Bible Questions & Answers
Q: Who Really Killed Jesus?
Why do so many blame the Jews when it clearly states that he was killed by Gentiles in Luke 18:32-33: “For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon. And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”
Who Really Killed Jesus? Are the Jews solely responsible for the death of Jesus? In a word- no! From the middle ages on, European Christians blamed the Jews, persecuted them, and called them ‘Christ killers’. Anti-Semitism still persists in some quarters today. However, I know of no theologian, Bible teacher, or any major pastor or leader from any major Christian denomination which would support such a claim today. The Roman Catholic Church absolved the Jews of responsibility during the Vatican II assembly.
The idea started with the Gospels recording that the Jewish leaders opposed Jesus, and the Sanhedrin voted to support his death. Then later a Jewish crowd yelled: “crucify him, crucify him! In Matt 27:25, they seemed to take responsibility for his death when they said: “His blood be on us and on our children!”
However, Jesus was sentenced to death by a Roman judge–Pilate. He was beaten, nailed to the cross, and crucified by Roman soldiers. So does this mean that the Italians (Romans) are really to blame? Since the Roman army was made up of a variety of Europeans. Maybe we should blame all Europeans. For sure, we can’t lay the blame solely upon the Jews. Crucifixion was a Roman form of execution. If the Jews killed Jesus, it would have been by stoning.
So who is really to blame? Maybe we should blame Jesus himself (not!) since he willingly went to his death. Or, maybe we can blame God the Father, since he sent him to die. And while we are at it, why did he have to die anyway?
God sent his Son into the World to ‘save’ his creation (John 3:16). It is by the blood of Jesus that we are saved. But why did the whole creation need to be saved? In the beginning, the first couple–Adam and Eve disobeyed God and brought sin, death, and corruption into the World. It was God’s plan to redeem humanity and all creation through his Son Jesus. So the problem started with Adam and Eve, but ended with Jesus.
Since it all started with Adam and Eve, and salvation through Jesus is the necessary remedy, then they are responsible and all their posterity (all humanity). So who is really to blame for the death of Jesus?–all humanity–even us!