by Anne Lang Bundy
Who killed Jesus? ~ Anonymous
I offer these questions in reply: Who didn't kill Jesus? Exactly what killed Jesus?
The scheme to kill Jesus was empowered by satan. (Luke 22:3-4)
The betrayer Judas arranged for Jesus to be seized and killed. (Matthew 26:14-15)
The leaders of the Jews orchestrated the execution of Jesus. (Matthew 27:1-2)
The people of Israel had gathered to Jerusalem for Passover, nearly rioted to demand Jesus' death, and declared that His blood should be upon them and their descendants. (Matthew 27:20-25)
Pilate clearly willed to release Jesus, affirmed Jesus as King, and washed His hands of Jesus' blood—yet gave the consent by which both the individual Roman soldiers under his command and the Roman government carried out the crucifixion of Jesus. (John 19:16-22)
Jesus Himself submitted to death despite His power to escape it (Matthew 26:53)—not because it was His will (Matthew 26:39-44), but because it was the will of His Father:
Yet it was the will of YHWH to crush Him with grief of suffering.
When You make His soul a sacrificial offering for sin,
He shall see His seed,
He shall prolong His days.
The will of YHWH will prosper [triumph] in Him.
Isaiah 53:10 (author; full context: Isaiah 53)
God set in motion all these events because there was no other way to remove the guilt of our sins and triumph over death:
... without shedding of blood there is no pardon for sin... [Christ] has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself... Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many.
Hebrews 9:22,26,28 (NKJV)
The "many" for whom Jesus died is all humanity. Thus we might see ourselves responsible for His death only as part of the collective human race—except that each of us has sinned as an individual and is therefore personally guilty.
Exactly what killed Jesus? The above verse of Isaiah 53:10 says Jesus was crushed with chalah, a Hebrew word for sickness of grief or extreme suffering. Medical science and Scripture indicate that Jesus likely died neither as a result of bleeding to death nor of the suffocation which accompanies crucifixion, but of extreme grief. For more details, see "Broken."
Please allow me to suggest that when we resist the touch of the Lord in our lives, we fail to show appreciation for Jesus' death and continue to cause Him grief.
© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy
Image from the movie "Passion of the Christ," © 2004 Icon Productions