Who crucified Jesus Christ?

I originally posted this in 2010, but it is appropriate to re-post on Good Friday.

Behold the man upon a cross, my sin upon His shoulders

Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there until it was accomplished

His dying breath has brought me life; I know that it is finished.

It is common for Christians today to claim that it was the Jewish leaders or the Romans who crucified Jesus Christ, and to deny the role of the people in His crucifixion. It is understandable that Christians would want to make this distinction, so as not to appear anti-Semitic. But by denying the Jewish people’s role in the death of Christ, we deny our own culpability. That is actually the primary reason we deny Scripture’s teaching here.

Scripture makes it clear that it was the Jewish people, not just the leaders, who were calling for Jesus to be crucified instead of the murderer Barabbas. (See Matthew 27:22-23 and Mark 15:11-14.) The Apostles condemned the Jewish people in the book of Acts, making it clear that they crucified Jesus. (See Acts 2:36 and Acts 4:10)

Why is this important? First, we cannot deny Scripture because it is inconvenient. Second, Christians are no better than the mobs who were calling for Jesus to be tortured to death a few days after they were loudly and enthusiastically praising Him. Let’s not forget that these were the chosen people of God. I have no doubt that the vast majority of the people in church pews each Sunday would have been calling for Jesus to die and for Barabbas to be freed had we been there. Can we as Christians honestly look at our own hearts and deny this?

Who crucified Jesus Christ? In short, Scott Tibbs crucified Jesus Christ. I am guilty of driving the nails into His hands and feet and I am guilty of mocking Him as He died. But despite the fact that I was an enemy of God, He died for me anyway. (Romans 5:8) It is a truth that is impossible for me to understand, but I cling to it by faith.

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