Summary: What are the crimes of the cross? Whose crimes were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ?
THE CRIMES OF THE CROSS
The gruesome death on the cross was Roman punishment mitigated on the hardcore criminals, slaves, pirates and enemies of the state (anyone who waged a rebellion against the Roman empire). Slow and painful death and created a public display to warn others.
We will see the event of Jesus Before Pilate read in the scripture.
Remember Jesus was absolutely sinless and didn’t commit any crime that warranted him the crucifixion. Jesus was the one who healed people, raised people from death, fed multitude of people, taught the Scriptures. So why Jesus was given the punishment of dying on the cross? Isaiah tells us that it was Father's will to place the sins of mankind on Jesus. The crimes of other people were responsible for the painful death of the Lord Jesus on the cross.
Mark 15:14- When Jesus was presented before Pilate, he also questioned the crowd, “Why? What crime has he committed?”Crimes of the cross are:
1. The Crime of Envy:
Mark 15:10- Pilate knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of sin of envy
According to Greek scholar W.E. Vine envy is "the felling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others"
Galatians 5:19-21- Envy is one of the works of the flesh. Envy is one of the 7 deadly sins mentioned in the Bible. Though the sins have fluctuated over time, the currently recognized list includes pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth.
a. Envy rejects the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ:
John 11:47-53- Only few weeks ago Jesus raised Lazarus from death and His Deity was revealed as only God can raise a dead person to life.
Jesus performed many miracles- healing, walking on water, turning water in to wine, feeding thousands, calming storms, drove demons out. These signs couldn't be performed if Jesus was not God himself.
The Jews and the chief priests didn't want to acknowledge the fact that Jesus was equal to God.
John 19:7- The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
To reject the Deity of Jesus is to be proud and envious. The hatred, jealousy and envy evident in the world in all spheres (personal, social, national life) are the direct results of rejecting Deity of Jesus Christ as equal to God.
b. Envy is Rejection of the Sovereignty of Jesus Christ:
Mark 15:9- “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. When Pilate presented Jesus as the king of the Jews, the chief priests were upset and challenged because they were not willing to accept the sovereignty of Jesus as their king.
Mathew 21:9 -On the Palm Sunday, when same people shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Mathew 21:15- But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
They rejected the sovereignty of Jesus on Palm Sunday too.
Thus envy is the direct result of rejecting the Deity and sovereignty of Jesus Christ. Today many people are hesitant to accept the lordship and authority of the Lord Jesus on their lives.
2. End Products of Envy:
Mark 15:10-14- knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
The sin of envy is inflammable. It can burn like a fire and quickly spread like a wild fire and get out of control. The envy of chief priests was quickly transferred to the crowd.
a. It distorts the sense of true values:
Instead of asking the giver and healer Jesus to be released, the crowd asked for releasing Barabbas. Envy leads to distortion of true values. Envy is present in all people- saved or unsaved and we have to be careful with envy as it can lead to greater sins.
b. It destroys the source of true values:
Mark 15:15- Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Everyone in the crowd knew of the virtuous life of Christ and in Him God's character was totalized.
Luke 23:4 - Even Pilate declared "I find no fault in this man Jesus"