Who Really Killed Jesus?
I’m tempted to stop there because it’s true, but it’s not the whole story. I should also add this statement:
Some of you are nodding your heads with gratefulness as you appreciate the seriousness of this charge and the wonder that God forgives those who demanded his death. Others are saying, “But wait. I thought it was the religious leaders who incited the crowd. And wasn’t it Judas who alone betrayed Jesus? The Roman soldiers are to blame for flogging Jesus, donning his head with the crown of thorns, nailing him to the cross and piercing his side. How can you possibly accuse me?”
I didn’t. God did.
When I read the retelling of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, I realize that I would have been like Peter when he denied Jesus three times. I would have been like the thief on the cross who wanted to see Jesus save himself. I would have run away like the disciple who lost his clothes in his haste. But I also would have followed the crowd in demanding Jesus die. My voice would have joined the chorus, “Crucify him!”
The problem is sometimes I think I would have been an innocent bystander who didn’t play an active role in Jesus’ death. I couldn’t be more wrong.
Every time I sin—whether a wrong word or thought, an angry outburst filled with hatred, a fit of jealousy or some other selfish attempt to satisfy my desires—I crucify Jesus.
Jesus came to live a perfect life and die a perfect death for sinners deserving of eternal condemnation. Unless I see that I deserved to die on that cross and that Jesus took my rightful punishment, I don’t really understand the beauty, the mystery and the wonder of the cross.
John Stott noted, “Until you see the cross as that which is done by you, you will never appreciate that it is done for you.”
Martin Luther observed that we all carry His very nails in our pockets.
So, who really killed Jesus? I did.
And I’m forever grateful…