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.