why was jesus killed on the cross
Christians often blame the Jews for his death. But this blame should probably be limited to the Jewish religious leaders, who had managed to keep some of their power by cooperating with the Romans. These leaders saw the crowds that gathered around Jesus, and they knew that many people were calling him the Messiah. Mark 11:18 says "they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching. " But their ultimate fear probably went deeper, because if growing numbers of people believed that Jesus was the Messiah, he could eventually become a serious threat to their authority. Mark 12:12 says that these religious leaders initially hesitated to arrest Jesus because "they were afraid of the crowd. " But at some point they decided that they had to get rid of him. With Judas Iscariot's help, they were able to seize him late at night when there was no crowd to defend him. After interrogating him until early morning, they turned him over to the Romans and accused him of claiming to be a king. Under Roman law, anyone who claimed to be a king was guilty of rebellion against the emperor. The normal punishment was crucifixion. But the crucifixion couldn't take place until the Roman governor Pontius Pilate gave the final order for it, and the gospels indicate that he was reluctant to do so. Apparently he realized that Jesus was innocent. Actually, he had the power to release Jesus if he really wanted to. But in his role as governor he often needed the collaboration of the Jewish leaders. And in the end, he was more concerned with placating them than with saving Jesus. Thus the gospels put nearly all of the blame for the crucifixion on the Jewish leaders. But some scholars think that just as much blame, or even more, should be placed on the Romans. In fact John 18:3 says that Roman soldiers took part in the initial arrest of Jesus, suggesting that the Romans were involved in the matter almost from the beginning.
Their military commanders always kept a close watch on the city, especially during festivals. They could have easily mistaken Jesus for a political agitator, or even a potential rebel leader. And they were usually quick to react to even a minor threat. When the Jewish leaders wanted to kill someone, they usually sent their henchmen to gather a mob and stone the victim to death. Crucifixion was a Roman method of punishment, and it is a basic fact that Roman soldiers, not Jews, put Jesus on the cross. For these reasons, some scholars think that the Romans were the real culprits, but that the gospel writers tried to cover this up and blame the Jewish leaders instead. The gospels were written during a period when Christians were trying to avoid trouble with the Romans, and putting the blame on them could have created friction. It would have been much safer to blame the Jews. But other scholars, while they agree that the Romans were partly responsible, still think that the Jewish leaders should get most of the blame. These leaders probably had a much greater fear of Jesus than the Romans did. But they wouldn't have wanted the common people to blame them for his death. To try to avoid this, they could have coaxed the Romans into believing that Jesus was a trouble-maker, and let them get rid of him. A compromise view is that both groups, Jewish leaders and Romans, played major roles. But unless new evidence is uncovered, there will probably always be disagreement about who should get the most blame. In any case, the crucifixion can be explained as a natural result of the prevailing political circumstances in Palestine.
However, many Christians believe that it was actually pre-ordained beforehand, as part of a divine plan in which Jesus had to suffer and die as a sacrifice to pay for everyone's sins. Did other followers of Jesus try to ostracize her? Was the original ending of this gospel accidentally lost? Was a new ending added later? Can people be possessed by evil spirits? What happened to the original followers of Jesus after he left them? Did other members of his family initially disapprove of his activities? Why were some gospels left out of the bible? Is there a natural explanation? Jesus was crucified at a place called Golgotha. But where was it located? Why did he betray Jesus? Why was he released instead of Jesus? Did Jesus promise to come again? Does he really exist? Can some people speak in a divine language? Why was it necessary for Jesus to suffer and die? Which followers of Jesus actually saw him die? Did the Roman governor really try to save Jesus? Why do some of his teachings seem so radical? Can he (or she) be identified? Does wood from the original cross have special healing powers? Note: For more information about the crucifixion, go to this article about
At the time of Jesus, those who committed crimes worthy of capital punishment were stoned to death. Crucifixion was not the Jewish form of execution. Why then did the religious leaders take Jesus to Pilate in order to have Him crucified? Crucifixion was the Roman form of punishment. Why didn t they stone Him like they eventually did with the martyr Stephen? One of the reasons may have been the curse associated with crucifixion. The Old Testament speaks of those being cursed who hang upon a tree. When someone is convicted of a crime punishable by death and is executed, and you hang them on a tree, their corpse must not remain all night upon the tree; you shall bury them that same day, for anyone hung on a tree is under God s curse.
You must not defile the land that the LORD your God is giving you for possession (, ). By having Jesus crucified, the religious leaders may have thought that this would end any talk about Him being the Messiah - since the Messiah certainly would not have been cursed. Another reason may have been the way the Romans used crucifixion. A Roman citizen was never crucified- they were put to death by the quick method of beheading. Only slaves, political rebels, and the lowest criminals were put to death by crucifixion. The cross was a symbol of shame for the Romans. The Roman writer Cicero wrote. Even the word 'cross must remain far, not only from the lips of the citizens of Rome, but also from their thoughts their eyes their ears. The New Testament writers did not emphasize the physical suffering of Jesus upon the cross. The suffering that Jesus went through was more than physical agony - His death paid the penalty for the world s sins. Therefore the symbol of the cross does not have so much to do with the physical suffering of Jesus. It represents the good news that salvation has been obtained for those who come to God in faith. Jesus was put to death by the terrible method of crucifixion. Although we are not told why the religious leaders did not organize a group of people to stone Him, it is likely due to the curse associated with crucifixion. Crucifixion was reserved for the slaves, political rebels and the worst criminals. The New Testament writers spoke of Jesus death, it was not to emphasize the horrible suffering that He endured on our behalf. Rather it was to proclaim the victory that Jesus won in paying the penalty for sin.
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