Let me hasten to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is alive and well today, reigning in Heaven at the right hand of God. However, at one point in history, He had to die to take away the sins of the world. (Galatians 1:4; I John 2:2) He died a most horrible death. A death the Roman Empire used for those who were not Romans. A death that was too horrible for them to use on Roman citizens. So. The question is this: Who killed Jesus? Where does the responsibility for His death rest?
Before we begin, I urge you to review the crucifixion story, given in all four of the Gospel accounts. In particular, review Matthew 27:25-31, Mark 15:10-16, Luke 23:1-11, John 18:28-19:7. You might also want to review Galatians 1:4 and I John 2:2 to notice the reason Jesus had to die.
- The chief priests (Annas and Caiaphas) killed Jesus. The chief priests delivered Jesus to Pilate because of envy. (Mark 15:10) The chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. (Luke 23:10) The chief priests were jealous of the popularity Jesus was gaining. For centuries, the chief priests had, in effect, ruled the Jewish people. It was only they who could enter the Most Holy Place and speak to God. They clearly saw that Jesus would change that, and thus greatly reduce their influence.
- Pilate killed Jesus. Pilate was the governor of Judea. (Matthew 27:2, Luke 3:1) He was in authority and in control. He could have stopped the torture and the crucifixion, but he feared what his superiors would say and do if he did not cave in to the Jews. Even his wife urged him to stop the crucifixion (Matthew 27:19) Yes, he had the power, but he did nothing.
- The Jews killed Jesus. And they understood that they did. They yelled, “Let His blood be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25) Peter understood that the Jews killed Jesus, because on the Day of Pentecost, Peter said to the crowd of Jews, “This Jesus Whom you crucified,” (Acts 2:36) and the Jews present, realizing he told the truth, cried out, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) Obviously, those present in the crowd before crucifixion understood that they were responsible for putting Jesus forth to be crucified. Obviously, when they became convinced that He was, indeed, the Son of God, they acknowledged that they were responsible for His death. On March 10, 2011, I posted an article wherein the Pope excused the Jews for the killing of Jesus Christ. In spite of the Pope, the Jews were still responsible for the death of Jesus.
- I killed Jesus. To my everlasting shame, I killed Jesus. Galatians 1:4 and I John 2:2 assure us that Jesus had to die to take away our sins. If only one person (other that Jesus, Himself) had ever been to live a perfect life and never to commit a sin, then everyone else could have done the same. If no one had sinned, there would have been no reason for Jesus to die. However, I have sinned. Having so done, I am, in and of myself, no longer fit to be called a child of God. Romans 5:8 teaches us that God loved us while we still sinners, and it was for that reason that Jesus had to come as a man and give His life to pay for my sins. Jesus is the propitiation, the payment, for my sins. (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17, I John 2:2, I John 4:10) However, it seems to me, that, since I could not and did not live a perfect life, Jesus died for my sins and, therefore, in a very real sense, I killed Jesus.
Of course, any human who has sinned is responsible for the death of Jesus, also. We get the advantage of His death, the forgiveness for our sins, when we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, when we repent of our sins, when we confess publically that we believe Jesus is the Son of God, and then are baptized for the remission or forgiveness of our sins. That, dear readers, is the only way we can escape the guilt of the blood of Jesus. Have you taken advantage of this great offer of God to cleanse our soul? If not, why not?
What say ye?