Who Killed Jesus?
By Ronald Graham
The Catholic pope recently released a book in which he exonerates the Jewish people of their roll in the conspiracy resulting in the murder of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. Wow, the Catholic Church moving from millennia of anti-Semitism, to all out Jew haters of WWII, to exonerating the Jews from any blame in the conspiracy to kill Jesus. Now that’s phenomenal. Although, when we read the Bible for ourselves we learn a lot about those who attempted to kill Jesus. We know that the Roman soldiers drove the spikes that suspended Jesus on that cross, but we find it was the Jews who did all the plotting against Jesus. But the question of this commentary is “Who actually killed Jesus?”
Yes Roman soldiers certainly took part in Jesus’ death, but those Roman soldiers didn’t kill Jesus. So who did? A quick perusal through the New Testament gives us plenty of evidence against many of the Jewish people of that era who conspired to kill our Lord. “Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;” Matthew 26:59. These folks were all Jews.
“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.” Luke 4:29. Jesus had just finished reading to some Jewish folks in the synagogue from the book of Isaiah. What Jesus said caused these Jews to see red. What was so bad? Here are Jesus’ final words to this group “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. …And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:18-19, and 21. Jesus explained to His listeners that this was His mission here on earth, that those scriptures He had just read had now been fulfilled. After this statement, spoken by their Messiah, those particular Jews conspired to kill Him.
In the 12th chapter of the Book of Matthew there is an obvious point where the Jews fully reject their Messiah. “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” Matthew 12:24. So in the minds of the Pharisees, the rulers of the Jews, Jesus is Satan. From chapter 13 of the book Matthew to the end of that book we see that Jesus only spoke in parables in order that the Jewish leadership would not understand Him.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” John 8:44. Jesus pulls no punches as He speaks to the Jewish leadership and others standing around. He tells them how evil they are and that they are the children of their father the devil. Many today look at Jesus as a lightweight without the courage to stand up to His detractors. This exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees shines the true light on our Messiah. The Pharisees response to Jesus’ forcefulness was predictable from all we already know about the Jews of that day. “Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?” John 8:52-53. Jesus, through much patience, is continually attempting to tell these folks who He is and His response to the above statement by the Jewish leadership is just a further attempt at the same. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? John 8:56-57. Can’t you just hear the sarcasms and distain in their voices? They were mocking Him. All Jesus said and did meant nothing to these folks. Then the Creator of the universe laid it completely on the line in the next verse. “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” John 8:58.
The Jew’s response to Jesus’ statement above tells us exactly what they had in mind for the one who they rejected as their Messiah. “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” John 8:59. Jesus was not afraid of those Jews who wanted to kill Him, but His time had not yet come. Only Jesus Himself would determine when and where He would allow Himself to be taken.
In another instance Jesus healed a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years. When the Jews finally understood who healed this man they were outraged, not only because Jesus had healed this infirm man on the Sabbath, “But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” John 5:17, but also because He had made Himself equal to God, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5:18. But the question still remains, “Who killed Jesus?”
“After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.” John 7:1. I’m sure there’s no doubt in the reader’s mind as to who it was that conspired to kill Jesus. Conspiring to kill someone and then actually pulling off such a deed are two different things. The Jews of Jesus’ day did not kill Him.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30. These statements by the Creator of the universe disturbed the Jews greatly and their response was obvious and logical in their minds. The Jews doubted Jesus at every turn, and their response to the Messiah was always the same. “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.” John 10:31. It’s true, they wanted Him dead. But did those Jews actually kill Jesus the Christ?
The scriptures are clear; many of the Jews of those days desperately wanted Jesus dead. But they didn’t kill Him. Therefore the Jews would need no such exoneration from a pope. God has never given it to any of the Catholic popes to extend forgiveness for man’s sins. God alone forgives us of our sins; all we need to do is ask. Yes, Jesus the Christ was and is fully man, yet He was and is also fully God. The pope is simply a man who other men have elevated to a position of authority over a group of deceived individuals.
So, the Jews were the instigators of Jesus’ death. The Roman soldiers clearly drove the spikes into Jesus’ body and crucified Him. But none of this tells us “Who killed Jesus.”
“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 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.” John 10:18. Jesus laid down His own life for His creation through His own power. And Jesus picked up His own life, again, for His creation and by His power. So, you want to know who killed our Messiah, Jesus. Well the answer is simple. The responsibility of Jesus’ most horrible death lies at my feet. Yes, I killed Jesus and so did you. It was our sin that nailed Him to that cross, and He went willingly. And it was His love for us that kept Him there until He gave up His own life, “No man taketh it from me.”
No one person or group of people killed the Creator of the universe. The sin of the world had to be dealt with so all of humanity could be reconciled to the one true God. In the Garden of Eden man rebelled against his Creator, this rebellion had to be dealt with. The Creator, Jesus the Christ, had no other choice than to become mankind’s “Kinsman Redeemer” so man could once again be reconciled to Him.
Blaming the Jews for the death of Christ is nothing more than hate. Christ Himself blames no one. He forgives everyone if only we will accept His death on that cross, and His subsequent resurrection from the grave as full atonement for our sins.
The one thing none of us need is a man who thinks he speaks for God to exonerate the Jewish people or any of us of any wrong doing, for any sin, or for the death of Christ. “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. As Jesus Christ hung on that cross looking down on the ones who accused Him and upon those who drove the spikes into His body, He forgave them. Forgiveness from the Creator of the universe is all anyone needs.
God bless you all,
All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed