By Pete Rose
Who did kill Jesus? Was it the Jews? Was it Judas? Was it the Romans? Was it us? Let’s take a look...
Was it the Jews? Many have accused the Jews of being Christ killers. But were they, really?
It was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the Jewish religious authorities for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Mark 14:15), and then gave Him over to those who came with him to the garden. He also was guilty in the death of Jesus.
It was the multitude (mob might be a better term) that Judas led to the garden who arrested Jesus and delivered him to the Jewish religious leaders (Mark 14:43-45). They share in Judas’ guilt.
It was the religious Jews who were jealous of Jesus. Mark 15:10 tells us Pilate was aware that the chief priests had delivered him up because of envy. So we know they had a part.
Mark 14:56-59 tells us the Sanhedrin (or council) brought in false witnesses trying to find something-anything they could charge Jesus with so they could condemn him.
The false witnesses willingly brought false testimony against Jesus, so they in part were responsible. The high priest and Sanhedrin all condemned Jesus to death (Mark 14:63-64) so they had a part.
Mark 15:12 tells of the mob surrounding the site of the trial, egged on by the chief priests, calling for Pilate to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. Some of them were doubtless Jews, but all took part.
So from all this we know that the Jews did take part in killing Jesus. But wait, there’s more. It wasn’t just the Jews.
Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator for that province, a gentile, knowing that Jesus was innocent, gave the order for Him to be crucified (Mark 15:15). He also is guilty of causing Jesus’ death.
The Roman soldiers who scourged Jesus, who pulled out His beard, who mocked him and made fun of him, all had a part in killing Jesus (Mark 15:16-19).
The Roman soldier who twisted the crown of thorns together and jammed it down on Jesus’ head (Mark 15:17) had his part.
The Roman soldiers who led Jesus on a winding path through the city to Golgotha carrying his cross, 20-22) all had their part.
The soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross, gave him wine mixed with myrrh, who gambled over His clothes, who mocked and taunted Him on the cross, all shared in the guilt of His death Mark 15:23-29).
The soldiers who guarded Jesus' tomb, who accepted a bribe to tell a false story which has come down through history even to today, that the disciples stole his body while they were sleeping, all were involved (Matthew 28:11-15).
But wait, that’s not all. It wasn't just the Jews, it wasn't just the Romans.
It was all of us. Even God had a part.
How so? God and Jesus knew before the foundation of the world that man, His highest creation, would fall into sin from Adam, the first man, onward. God is holy and cannot allow sin in Heaven. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:10 says “There is none righteous, no not one...”. Man in his natural state is excluded from heaven, and has only one other place to go to—hell.
2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “...God is not willing that any should perish [go to hell], but that all would come to repentance.” In other words, God wants us to turn from our sin and accept His remedy for sin.
John 3:16-18 tells us, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that all who believe on Him should have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved. He who believes on Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God.”
The death of Jesus was all part of God's plan for the redemption of sinful mankind. There had to be a sacrifice.
Hebrews 9:22 declares that without the shedding of [innocent] blood there is no remission or forgiveness of sins. God established before the world was that the only way sins to be forgiven was for an innocent substitute to die in the sinner's place, by shedding of blood. In the Old Testament this substitute was a lamb without spot or blemish, a type of Christ. But this lamb was only effective for the sinner offering it, and only for that particular sin. But God had a better way.
It was agreed between God and Jesus before the world was, that Jesus would be born as a mortal baby on Earth, would grow up as a man and would be tested and tempted in every way common men are tried and tempted, and after that to offer himself as the sinless sacrifice, the Lamb of God, as the one sacrifice for all mankind forever.
Hebrews 10:4 tells us that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins [it only provides a temporary covering]. But verse 14 tells us that “by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” [set apart—in this case for salvation]. So it was your sins, my sins, the sins of all mankind that put Jesus on the cross.
And He went there willingly, for us, that we could be saved. It was Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross that opened the way for salvation for all mankind, for all times. That’s how much God—Jesus—loves us.
2 Corinthians 5:21 confirms this: “For He [God] made Him who knew no sin [Jesus] to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him.”
But does this mean everyone in the world can be saved? Yes.
Does it mean everyone in the world will be saved? No. Only those who come to Jesus and accept His mercy in faith will be saved.
But do I have to understand the whole Bible to be saved? No. In fact if you’re not saved you can't understand the Bible. The Bible is a spiritual book and only by the Spirit of God can it be understood, and only saved people have the Spirit of God living in them.
Here is all you need to understand in order to be saved :
· You are a sinner, and as such condemned to hell.
· Jesus’ death on the cross has fully paid for all your sins, and His resurrection is proof of that.
· Jesus will gladly save you, if only you will ask him to.
But don't put it off. You have no assurance of tomorrow. You could die of a heart attack before the sun rises tomorrow. You could die in an auto accident. You could die in any number of ways, and if you die without Jesus, there's only one other place you can go, and that's hell. Hell is a horrible place, a place of unimaginable torment and suffering. You do not want to go there.
Only by allowing Jesus into your life can you gain eternal life, and go to heaven with Him. Do this, and when you pass off of this Earth you will spend all of eternity with Jesus, to be with Him where He is now.