“A new poll finds that 26 percent of Americans believe the Jews killed Jesus. They’re historically ignorant, but they do read their Bible — that is who the New Testament blames, after all” (Candida Moss, The Daily Beast).
- Is there really conflict between history and the New Testament?
- Does the New Testament “blame” one group of people for the death of Jesus Christ?
Evidently Candida Moss did not read her Bible. The Bible certainly does not blame one group of people for the death of Christ.
Scripture presents a number of participants in the death of Jesus. The historically accurate answer to the question of who put Christ to death is outlined below:
The leaders of Israel
- “Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him” (Matthew 26:3-4).
- “Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor” (Matthew 27:1-2).
- “His blood be on our hands and on the hands of our children” (Matthew 25:27).
- Judas betrayed and sold Him but later said, “I have sinned, for I have betrayed innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4).
- Prior to this, “Satan entered Judas, …. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus” (Luke 22:3).
The leaders of Rome
- “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” … “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified” (John 19:10,16).
- “… the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:27-31).
- The night before his betrayal, Jesus prayed, “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:27,28)
- “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. …This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51).
- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. … No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again” (John 10:11,18).
God the Father
- “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:4-5).
- “God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us” (Romans 8:3-4).
- “God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32).
- “God made Jesus, who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might have right standing with God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
A convergence of participants
- “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross” (Acts 2:22-23).
- “Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen” (Acts 4:27-28).
We are all to blame
- The apostle Peter, who exposed his “fellow Israelites” for using “the help of wicked men” to put Christ to death, included himself as responsible when he wrote, “He (Jesus Christ) himself bore our sins in his body on the cross…” (I Peter 2:24).
- “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (I Peter 3:18).
A display of God’s love
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17).
- “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4:9-10).
“How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom”