Who killed Jesus?


Acts 2: 23         NLV

“With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.”

It is fascinating how much resentment and anger people carry towards others in this matter, and how much recrimination goes with it. However, the legal maneuvering of Jesus’ trials and conviction is quite interesting to study and there are some interesting things that come from it.

For example, it is interesting to me that it took the ruling authorities of both the Jews and the Romans to crucify Jesus. Here is my take on this, both the Romans and the Jews were complicit in the death of Jesus. This was so neither future generations of Gentiles nor future Jews could feign innocence. The blood that saved was for everyone, but it is also true that everyone is responsible for that precious blood having to be spilled. The uncomfortable truth is that the person responsible for crucifying Jesus is staring back at me in the mirror. This is the truth that breaks our hearts, but it is also the truth which sets us free, because it was for our sins that Jesus determined to go to the cross. He saw the prize and considered it worth the price. Jesus looked into the future and saw you and saw me and then turned his face towards Calvary. That is amazing.  It is beyond words. Thank you, Jesus, and thank you Father. We will never be able to thank them enough.

Let us allow this epiphany to swell and grow because there is another important fact we must acknowledge. The truth is that no one killed Jesus, no one could. Remember that when they went to arrest him that all he did was speak, and they were all knocked off their feet. He had to wait for them to regain their feet and their senses before they could arrest him (see John 18). Also, read in the eighth chapter of John where people picked up stones to stone Jesus, but he disappeared from right in front of them. Most importantly, consider this from Jesus himself, “No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again, for this is what my Father has commanded,” (John 10: 18). This is the big truth, the glowing reality.

It was for this season that Jesus came to earth. Without regard to what the Jews did, or what the Romans did, the die was cast as soon as Jesus came to earth. Early in his ministry Jesus, “began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise from the dead” (Mark 8: 31) and yet they were surprised when the time came for him to go to the cross. They couldn’t hear the truth and sometimes, neither can we. When we read that he had to go to the cross, we still wish it wasn’t so and entertain denial in our own minds even though we know what happened. The truth is sometimes a bitter pill, but ultimately it heals and sets free. And this is that castor oil; if you were the only person on earth, Jesus would have still chosen the cross. You are that important to him. It was his choice to be the perfect sacrifice so that we could spend eternity with him and with our Father and his.

The beauty of Easter is not only that he is alive. That is, obviously, fabulous news. It is life to us. But this Easter, I thank God that he gave His only child and I gratefully worship Jesus for his sacrificial choice. He chose the cross so that I might live. I find that amazing and worth celebrating.


Mark 15: 46

Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb which had been cut out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

In the attitude of seeking the Lord and reaffirming my devotion to Him, I have been thinking of Easter differently. As we near the Easter celebration I am pondering my life on this side of the grave but with a view from the other side. Here is what I mean by that.

Imagine yourself standing before the tomb in which Jesus would later be laid. Perhaps you are one of his disciples and you know what is about to occur. See yourself standing there, looking at Jesus’ burial chamber knowing his dead body will soon lie there. What emotions rise up in you? What does devotion and seeking him mean from that side of the grave when you have the knowledge of what will occur? In other words, what would the idea of devotion and dedication mean to you if I could, right this moment, transport you to the tomb which received Jesus while at the same time translate you to mere days before his crucifixion? If I could send you back with all your present knowledge, to stand before Jesus’ grave, what would that feel like?

I am asking myself if my devotion to him would be changed in an instant. Would I burst into tears knowing about the cross or would I shout praises thinking of his resurrection? Perhaps I would run through the town desperately seeking him. I sorta think my reaction would be the latter. I think I would be frantic to find him. Now here is the question I am asking myself as I face the cross, “Why am I not seeking him as desperately right now?” Easter is 37 days away, by my reckoning. The cross and the tomb loom before me. The truth of his resurrection burns in my bones. I am faced with his coming torture, death, burial and eventual victorious resurrection. It is fresh and new, not 2000 years old. I am facing that reality now. Why don’t I shout, sing, cry, pray or praise? Why am I not moved to great acts of seeking him?

This is one devotional where I will ask you not to imitate me. Be more devout in your search for his heart. Chase him down in the streets and demand his attention. Go with him, following every step he takes. Listen to every word he speaks and cherish each one as a precious pearl.

Thirty-seven days. On this side of history, we know what the next thirty-seven days would mean in the life of Christ. I guess the question is, what do those thirty-seven days mean to our lives?

From Christmas to the Cross

Romans 12: 10        (Amplified)

Love one another with brotherly affections [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.

This is a tall order to fill. Nonetheless, God would not have given us this directive if He had not also empowered us to do it. This, being the season of ultimate love, it is worthwhile to look at love from the author of love, our own dear Father. Even as we celebrate the birth of Christ, our sight drifts forward to the sure knowledge of Calvary. While the angels sang and the shepherds rejoiced in pure delight for the arrival of the Messiah, God in heaven knew the destiny of the babe, though men did not know. They did not realize that the Messiah would save all by sacrificing himself. Men thought of a conquering Lord of war. Little did they know that Jesus would overcome by his stripes and it was his deep and abiding love for you and me that gave him the strength to receive those stripes. It was love that brought him into the earth and it was love that put him on that cross. And it is love that will carry us all home.

He now lives inside of us. Because of that, his love also lives inside of us. We are able to love in a holy, self-sacrificial way because love has come and made its abode with us. Because He first loved, we love. And not because anyone deserves our love. Many do not deserve yours or God’s love, but He showed us how to love even when we were undeserving and unworthy. Now by his grace and because of His love and mercy, we love others, even the unlovely; those who are difficult to love. He loves them so we allow His love to work through us. Because He first loved a people; a person, who was unworthy of love and even unwilling to be loved, we allow him to express himself through us. During this season, His love is more touchable than ever. Let your heart be soft allowing him to fill you to overflowing with His goodness and love. Then pass it on. In his name.