~ Consider 7 Who Caused the Death of Jesus Christ ~
(1) Judas Iscariot ~ One of the inner circle, one of Jesus Christ’s twelve chosen disciples. Judas held a special role as the treasurer of that seemingly close-knit group. The 30 pieces of silver which he gained by his betrayal was the current price paid to purchase a slave. Here is a man which went from being in the inner circle of intimates with Jesus Christ to being a betrayer—a traitor.
(2) Joseph Caiaphas ~ This Joseph was the High Priest of the Jerusalem temple. As such he was one of the most powerful men in Israel. Did he feel threatened by the Prince of Peace? Was Joseph Caiaphas concerned that Jesus would start a rebellion? In the end he decided Jesus had to die which was contrary to all the laws of the day.
(3) The Sanhedrin ~ Israel’s highest court was charged with enforcing the Mosaic Law. Joseph Caiaphas, as High Priest was the court’s President. With the exception of two (Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea) the court decided to convict this innocent man—the very Son of God. However, they lacked authority to order His execution. They needed the assistance of Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor of Judea.
(4) Pontius Pilate ~ The Roman Governor over Judea possessed the power of life and death of the citizens. Looking at the presented arguments Pilate found no reason to justify execution. He did order Jesus to be beaten by flogging and sent to Herod Antipas. The religious leaders of the day (notably the Sanhedrin and Pharisees) were unhappy with this decision demanded that Jesus be put to death on a cross—a punishment which was only used for the worst of criminals. As an astute politician not wanting to upset the people Pilate “washed his hands” of the situation and then turned Jesus over to his centurions.
(5) Herod Antipas ~ Herod was the Tetrarch, or Ruler of Galilee by appointment by the Romans. Because Jesus was a Galilean Pilate sent Him to Herod. Herod had previously executed John, the Baptist. Herod tried to coerce Jesus into performing a miracle. When He remained quiet Herod sent Him back to Pilate for capital punishment.
(6) A Roman Centurion ~ Centurions were hardened army officers, trained to kill. One unnamed centurion received the order to execute Jesus of Nazareth by crucifixion. That Centurion, with his men, following good military protocol carried out that order.
the bottom-line: (7) You ~ Your sin and my sin sent Jesus Christ to the Cross to die in your place! “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“Surely He [Jesus Christ] has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 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. 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. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth” (Isaiah 53:4-7).
the key question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). This is the most important question you will ever answer. If you do not answer it, or answer it incorrectly, you have made the biggest mistake anyone can make!
a great truth: “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28a). Jesus Christ loved His Father—and even the cruel Cross worked out for eternal good for those who believe. Those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior also find that even the worst of circumstances work out for good in the big scheme of things!
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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