Mel Gibson’s film, ‘The Passion of the Christ,” has again raised the question, “Who killed Jesus?” This topic always raises a concern in the Jewish community. Historically, every time that Christians ask, “Who killed Jesus?” there is a wave of hate and persecution against the Jewish community. Jews are fearful with good reason when Christians discuss who killed Jesus. However, I wish to bring up the issue from a different point of view to the question.“Who Killed Jesus?”The one who planned and executed the murder of Jesus is none other than God the Father. It is He who premeditated, predicted, prepared, timed, and approved the death of the Messiah hundreds of years ahead of the historical event. Look at the following passages in this light: “…the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8)
Note in this verse that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. This means that God had prepared and premeditated the slaying of the Lamb of God that takes the sins of the world before the world was created. There were no Jews in existence at that time who could have had any hand in this plan.
“Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 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.” (Isaiah 53:4,6)
Note the last verse in this text: “And the Lord (God) has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” The emphasis ought to be on two words, “Lord” and “us all.” The death of Yeshua was predetermined and prepared to be executed “in the fullness of time” by God Himself. We, the Jewish people, played a role in this drama – for the sake of the Gentiles, the sake of the nations, who were all worshipping idols before Yeshua. Look at the following texts: “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry… For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:11-13, 15).
It is not clear that the Gentiles have received an incalculable and inexhaustible benefit from the fact that some of the Jewish people (the leadership both religious and political) have rejected Yeshua as the Messiah? So, why, during these last almost two thousand years, have the churches persecuted the Jews and blamed them for the death of Yeshua? The gentiles ought to be first to rejoice and say, “Thank God that by the rejection of Yeshua by many of the Jewish People, we have received salvation!”
Yes, as a Jew who has given his life to God in the service of the Messiah, I can state with certainty that the Jewish sources are clear that the Sanhedrin judged Yeshua to be killed. The evil leadership that was mostly Hellenized Jews (the Sadducees in the Sanhedrin) handed Yeshua to the Romans. But it was Roman hands that held the hammer that nailed the nails in the hands of Yeshua. It was Roman hands that wrote the words the sign that .hung over the head of this Galilean Jew, “Yeshua of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”
Today, while the discussion between Jews and Christians is over whether Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion,” has value or will cause harm, may I suggest that the reaction of both Jews and Christians ought to be a humble repentance for the sin that brought God to sacrifice Yeshua, one Man to die for the sins of the many.
Instead of our pointing the finger at each other, the recollection of the death of Yeshua and the resurrection of Yeshua on the third day, ought to cause all of us to take the personal responsibility for our own sins that keep inflicting pain and suffering in the world and also on the One who died for our transgressions and upon Whose shoulders our sins have been loaded, Yeshua of Nazareth – God and Man.
I pray that Mel Gibson’s film, when it is released, will be so powerful a witness and so true to the Scriptures that people from every part of the world will be touched by it and will want to turn to God and accept the work of redemption that was accomplished by Yeshua on the Roman Cross. Many Jewish people were touched by such Hollywood films as “Jesus Christ Super Star,” “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” and “Quo Vadis.” I do hope and pray that God will use this film to touch the hearts of men everywhere and that instead of provoking hate and anti-Jewish sentiment around the world, that this film will promote “Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward Men”, and especially compassion and blessing for Yeshua “s brothers and sisters in the flesh, the Jewish people.