Who Killed Jesus?

(Who Should We Blame)

 

Perhaps we can best answer this question by asking another question, “Whom should we blame?”

What if there is more than one person involved? Supposing two lovers hire a hit man to kill a spouse and suppose the hit man buys a gun from a man that knows what the gun will be used for and suppose the hit man has an assistant that will drive the getaway car. What makes a person responsible for a murder? Is it not willing participation in the deed? So, how responsible is the hit man, the lovers, the seller of the gun, and the driver? What penalty should be placed upon the relatives of the people involved if they had no knowledge of the scheme? This is not unlike the, “Reparations for slavery” question that has arisen in recent years. What do you think about making reparations to the descendants of slaves? What does the Bible say about some of these things and how does it relate to the question of who killed Jesus? In other words, whom should we blame?

 

Here is an important principle.

*   (Deu 24:16 NIV)  Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.

*   (Ezek 18:2-4 NIV)  "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: "'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? {3} "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. {4} For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

Now let’s look at more scriptures to see what the circumstances reveal. How many culprits can be identified?

 

Conspirators? Yes!

*   (Mark 9:30-32 NIV)  They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, {31} because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." {32} But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.

The Romans?

*   (Mat 2:13 NIV)  When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."

*   (Mark 10:33-34 NIV)  "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."

*   (Luke 18:32 NIV)  He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.


A disciple?

*   (Mat 17:22-23 NIV)  When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. {23} They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief.

*   (Mark 10:33-34 NIV)  "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."

The Jews?

*   (Mat 26:3-4 NIV)  Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, {4} and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him.

*   (Mark 11:18 NIV)  The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.

*   (Mark 14:1 NIV)  Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.

*   (John 5:17-18 NIV)  Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." {18} For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

*   (Acts 3:13-15 NIV)  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. {14} You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. {15} You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

*    (Mark 8:31-33 NIV)  He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. {32} He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. {33} But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. "Get behind me, Satan!" he said. "You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

*    (Mat 27:24-29 NIV)  When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, 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!" {25} All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" {26} Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. {27} Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. {28} They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, {29} and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said.


Jesus?

*   (Luke 9:22 NIV)  And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life."

*    (Mat 16:21 NIV)  From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

*    (Mat 20:26-28 NIV)  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, {27} and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- {28} just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

*   (Mark 10:45 NIV)  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

*   (Heb 7:27 NIV)  Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.

*    (Titus 2:12-14 NIV)  It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, {13} while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, {14} who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

The Father?

*   (Luke 22:37 NIV)  It is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment."

*   (Luke 24:44-48 NIV)  He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." {45} Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. {46} He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, {47} and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. {48} You are witnesses of these things.

*   (John 3:16-17 NIV)  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. {17} For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

*   (John 10:14-18 NIV)  "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- {15} just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. {16} I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. {17} The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again. {18} No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

Us?

*   (Gal 3:13 NIV)  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."

*  
(Titus 2:12-14 NIV)  It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, {13} while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, {14} who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

*   (2 Cor 5:14-15 RSV)  For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. {15} And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

*   (1 Tim 2:5-6 RSV)  For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, {6} who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.

*   (Heb 9:25-26 RSV)  Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own; {26} for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Why did Jesus die?

*   (Rom 3:22-26 NIV)  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, {24} and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. {25} God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- {26} he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

*    (Rom 6:22-23 NIV)  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What was going on with the Romans and the Jews”

*   (Mark 15:7-14 NIV)  A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. {8} The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. {9} "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, {10} knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. {11} But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. {12} "What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them. {13} "Crucify him!" they shouted. {14} "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

*    (Luke 23:36-38 KJV)  And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, {37} And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. {38} And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

*    (John 18:37-40 KJV)  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. {38} Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. {39} But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews? {40} Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

*    (John 19:1-16 KJV)  Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. {2} And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, {3} And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. {4} Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. {5} Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! {6} When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. {7} The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. {8} When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; {9} And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. {10} Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? {11} Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. {12} And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. {13} When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. {14} And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! {15} But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. {16} Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

Are some people guilty of other people’s sins? No!

*   (Ezek 18:19-22 NIV)  "Yet you ask, 'Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?' Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. {20} The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. {21} "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. {22} None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live.

 

So let’s summarize. All willing participants in a deed share responsibility in the deed. Therefore every group we have mentioned share’s responsibility for the death of Jesus. There is certainly a difference in the motivation of the groups. The Father and the Son were acting righteously but all the others were unrighteous and sinful. The wages of sin is death and all men except Jesus have sinned. God in his love and mercy agreed with the Son that the Son would redeem mankind and therefore must die. If Christ did not die as He did then we would not be redeemed. But we are redeemed and our redemption cost Jesus His life.  Who killed Jesus? You did, I did, we all did. Who should we blame? Look in the mirror and you will see one the guilty parties! Now let’s quit playing the blame game. Confess your sins and accept your redemption. Let’s move on!