James Harmon
“The truth will set you free” (John 8:32)

Some Objectivity Required

I found the following statistics disheartening. I’ve suspected lately that this ancient Biblically ignorant idea has made a resurgence, once again, in some Christian quarters. From an editorial on All Israel News: “Posts claiming that ‘Jews killed Jesus’ increased by more than 1,000% on the X platform, formerly Twitter, in the first week after the Oct. 7 massacre and before Israel had even begun its operations against Hamas in Gaza. The reach of posts containing the phrase ‘Jews killed Jesus’ in the days after the attack, known by Israelis as the ‘Black Shabbat,’ climbed from 2.8 billion views before Oct. 7 to 4.2 billion views between Oct. 7 and Oct. 24.” ( i ). The thinking behind this antisemitic ignorance is that all Jews, regardless of their time in history, are guilty of putting Jesus to death. To hold to this position is the equivalent of saying that all white people are guilty of slavery. This is demonic antisemitism, disguising itself as a Biblical doctrine. It is a false doctrine and ignorance of God’s Word is at it’s root. Ignorance of God’s Word and a denial of the inerrant and infallible nature of God’s Word is a disease infecting much of Christianity today.

With regards to “the Jews killed Jesus” mantra, here is a very quick summary of the facts. “Now when the morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people conferred together against Jesus to put Him to death.” (Mathew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66; John 18:28). This group made up the Sanhedrin which was, essentially, the Supreme Court of Israel. They took Jesus before Pilate as only the Romans, at that time, could legally put a man to death. Pilate wants nothing to do with this “But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death.” (Mathew 27:20). The political / religious authorities of the day stir up a mob to do it’s work. Pilate hands Jesus over to the Roman soldiers, and after scourging Him and humiliating Him they crucify Him.

Jesus was a Jew. His disciples were Jews. Many of Jesus’ followers, disciples not counted in the 12, were Jews. There were a lot of Jews in the land at that time who were not in the crowd that was persuaded by the Sanhedrin to condemn Jesus to death. So not all Jews at that time were guilty of condemning Him to death just as not all Romans were guilty of nailing Him to a cross. A more accurate statement, then, would be that some Jews, at that time in history, condemned Him to death and some Romans, at that time in history, nailed Him to a cross.

But it makes no difference as to who did what. Jesus had to go to the cross. It was prophesied in the Old Testament that He would be the suffering Messiah. (Cf Psalm 22:16, 69:21; Isaiah 50:6; 52:13; 53:12; Zechariah 12:10). Without the cross there is no salvation! Jesus, because of His union with His Deity, knew that it was the Father’s will for Him to go to the cross and He knew what was going to occur on that cross. The Sanhedrin, the Jews in the crowd, Pilate and the Roman soldiers were doing exactly what had to be done, what God wanted done, what He, from eternity past, knew they would do. They had no idea what they were doing. This absolutely had to happen, or we would have no salvation!

In the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night before He was crucified, He prayed “saying, ‘Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’” (Luke 22:42; cf Hebrews 5:7; Mathew 26:39). He knew what the “cup” contained and it wasn’t about the physical suffering that sinful men were getting ready to inflict on Him. “When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’” (Luke 21:33-34). Those who had condemned Him and crucified Him thought that they knew exactly what they were doing. They had humiliated and crucified a man claiming to be the Son of God. What they didn’t know was that Jesus was getting ready to pay the price for the sins of the world, including the sins of those who condemned Him and those who nailed Him to the cross. And as Jesus said, they had no idea what they were really doing.

“And it was the third hour when they crucified Him” (Mark 15:25). This was 9 am on Friday morning. “And when the sixth hour had come (noon), darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Mark 15:33). “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’, that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?‘ (Mathew 27:46; Mark 15:34). His Deity had left Him and the sinless humanity of Jesus was hanging on that cross, paying the price “in His body” that was demanded by the perfect Righteousness and Justice of God. The Jews and the Romans did not do this to Him, God did! Jesus, in His body, paid the price for the sins of the entire world. (Ephesians 2:15-16). “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wound you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 2:15-16) – ( ii ).

Furthermore, nobody killed Him, He willed Himself to die ( ii ); “‘Father, into Your Hands I commit My spirit’. Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46). Crucifixion was designed to asphyxiate the individual not cause him to bleed to death. In addition, if the individual wasn’t dead after a certain period of time then the Roman soldiers would come and break both femurs so that the individual could no longer push himself up so as to breath. Jesus didn’t suffer that. “So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs … For those things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, ‘Not a bone of Him shall be broken’” (John 19:32-33, 36).

Jesus’ body had to go to the grave for 3 days and be resurrected. This had to happen! “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain … and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14, 17).

To incorporate the idea that “the Jews killed Jesus” into one’s theology will, as with any erroneous idea, influence one’s entire theology. An erroneous idea concerning the Jewish people is especially destructive to one’s theology as all of Scripture, in one way or another, concerns the Jewish people.

( i ) All Israel News Staff
( ii ) The Cross (an in depth paper on the events of the Cross posted 8/7/22)

Jim Harmon MTh

About the Author
James Harmon was born and raised on the Island of Trinidad, in the West Indies, to American missionaries. From 1975 to 1995he worked in the oil fields of Oklahoma, Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, offshore Cameroon W. Africa, the Ivory Coast of W. Africa, Siberia Russia and Sweden (we drilled an exploratory well for the Swedish government). From 1995 until he retired in 2021 he sold construction equipment in Oklahoma and Texas. James has a Masters of Theology degree from Maranatha Seminary. His studies were in Biblical Hebrew, Koine Greek, Isagogics and Systematic Theology. His exposure to various nationalities and cultures has given him a well rounded perspective on life. His Christian faith puts much of that perspective to good use.
Related Topics
Related Posts