beyond any doubt. This leads him to reason, in light of quranic passages which imply that a person can only die once (cf. Q 6.60; 19.33), that Jesus must have been preserved from death. In other words, if Jesus is to return in the eschaton to finish his life and die, then the view that Jesus has already died must perforce be rejected. (Reynolds 2009:247-248)”””(also see Upal. “Moderate Fundamentalist” (2017).