Friday, April 14, 2006

Who killed Jesus?

I've always loved this picture. In a way, it gives me chills. It almost makes my body cringe as I wait for the hammer to strike that nail. It's pretty odd...


Take a good look at this picture. Who do you think that is nailing Jesus to the cross? Keep reading and you'll find out..

I remember during the release of Mel Gibson’s movie "The Passion of Christ", there was a ton of controversy brewing about the anti-Semitic overtones aroused by the movie, particularly with the idea that Jews killed Jesus. The question still circulates today: Who was responsible for the death of Jesus? Was it Judas Iscariot, the traitor who turned Jesus over for money? Nope. How about the Jewish leaders who brought Him to trial? Sorry. Try again. Was it the blood thirsty crowd who preferred to release a murderer than to let Jesus live? Well, while it was pretty ironic that they freed a criminal bearing the same name as Jesus, that's not it either. Should we blame Pilate for giving in the crowd for political purposes? I'm sorry, but he's not the red-herring here.

I believe that, while the Jewish leaders, Judas, the angry crowd, and Pilate all served as key players in fulfilling God’s plan of Jesus’ death, they were not at all responsible for His dying.

The truth is: we are responsible for Jesus’ death. You and me. Jesus died for my sins as well as yours. It was only through His death that we would have the chance to procure salvation. As the Bible reminds us in Hebrews 9:22, “without the shedding of blood, [there] is no remission of sin.” So, Jesus had to sacrifice Himself to deliver us from our sins.

Essentially, Jesus was born so that He could die. He died so that we could live. He rose from the dead so that we could be with Him forever. End of story. He paid a debt that He did not owe to free us of a debt that we could never pay. Jesus Himself came to the understanding that He had to endure the agony of death in order to take away the sins of the world. Otherwise, we could have received salvation through our works…which would have made Jesus’ death pointless (Galatians 2:21).

With all of this to consider, let me repeat the question that I asked you at the beginning of this post: Who is that person nailing Jesus to the cross? For the answer to this question, take a look -- a good look -- at the person in the mirror. There's your culprit. That’s the person for whom Jesus gave His life.


11 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

joanne said...

Wow! I'm speechless.

Every time I was The Passion, I get angry at the mob, the High Priests, Pilate, and Judas. But, you helped me to remember that I'm EACH ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE! Christ died for me! I'm the one nailing Him to the cross!

Beautiful post!

joel said...

I disagee joanne.

You're not the one nailing Him to cross. I am!

Great post Andre. Equally as great comment, joanne! Happy Easter to you!

kc said...

Yeeeowwch! Boy, those were some really hard words to hear! But, they are ever true my friend. Powerful post.

cynthia said...

Andre, very insightful and beautiful words. Thanks!

natasha said...

I remember when the Passion first came out. Mel Gibson used his hand in the shot similar to this picture. He offered the same explanation. I totally agree with you both.

Even though we weren't even alive when Jesus was MURDERED, we all play a part.

Outstanding post! It moved me to tears.

Diane said...

Wonderful job, Andre. I am guilty, too, of the death of Jesus. I'm even more guilty, because I still sin every day, even after Jesus' sacrifice for me on the cross so that I wouldn't HAVE to sin. Guilty as charged.

Happy Resurrection Day to you!!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

powerful words and images, Bravo, makes one's grey matter dig deep and the soul feel what it has sometimes forgotten .

rhynoman said...

This is just a reminder of how deep Jesus' love for us goes. Imagine going through the agony, the torture, and the burden that Jesus did for a bunch of people who continue sinning against Him.

To think, I have a hard time forgiving people who cut me off on the road.

Great post.

Andre said...

@ joanne: It's funny. The more I watch the Passion (or any other cruxifiction movies), the more I see myself in the audience. We hurt Jesus all the time.

@ joel: The line is long for those quilty of killing Jesus. I'm right behind you...

@ kc: The "hard" part of this whole thing is realizing how true it is. It hurts my heart to know that I'm no better than these people.

@ cynthia: Thank you too for your kind words!

@ natasha: This post was actually inspired by Mel Gibson. Though we have different theological viewpoints (he's Catholic, while I'm Baptist), I always loved his insight and his vision in creating The Passion

@ Diane: Guilty as charged? Well, you and me both! That's what so cool about grace. Even when we completely trampled on Jesus, His loving gift of salvation is ours to have.

@ green: Thank you for blessing me with your comments. I love the "makes one's grey matter dig deep and the soul feel what it has sometimes forgotten" quote. Is that an original?

@ rhyno: I know what you mean, brotha. I imagine that Jesus gets annoyed with us every now and then. Yet He continues to love us. How cool is that?!

Thanks for all of your comments.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Hi again My GEM /bandit
yes that is original, and that is what your post did to me , I was moved to say the least :)