Who Crucified Christ?
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One of the profound questions coming out of the movie The Passion of the Christ is who crucified Jesus? Who is responsible for it? How did this happen in time? The Bible is very clear about who crucified Jesus. You find it in the tremendous prophecy of Isaiah in the 53rd chapter.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted ()
Where our natural side wants to start blaming others things -- Do we want to blame the Romans or do we want to blame the Jews who lived at that time?-- even Isaiah says we esteemed Him stricken and we think He was smitten by God.
But the real message is in:
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
There is not a limitation here. If you are a sinner, you belong in that group of "our," every one of us.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all ().
When you look to the question who crucified Jesus? Well, I did. Every one of my sins cried out, 'Crucify Him!' Without Jesus, there is no forgiveness. There is no hope for me. With Him, there is. But I have got to recognize and I have to own that every one of my sins is responsible for the Crucifixion. I can't lay the blame on Pilate. I can't lay the blame on the Sanhedrin. I have got to own it. That's what it is all about when we come to the Cross is acknowledgment that it is our sin that put Jesus there. It was His love that drove Him to do that. He didn't have to do it. He could have escaped it. He could have said, 'I am not going to do this. I am not going to sacrifice Myself.' His love compelled Him; my sins made Him. It is me who is responsible.
So when we look at this controversial verse that Mel Gibson has agreed to take out of the film because of complaints from modern-day Jews, -- and if I were a modern-day Jew, I wouldn't trust Christians, either -- it is for the historical fact that whenever passion plays were performed in Europe, there was, following those performances, extreme violence against the Jewish community and this was responsible for anti-Semitism that then spread throughout Europe and led to the Holocaust in Germany. But, I think as Christians, we need to look at this verse and realize it is not limited to the Jews of the day because it says all the people.
And all the people answered and said, 'His blood be on us and on our children' ().
I think it is a mistake to view that as a blood curse. It is actually the source of blessing because it is echoing back to the Passover Lamb, where the blood was over the lentil and on the doorpost, and because of the blood, the Angel of Death passed over that dwelling. It is the same today; because of the blood of Jesus, God does not see my sin. And so I want to join in and say, 'His blood be on me and on my children.' Without that blood covering, there is no forgiveness of sin. That's what John the Baptist proclaimed when He first saw Jesus: 'Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'
Also, as Christians, we need to realize that because every sin cries out, 'Crucify!' we need to keep the Cross in remembrance. That's the whole purpose of Communion. 'This is My body which was broken for you.' We don't want to add to that burden.
That's why Jesus said to His disciples, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments' (). Don't walk around saying I have a license to sin. I get to do whatever I want because I am forgiven. No, if you love Jesus, keep His commandments. Don't walk in sin. And His commandment is this: 'This is my commandment that you love one another.'
Why don't you make this year your year where you recognize what was done for you on the Cross? It's available to anyone. All you have to do is acknowledge that it was your sin that put the Son of God there and let His blood cover you. Then you have forgiveness. But it is more than that. It is I will then covenant to walk in accordance with my loving Jesus. He first loved me. I am going to love Him. Because I love Him, I am going to obey His commandments. If I love Jesus, I need to obey His commandments. Let that be your pledge.
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