Summary: WHO KILLED JESUS? No trial or execution in history has had such a momentous outcome as that of Jesus in Roman occupied Jerusalem, 2000 years ago. But was it an execution or a judicial murder; and who was responsible? The Bible Mysteries program focused
WHO KILLED JESUS?
No trial or execution in history has had such a momentous outcome as that of Jesus in Roman occupied Jerusalem, 2000 years ago.
But was it an execution or a judicial murder; and who was responsible?
The Bible Mysteries program focused on three suspects, Caiaphas, the Jewish High Priest; Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor; and, most surprisingly of all, Jesus himself.
I. The Jews with the help of wicked men.
(Acts 2:5 KJV) And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
(Acts 2:23 KJV) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
There is no question that there was Jewish involvement in the death of Jesus
The main Jewish involvement consisted of the religious establishment:
The Jewish people in general were not against Jesus
The rulers, the priests, and the people united in accepting responsibility for the death of Christ, saying, "Let his blood be on us and on our children" (Matt. 27:25). While Pilate could not be absolved from responsibility for this miscarriage of justice, the nation did accept responsibility for Christ’s death. The tragic reply came back like an echo of a groan from future generations: "His blood be on us and on our children." Thirty years later, on this very spot, judgment was pronounced against some of the best citizens of Jerusalem. Of the 3,600 victims of the governor’s fury, not a few were scourged and crucified! Judas died in a loathsome suicide, the house of Annas was destroyed some years later, Caiaphas was deposed a year after the crucifixion, and Pilate was soon after banished to Gaul and there died in suicide. When Jerusalem fell, her wretched citizens were crucified around her walls until, in the historian’s grim language, "space was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies." The horrors of the siege of Jerusalem are unparalleled in history.
II. The Gentiles.
(Luke 18:32 KJV) For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
Pilate and Herod five times had declared Christ innocent of the charges brought against Him and seemed determined to release Jesus. Justice so demanded, for the accusations against Christ had no support that would justify His condemnation. But the multitude was not seeking justice but demanding Christ’s death. Inflamed passions were ready to break forth into a riot (Matt. 27:23).
Jesus implicated the Gentiles as His killers.
Luke 18:31-32 31 Jesus took the Twelve (disciples) aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. (NIV)
III. Our Sins!
(1 Cor 15:3 KJV) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
Pilate sought to absolve himself of all responsibility for his decision. "He took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. ’I am innocent of this man’s blood,’ he said. ’It is your responsibility’" (Matt. 27:24). But Pilate could not escape the sense of his responsibility. There was a custom among the Greeks, Jews, and Romans of that time that when a man shed blood, he would wash his hands, thus symbolically cleansing away the stain. Pilate felt that he was a murderer.
Mel Gibson understands this. In his movie, The Passion of the Christ, the hand holding the spike being nailed through Christ’s wrist is Gibson’s. Who killed Jesus? Mel Gibson knows. And he made the very point with his own hand that he was responsible, not the Jews.
IV. The sins of the whole world!
(1 John 2:2 KJV) And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
V. Jesus Himself!
(John 10:17 KJV) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (John 10:18 KJV) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Non-apparent reasons for the death of Jesus.
Jesus predicted His death. (and resurrection)
In the 4 gospels Jesus predicts His death at least 14 times. A sample, Mark 10:33-34 33 "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said, "and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." (NIV)