Who Killed Jesus the Christ?
By Rev. D. Earl Cripe, Ph.D.
Did the Jews killed Jesus Christ? If so, why, and what has God done to that nation because of it?
Was it Foretold?
The fact that the Jews would kill the Christ is prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures. I shall cite some Messianic Scriptures to establish that point.
The first is in Zechariah 12:10, which says:
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
What we want to underscore here is that his friends (the Jews) pierced, or crucified him.
The second is in Zechariah 13:6, where we read:
“And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
Here the Messiah says that He was wounded in the house of His friends, meaning the Jews. He was from the tribe of Judah and born in Judea. There are other Old Testament passages too, but this is enough to show that His crucifixion by his own, the Jews, was fully prophesied of old.
In His earthly ministry, these prophecies soon began to find fulfillment.
In St. John 5:16-18, “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
In St. Matthew 12:14, "Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him."
In St. John 7:19, Jesus said to the Jews, “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?” In verse 20, they answered with lies. “Thou hast a devil,” they said, “who goeth about to kill thee?”
In St. John 8:37-45, there is a very interesting and revealing discussion between Jesus and the Jews, both as to their attitude toward Him, and His toward them:
“I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham. But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.”
This discussion ends with these words from verse 59: “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
In Israel, stoning was a means of killing heretics.
Who Said They Would Be Punished?
Did Jesus pronounce judgment upon the Jews because of the coming Crucifixion? We hear voices in the media these days, both Jewish and so-called Christian, proclaiming that the Bible does not say the Jews meant to kill Jesus, that they did not kill Him, and that he did not decree judgments upon them. We hear that there are no scriptures to support those ideas.
That is what we hear, but what is the truth in the matter? Let us look to the Scriptures, to see what they say.
We have already noted two Old Testament Scriptures, which we will cite again without significant comment.
The first is Deuteronomy 28:63:
“And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to naught; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.”
The next is Daniel 9:27, which reads:
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
This means that God - to whom vengeance belongs - has decreed and will prosecute judgment and wrath upon the Jews from the Crucifixion to the end of time, and that they will never be able to settle down peaceably in a homeland. It means that the Holocaust was a judgment of God. It also means that, despite the false and misleading teachings of Premillennialism and other forms of Christian Zionism, the Jews will not succeed in peacefully settling in Israel now - or at any time in the future. God drove the Canaanites off the land and gave it to Israel. Now he will drive them off of it, according to Moses. The misguided axioms of bad theology cannot cancel out or change the clear and unambiguous voice of God in the Scriptures. “… The LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land wherever you go to possess it.” For Israel’s abominable act in crucifying the Lord of Glory, God shall make their house desolate, and, from the Crucifixion to the consummation of the ages, the judgments foretold by Christ and the prophets before Him, will be poured upon those desolate people, the Jews. That is what Moses and the Jewish Prophets said.
In St. Matthew 23:32-36, Jesus specifically pronounces judgment upon the Jews and upon Israel, when He says to them:
“Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.”
Was it Planned, or Did it Just Happen?
Was the crucifixion of Christ a spur of the moment emotion or a cleverly conceived plan? Again, we will let the Scriptures speak.
Jesus gives the Jews the parable of the vineyard and the husbandman. In St. Matthew 21:34-46, Jesus said,
“And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husband men, that they might receive the fruits of it: And the husband men took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husband men saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the Lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husband men? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husband men, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.”
Here Jesus firmly establishes that this was in their minds all along. They foolishly thought they could inherit the Kingdom of God by killing Christ - the heir - and then lying to God about it.
In St. John 11-47-51,
“Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation.”
Here they plotted coldly to kill Him in order to preserve their tradition and their religious power.
Did the Jews Brutalize Christ, or the Romans?
In St. Mark 14:53-65, we find the answer:
“…they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes… And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, (this is the Jews, now, not the Romans) and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.”
Were Only a Few Religious Leader Involved in the Crucifixion of Christ, Or Were the Masses of the Jewish People Also Involved?
In St. Mark 15-8-15, we find the answer:
“…the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.”
Pilate did not want to crucify Christ, and he would not have had it not been for the Jewish masses. It was the Roman governmental theory of listening to the mob that led to this decision. His wife had warned him not to do it because of a vision she had seen, and Pilate would not have done it if it had only been pressure from a few leaders. He was afraid to displease the masses of the people.
Who Did the Apostles of the Church Believe Responsible?
But what about the Apostles and evangelists of the Church in the following years? Who did they think killed Christ? The Jews, or the Romans? We will listen and they will tell us.
In Acts 2:22-23, St. Peter, the Apostle to the Jewish Church, said:
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”
This is his simple and straightforward way of saying: the men of Jerusalem and of Israel did this.
In Acts 7:51-53, the Martyr Stephen, as he was about to be killed himself, said to the Jews:
“Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderer's”
Stephen says clearly the Jew's are Jesus' betrayer and murderer.
In I Thessalonians 2:14-16, St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles told the Church:
“For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”
Here are the prophecies of Daniel 9:27 and Deuteronomy 28:63 surfacing again. Now, these betrayers - these hypocrites, these murderers, these persecutors, these who please not God, these who are contrary to all men and who are under the utmost wrath of God - are the 'good old boys' with whom the spiritually blinded Premillennialists and Christian Zionists (on this issue in any case) want to be associated with as blood brothers and co-workers in the spiritual world. My, my. What has the Age of Enlightenment and Materialistic theology done to the doctrinal integrity of the Church?
What is the Answer?
So, it is time to answer the question. We know that it was all of our sins that caused God to put Jesus on the Cross; I am not suggesting otherwise. But In Jerusalem, two thousand years ago, in time-and-history, who killed Jesus the Christ? According to Moses, according to Daniel and the prophets, according to Jesus, according to the words of the High Priest in their secret councils, according to St. Peter, according to the Martyr Stephen, according to the Apostle Paul, according to the Bible from beginning to end - it was the Jews, who are now under the judgment of God’s wrath and vengeance for it and shall stay under God’s judgment as long as time lasts.
Why do we say this? Because the Bible says it, Jesus said it, and the Apostles of the Church said it. Why do you study the Bible if you do not want to know what it says? If you do not accept the fact that the Jews killed Jesus in time-and-history and if you want some other answer, you can find it; but be sure to know this: It will be wrong. Just as wrong as you are in looking for it.
Does the belief of this Biblical view make one a racist and an anti-Semite, as has been charged? Or, is it in fact the Christian Zionist who is the anti-Semite and the racist? I will answer those questions, but before I do, I want to ask you a few simple questions.
Question number one: If I say to you, “A white man is of more worth and value in the sight of God than a black man,” is that a racist statement? Of course it is a racist statement. I am a racist if I truly believe that, which of course I do not.
Now question number two: If I say to you, “A Jew is of more worth and value in the sight of God than an Arab or than any other nationality because he is a Jew and he is God’s chosen race over all other races,” is that a racist statement? Am I a racist if I believe that? Of course it is a racist statement, and of course I would be a racist if I truly believed that, which I do not.
And so you see, it is the Premillennialist who is the racist because he believes that the Jews are better in the sight of God than anyone else because of their nationality.
Question number three: But am I anti-Jewish? Well, let me ask you this. If I say to you, “A white man is of no more worth in the sight of God than a black man,” does that make me anti-white? If I say a Jew is no better in the sight of God than anyone else, does that make me anti-Jewish? Of course not.
Question number four: But am I speaking against the Jewish race by saying that they killed Jesus in time-and-history? Well, let me ask you this. If I say, “Hitler killed six million Jews, that is just a historic fact that cannot be denied, and the German people supported him in it,” am I speaking against the German nationality and the country of Germany today? The Jews seem willing and anxious to remember the Holocaust and keep it alive so that it does not happen again. Are they speaking against Germany and the Germans? If I say that Nero and Domitian were terrible people who killed and tortured Christians and others, am I speaking against Italy and the Italian people? If I say that Pharaoh persecuted, tormented and killed many Jews, am I speaking against Egypt and the Egyptian people? If I say that America has led the world in the promotion of homosexuality, lesbianism, drugs, and rebellion against authority, and I an anti-American? I suppose in a way I am speaking something against those lands and people, but in a very real sense I am just acknowledging the facts of history.
While I am saying something negative about the Jews by acknowledging that they killed Christ, I did not do it. I did not write history. The acknowledgment of the facts of history is inevitable to honest men. It is not mine to acquit or condemn. God, through the Bible condemns and history bears record.
Question number five: Am I being anti-Semitic by saying the Jews killed Christ? This is a subject that needs to be looked into.
Do you know what a Semite is? Do you know who the Semitic races are? The Semitic races are the descendants of Shem, one of Noah’s three sons. The Israelites and all Arabs are Semites. All Arabs but the Egyptians are the descendants of Abraham, either through Hagar, or through Keturah and the six sons she gave to Abraham: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
All right, so if I say that a Jew is no better than an Arab, am I being anti-Semitic? Now, if I say that a Jew is better than an Arab in the sight of God because of his nationality, is that anti-Semitism? Of course it is. The Arabs are Semites and I am speaking against them by making them inferior in the sight of God to the Jews. And so you see, it is the Christian Zionists and the Premillennialists who are racist and anti-Semitic. They believe that Jews are better than all other races of people in the site of God because of their nationality - which is racism - and they believe that the Jews are superior in the sight of God to the Arabs, which is anti-Semitism.
Each of these positions is forbidden by the Bible. In the Book of Galatians, St. Paul, says that the Covenant of the Law (or in other words, the Old Testament) which gave the Jews superior status, is gone forever. In the Covenant to Promise (that God made with Abraham when he left Haran in Padan Aram of the Chaldees) there are neither Jew nor Gentile. Galatians 3 says: "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."
As to the mission of the Church, the Jews are as welcomed into the family of God as any other, but they must come by way of the Cross and faith in Jesus Christ, just as all others. There is no other way to salvation and back into the family of God - now or ever! There is only one Gospel - only one! As to the present era of time-and-history, God is visiting wrath and judgment on them because they rejected the King and the Kingdom and killed the Messiah, the Incarnate Lord of Glory.
That is a rather brief, but fairly comprehensive survey of what the Bible says on this matter of who killed Jesus Christ, as well as the mindless, unfounded charges of anti-Semitism that are being leveled against orthodox Christians - often by those who are themselves the real offenders. To preserve space and time, I have not cited the places in the Gospels where the same things are more or less repeated. I trust that you will find this article useful as you try to establish your own mind and thinking, and the correct historic orthodox Christian thinking on the present controversy.
God’s Point of View ©2019