Why they crucified Jesus?

Professor Jacob Abraham and all others who work behind naphtalitribe.com, an eChurch 24x7, Kochi, India, loves and pray for Israel, the nation and the people. We respect the rich heritage of Rome. The following study has no intention to hurt the sentiments of any nation or people.

A joint execution

 The crucifixion of Jesus was a joint attempt by the Jewish leaders and the Roman Empire.
But they did not plan it together before hand.
It is the worst case of judicial murder without any criminal charges.
Crucifixion was not in the Jewish law.
The worst method of murder in the Jewish law was stoning to death.
Crucifixion was a Roman punishment.
When Jesus was crucified, Jews murdered Jesus and Romans crucified Him.

What was the cause?

Cause and effect is a universal theory.
For every effect there is a cause.
Every villain has his argument for his action.
He may be murdering to take revenge, to protect his honour, to promote his purpose etc.

Even an addict to alcoholism or drugs has his arguments.
He is trying to escape from frustration and depression, hopelessness in his life, loneliness, financial breakdown, breakdown of relationships etc.
So should Jews must have a reason to kill Jesus.
What was it? What is the significance of it to us?
This is what we discuss in this message.

The arrest of Jesus

The Jewish religious leaders had formed accusations against Jesus
But they lacked sufficient evidence against Him
Still they arrested Jesus.

Matthew 26: 59, 60  
59  The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
60  But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward (NIV)

Accusations against Jesus was ready with them

John 5:18  For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (NIV)

Jews murdered Jesus, because He claimed to be the Son of God.
We, those who believes in Jesus are blessed with the same truth that Jesus is the Son of God.

John 7:  12  Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.”

But they need witness to the accusations charged against Him.

This was a bad case of crime and punishment.
Justice is to arrest a person on the ground of clear evidence.
Here an innocent man is arrested without any evidence against him.

Still Jesus was arrested like a thief or highway robber

Matthew 26 : 47  While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. (NIV)

Matthew 26 : 55  In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.

Jesus was not a rebel, He was not a robber
He was a Jewish Rabbi.
They way He was arrested was injustice.

 Jesus before the chief priests

 Matthew 26 : 59 - 61
59  The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death.
60  But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward
61  and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” (NIV)

Let us see what is the truth about this false accusation.

John 2: 18 - 22
18  The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
19  Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
20  They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?”
21  But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
22  After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. (NIV)

Jesus was talking about His death and resurrection.
But the religiously blind Jews could not understand it.

Matthew 26: 63 - 66
63  But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64  “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65  Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy.
66  What do you think?” “He is worthy of death,” they answered.

So Jews accused Him of:

1.   Blasphemy – making Himself equal with God, Called himself Christ, the Son of God
2.   Destroying the temple
3.   He deceived the people
4.   Broken the Sabbath – Broken Mosaic Laws

The truth about breaking Mosaic Laws

Jesus was a Rabbi with authority

Jesus seems to be a type of rabbi believed to have s'mikhah or authority to make new interpretations.
Most of the teachers were Torah teachers (teachers of the law) who could only teach accepted interpretations.
Those with authority (today "ordination") could make new interpretations and pass legal judgments.

Matthew 7:28, 29
28  When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching,
29  because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (NIV)

The yoke of Torah

Rabbis invited people to learn from them to keep the Torah.
This invitation was called taking "the yoke of Torah" or "the yoke of the kingdom of heaven".

Rabbi's with s'mikhah or authority would have a new interpretation or yoke.
Torah teachers would teach the accepted interpretations or yoke of their community.

Jesus was a Rabbi who would present a new interpretation that was easy and light (to understand not necessarily to do)

Matthew 11: 28 - 30
28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

Fulfilling the Torah

Matthew 5: 17, 18
17   “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18   For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

Fulfilling the Torah was the task of a first century rabbi.
The technical term for interpreting the Scripture so it would be obeyed correctly was "fulfill."

To interpret Scripture incorrectly so it would not be obeyed as God intended was to "destroy" or “abolish” the Torah.

Jesus did not come to do away with God's Torah or Old Testament.
He came to complete it and to show how to correctly keep it.

One of the ways Jesus interpreted the Torah was to stress the importance of the right attitude of heart as well as the right action.

Disruptive teachings of Jesus

The most important challenge Jesus presented was entirely – profoundly - religious

His forgiving of sins was a galvanizing issue among the opposition.
Jesus was claiming a prerogative of God.

If people could get their sins forgiven by an itinerant preacher, why bother to make sacrifice?

This raised a threat to Temple contributions.
It affected the income of the bankers, who exchanged pagan currency for ritually pure coins.
It destroyed business of the vendors of sacrificial animals.
There was real money at stake here.

“I am the way”

Jesus was only one of many figures who started movements, gained followers, and raised hopes that Messiah had finally come.
But he was unique in his emphasis on himself as the very means of salvation.

“I am the way” not the religion Judaism

This was a significant departure from Judaism.
Jews of His time believed that a membership in the Jewish community and living the Jewish way of life would lead to holiness.

By what authority did Jesus set forth this proposition that everything depended upon him?
And if people chose to follow the course he laid out for them,

Living as Jews became less important than living by His words and His example and His promises.
Would they still be Jews?

Law to stone the blasphemer

John 19: 7  The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”

Leviticus 24: 16   anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.

Jews had the law to kill a blasphemer
They accused Jesus of blasphemy
But Jews did not kill Jesus.

They might have voted him worthy of death; but they could not put him to death, as far as it concerned affairs of state.
The power of life and death was in all probability taken from the Jews when Judea was made a Roman province.
Yet it was continued to them in matters which were wholly of an ecclesiastical nature.

But the Jewish religious leaders of the time preferred to persuade the Roman Governor Pilate that they were proceeding against Jesus as an enemy of the state, and not as a transgressor of their own laws and customs.
They laid peculiar stress on his being an enemy to the Roman government.

At one occasion when they found Pilate disposed to let him go, they asserted that if he did he was not Caesar's friend.

John 19: 12   From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” (NIV)

It was this that intimidated Pilate, and induced him to give him up, that they might crucify him.

Crucifixion was fulfillment of the scripture

Unknowingly and unintentionally Jews of the time were fulfilling the scripture.

            John 18: 31, 32
31  Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected.
32  This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

Matthew 20: 18, 19
18  “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death
19  and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!” (NIV)

John 12 : 32, 33
32  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
33  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

Crucifixion was the fulfillment of the Jesus’ words about His death.

So Jews did not kill Jesus, but they took Him to the Roman authorities.

Jesus before Pilate or the Roman Law

Before the Roman Law, Jesus was tried not as a false teacher, but as a rebel to the empire.

Matthew 27: 11   Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. (NIV)

While Romans were ruling the Judea, the “King of Jews” is a usurper to the Rome.
But Pilate did not take the claim of Jesus as a King seriously.
It might be because Jesus and His followers posed no threat to Rome
They seemed to Pilate a group of freaks.

            Luke 23: 1 - 4
1        Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.
2        And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”
   So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.
   Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”

            Luke 23: 14, 15
14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.
15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. (NIV)

           Matthew 27: 22 - 25
22  “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23  “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24  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, “His blood is on us and on our children!”  (NIV)

John 19 : 12         From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” (NIV)

Luke 23 : 24    So Pilate decided to grant their demand.  (NIV)

When the Jewish leaders wanted to kill someone, they usually sent their henchmen to gather a mob and stone the victim to death.
Crucifixion was a Roman method of punishment, and it is a basic fact that Roman soldiers, not Jews, put Jesus on the cross.
Roman soldiers crucified Jesus under the accusation of rebellion against the Roman Empire.
Under Roman law, anyone who claimed to be a king was guilty of rebellion against the emperor. The normal punishment was crucifixion.

The “King” presumption continues

Matthew 27: 29   and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.

Matthew 27 : 37    Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.  (NIV)

Was Jesus really a King?

Yes. Jesus really was and is a King.

            John 18: 33, 36 - 38
33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. (NIV)

            John 19: 10, 11
10  “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
11  Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” (NIV)

A rejected king

Jesus as a king was rejected both by the Jews and the gentiles.

John 19: 15  But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.  (NIV)

Jews not only rejected Jesus as king, but also accepted a gentile king as their king.

            John 18 : 39, 40
39  But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40  They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.   (NIV)

            Hebrews 9: 16, 17
16    In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it,
17      because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.  (NIV)

By His death, Jesus brought into force a new will.
A new Will that offered us Salvation by Grace through faith in Him
A new Will that makes us joint heirs of the Kingdom of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment