Who Really Killed Jesus?
- Friday, July 11, 2003
Jesus had very strong words for the religious leaders of His day. (See Matthew 23) "Woe to you!" He cried out in the streets of Jerusalem, stirring the religious leaders to action.
Something had to be done about this "King of the Jews."
Understanding the Season
It was the time of the Passover and the Jews were making their annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem; Jesus and the Disciples included. As He entered, the Galilean Jews with whom He had spent the majority of His ministry, cheered Him as He entered. But it was a different sect who feared His popularity and cried out, "Crucify him" about a week later.
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem sitting atop a donkey, He knew what was to happen in the coming days. He'd told the Twelve time and again, insisting that three days after The Sacrifice, He'd return to them.
He knew what was to come...and He went through the gates anyway. Days later, He would say to Judas Iscariot, "What you must do, do quickly." (John 13:28) Jesus literally gave permission to Judas to "turn Him in."
Years ago someone asked me, "What one question would you like to ask of God?" My answer came quickly: Why did the sacrifice have to be so brutal?
Roman crucifixion was brutal...still, of all the times in history...this was the era the Father and the Son chose for The Sacrifice, prophesized about as far back as Genesis 3: 15, which reads: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
The purpose of The Sacrifice was to cleanse man-once and for all-of the sins that separated him from God. God's desire to draw His children to a place of intimacy is so great; He was willing to pay a brutal price...to prove that He loves us more than we can begin to imagine.
So Who Killed Jesus?
Can you kill a willing Sacrifice? Can you murder the Son of God? Can you destroy that which is, by His very nature Creator, the One whose command the angels seek to answer? I don't believe you can.
And so I answered Rabbi's question with these words, "No, I don't believe you killed Jesus."
Rabbi returned with, "Do you believe that the Jews collectively killed Jesus?"
"Rabbi," I wrote. "I believe that Jesus is the Christ...the Messiah...Yeshua Ha'Mashiyach. As God, I do not believe that He could have been killed by any single man, but willingly gave His life because of man's sin...which includes my own. Without the sacrifice, there could have been no redemption...no salvation...and no hope for mankind to reach the heart of God."**
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