Who killed Jesus?

Often, people make the claim that Jews are the ones who killed Jesus. However, by giving that answer many demonstrate that they never sought God’s Word to find the real answer. Who really is responsible for killing Jesus?

Who killed Jesus?The answer is found in Acts 4:26-28:

(Acts 4:26-28 KJV) “The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. {27} For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, {28} For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

In this passage of Scripture, verse 26, we see first and foremost, the “kings of the earth” and the “rulers” were gathered against the Lord and His Christ. The next verse, verse 27, they are mentioned by name as Herod, who was the King of Judea; and Pontius Pilate, who was a Roman governor. So, the first two people were the king (Herod) and a government official (Pontius Pilate).

Next, we also see in the verse that besides the king and the government, there were two others responsible for Jesus’ death. The first were the Gentiles and the second were the people of Israel. The word Gentiles is used two ways. The first way it is used is to designate those who were not born as Jews (1 Corinthians 12:3; Romans 3:29). The second way it is used to designate between believers (Jews) and non-believers (Gentiles) (Ephesians 4:17-20; 1 Peter 4:1-3)

Jesus described how the both the Jews and the Gentiles would take part in his crucifixion in Matthew 20:18-19 and Mark 10:33-34:

(Matthew 20:18-19 KJV) “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, {19} And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.”

(Mark 10:33-34 KJV) “Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: {34} And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”

In a nutshell, the religious leaders (Jews) condemned Jesus and turned Him over to the government authorities (Gentiles). The secular authorities could not convict Him on any charge, but the persecution and outrage from everyone in Jerusalem both Jews and Gentiles convinced Pilate to carry out the sentence (John 19). Simply stated, it was not Jews who literally killed Jesus. They wanted Him dead for sinful religious reasons. It was the government authorities and the Gentiles who carried out the sentence.

Looking at this from a Spiritual perspective, four things can be seen:

  1. Jesus had to die because ALL of us are sinners and needed a Saviour (Romans 3:10, 23)
  2. Jesus came to be the Saviour of the world (John 4:42; 1 John 4:13-14)
  3. He accomplished that task when He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
  4. His death, burial, and resurrection was the gift of God to pay our wages of our sin (Romans 6:23)

In summary, Jesus was killed by representatives from all levels of humanity because all levels of humanity needed a Saviour to be killed. So, in reality, we all are responsible for killing Him because of our sin. However, Jesus counted it a joy to die for our sins (Hebrews 12:1-3) and His ultimate act of love for us should inspire us to love and serve Him (1 John 4:19).

Dr. Michael Williams

Dr. Michael Williams is a pastor, author, Christian educator and Biblical counselor who has served in ministry since March of 2000. Dr. Mike holds under-graduate through post graduate degrees in Christian Education. Dr. Mike is the Senior Pastor of Selah Mountain Ministries, which he founded in March of 2010 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (selahmountain.org). In addition to counseling, he teaches how to overcome life issues Biblically on topics such as anger management, marriage, addictions, and other subjects typically referred to as mental illnesses. Dr. Mike lives with his wife Pamela Rose and adult daughter Hollie Rose. He and Pamela have other adult children and several grandchildren as well. Visit the About page to learn more about Dr. Mike.

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