This theme is not an elementary one yet it exhibits complexities that are in many ways concealed within prevailing philosophies of theologies. I say this because the participants are varied in that they embody the religious, governmental, theocratic and a racial era of its time. I would suppose that if this question were presented to a group of diversified religions a variety of answers would ensue. Some as the topic suggest would indicate a prevalent blame for the death of Christ on the Jewish people or perhaps an evil subconscious working between the crowds and peoples gathered at his trial. Others would attribute responsibility at the feet of those that wished him lifeless for the words he proclaimed among religious authorities. Others would pose the cause for crucifixion at Rome and their signet through Pilate. I have given this thought and wish to demonstrate that although the above-mentioned participants are worthy and possessed motive, none were the perpetrators of the death of Christ. In an effort to discern this enigma there exits distinct sources that may be logically utilized in the steering of a truth that is evident once all the accumulated evidence is posed.
One such instrument that is readily available for reference is the Holy Bible. Over the centuries many have attempted to expose this book as the writings of fiction. This book states times of day, people, places and settings in empirical history that transcend both the cultural and archeological and to this very era may be declared as existential and accurate. I therefore combine the Holy Scripture with the arrangement of Judea and assert that death to this individual could have been precipitated from a minimum of three areas with respect to established authorities. The first would be the “political” or the Roman authorities uniform with the region’s “legal” boundaries and therefore subject to the Caesar through the governorship of Pontius Pilate. The second would be through the religious leaders of the Sanhedrin and Sadducees controlling the church or “theological” aspects of daily life and the third player would be Satan himself (Michael Caputo). I believe that although the above mentioned were implicated in nefarious actions and contributed with regard to putting Jesus away, none were actually guilty of his death. This brings us to the possibility of predestination. This concept has all the players present to affect a sequence of events that lead to the death of Jesus but each in their own way is exonerated from that conclusion as the paramount guilty party. This concept also negates collusion as an instigator of cause and effect.
Starting with the populous in general, we should remember that Christ was ministering for three and one half years while visiting many areas within and around the area of Galilee. He ministered to “multitudes” (Mat. 13:2, 14:19, 15:30, 20:31, 21:46, 23:1) and we know the term from our own language to be comparable with a large gathering of a vast number (Webster, 835). I would logically think that those individuals who took the time to walk significant distances to hear this man and what he had to tell them would be inclined to relate and bond with the essence of those messages and the implied authority that the “multitudes” had conferred. From the beginning of his ministry it was understood by those witnesses to the curing of individuals that were stricken with all manners of disease and torment. As far away as Syria people were aware of these medical phenomenons (Mat.4: 24) and traveled because of that impetus. The numbers of people that followed Jesus were vast and they traveled from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem and Jordan (Mat.4: 25). They were serious about what they heard and therefore cared about that source. They believed in Jesus because they witnessed of the miracles that were preformed in their midst. They knew that he was the one foretold by the prophets. Would these have been swayed so easily to believe that he was anything other than the Son of God? Remember also that as the Son of God, He would know “from the beginning” those that would not believe in who he was (John 6:64). Of that population were those that had position within the church of this era and local and they would report on these activities as well. Now we come to the religious authorities that would feel envy and hate toward this perceived threat to their control. John 7: 25 states, of “those” in Jerusalem that wish to kill Jesus. The word “those” refer to the “rulers” (John 7:26). Were they aware? In John 32 they send officers to take him. The religious leaders (Pharisees) had division and debate on this. The scripture that they followed stated Christ would come from the seed of David out of Bethlehem (John 7:42). Because Christ arrived from Galilee, some of the leaders doubted the veracity of Christ as the true prophet and linked the words from Jesus with sedition. In the temple where Jesus was speaking the Pharisees again asked him who he was. Jesus replied that he was doing the works of the Holy father in heaven and again that the father (God) had sent him to these people for the miracles that they may believe (John 10:25). Here again, Jesus claims that the works he is doing are the works of God. The individuals hear this as blasphemy as they state man cannot be as God (John 10:33). This brings conflict as Jesus explains that the miracles he preforms are real and they see that they are in fact, real. Therefore logic would dictate that Jesus should be taken at his word for he preforms them precisely because he “is” the Son of God. Those around him again tried to take Jesus for he had said that he and the Holy father are the same (John 10:30).
The Pharisees were in a bind and it was very evident that their authority was in dire jeopardy when Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave (John 11:44). The chief priests along with the Pharisees again send men to accompany Judas in search of Jesus however, Jesus sought them out first and upon that meeting, was escorted to Annas first then Caiaphas then to Pilate for the sentence of crucifixion. It is obvious to understand that the religious authorities wanted Jesus killed. They attempted, on many occasions to posses him and finally on the incrimination of blasphemy he was convicted. Was the religious leadership culpable in this death? Yes. The general population had an influence over them that they could not perceive. Was the population? In so far as the Jerusalem populous is concerned they did not understand the meanings of what Jesus was telling them and there is good reason for that. They were under an influence as well. For the theological leadership the sentence was a technicality but sufficient for their laws and purposes.
The Roman government was represented by Pontius Pilate. In this case the prosecution of Jesus rested on an issue that Pilate could not justify. Remember that the Jews did not have the power or authority to execute anyone only stone them or banishment from town. Authority for the dispensation of death had to come from Rome and Jewish violations of blasphemy was not considered an executable act from Rome’s standpoint. Acts worthy of death from a roman standpoint had to be sedition and the pronouncement of Crist being God and the Messiah was an estimable offence (Article/2741027) as well as the phrase “King of the Jews” used to enhance the Tiberius advancement (John 19:12). Pilate was just visiting and the timing was perfect for it was the period of Passover. Unrest at this time would have brought the attention of Valerius Gratus and Emperor Tiberius. Pilate surly did not want any roman investigation from these levels. Keeping the peace with the populous was imperative and the release of someone during this time of feast was required. So he did what the citizenries “wanted” to solve this issue (Lint, 2004) in a satisfactory manor which prompted the release of Barabbas (Matthew 27:20, Mark: 15:15). Interestingly, Pilate found no guilt with Jesus, nor did Herod (Lk 23:11). The chief priests “moved” the people to release Barabbas (Mark 15:11) and I believe that this issue has a far deeper meaning in providing the rest of the answer.
We proceed to the extenuation of the crucifixion of Christ. The mass gatherings of individuals witnessing such astonishing feats that would defy explanations in physical laws were profound indeed. For the assembling of individuals to demand for the crucifixion of such an individual is breathtaking in its comprehension. Certainly, many of those gathered outside of where Pilate addressed them would have been aware of what they were asking for. Although Jesus never said, he was their King (Mark 15; 2), he did tell them that he was the Christ (Mark 14:62). Jesus never said he was the King of the Jews but always when referencing to “King” it was to the kingdom of man and heaven’s authority that he was King. He denied that he was the Son of God to the religious council (Luke 22:70). So where was the sedition? He denied he was a King of the Jew and he denied he was the Son of God. Was it in pronouncing he was the Christ? This all seems to be a mystery until a certain phrase is brought to light. In John 7:39, Jesus talks of the Holy Ghost while in the temple. Interestingly, the Holy Ghost did not exist yet as Jesus had not been glorified through the resurrection from physical death. It is the Holy Ghost’s causation that keeps evil and temptation from influencing malevolent activeness on our character. In those days the population was open to such temptation from Satan and his minions. They had no protection whatsoever. Satan had a free reign. This is important. There are several issues that pertain to the cause of Christ’s death. The first is that Jesus knew he would face this conclusion (Luke 9:51) when he arrived (baptized) upon this earth. He knew that he was sent to accomplish the redeeming of mankind through his death (John 17:1) and he knew all this in heaven before the earth was even created (John 17:24). The events leading to Christ’s death were acknowledged in heaven prior to the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:21) which compliments the fact that this plan of man’s redemption was foretold many eras before through the prophets. I feel that the main issue with Jesus was not that he would die but that he had to suffer as a man bearing the painful sin of death as inflicted by man. This is why he needed strength. Satan duped himself because he really thought that evil had conquered man by death from the cross by way of population influence (Sadducees, Pharisees, Sanhedrin, elders, priests, general populous) and the resurrection and redemption aspect taking man’s soul from his command was beyond his understanding. I doubt that he was even aware of the plan for the Holy Ghost to be attainable by us. To imply therefore, that someone killed Jesus misses the mark. It was ordained millennia before the angel spoke to Mary that this plan was to unfold. Was Jesus killed or did he commit suicide? To imply he was killed means that Jesus could not stop that conclusion and he was unaware of the outcome. We both know that he had to die to remove the death sentence from mankind and he knew that. He transferred death’s conclusion on man from Hades to Paradise by his own commitment to the Father and for us. We still die but we have been redeemed to live again in the third heaven and eventually back here. Did he take his life? No, he gave it. So, who killed Jesus? No one.
Webster’s Dictionary. Encyclopedic Edition, 1998.
www.discbooks.org Lint. Edwin, G. 2004.
The Holy Bible. National Publishing Company. 1978