Jesus Christ, a man who is indubitably the greatest person throughout the whole of history even until now, died an ignominious death – by crucifixion as a criminal. Was he a criminal? Certainly not! But He died the death of criminals. He was murdered “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” (Acts 2:22-23)
Nonetheless thousands of people have died for Him and still thousands more would dare to lose their lives for His course. Assuredly He was not a mere man. These are however the very possible indictments which triggered His crucifixion.
1. His accusers charged Him with blasphemy – that He claimed,
-To be the Christ (Messiah) and the Son of God
– That the Temple was His “Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Luke 19:46)
– That He was God
TRUTH #01: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:1, 14)
“…God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Tim. 3:16) His claims were indeed true. He was “…the Word was God…made flesh…”or in other words “…God manifested in the flesh…”
2. Christ was accused of treason – that He claimed to be King. He had followers which he called disciples and apostles. He even entered Jerusalem like a king with all the people shouting and hailing Hosanna Hosanna.
TRUTH #02: “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” (John 18:36) Indeed the accused was a King but His kingdom was and is not of this world. So the accusers misjudged Him.
3. Christ was accused of being a lying superhero – that He came from heaven, implicating that He has seen God, which was a claim contrary to Judaism for they believed that no one can see God and live. Moreover the accusers knew his earthly parents, Joseph and Mary.
TRUTH #03: With reference to TRUTH #01 the accusers have here again misapprehended Him.
4. He was accused of being a rebel leader – because of,
– His association with outcasts, publicans and sinners
– The uniqueness of His teachings, which seemed contrary to the law
TRUTH #04.1: “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31, 32) The Jewish leaders were threatened by His association with the nonentities and possibly thought He was stimulating them to fight against them. But he actually came to transform their lives not to lead them into rebellion.
TRUTH #04.2: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18) The accused even taught that the law would not pass away. His teachings were rather to open the eyes of their understanding unto the Truth that, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” (Rom. 13:8). Christ just wanted to help the people to fulfill their own laws but they misunderstood Him.
5. The accused merited His eminent death because they thought He was a furious madman who could enter the Temple and whip the sons of Levi.
TRUTH #05: “…the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts…And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:1, 3) As the Messenger of the covenant He was duty-bound to purify the workers of the Temple. He was doing His job. Again his accusers were wrong.
6. Accused of being a disrespectful young boy who had no respect for authority for said unto the leaders, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in…Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?” (Matt. 23:13, 17)
TRUTH: “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22) Upon TRUTH #01 His capacity to judge is palpable. He is the judge over the whole world. Nevertheless TRUTH #05 asserts to this as He is seated as refiner to purge the people. He was just executing His duties.
BONUS: Christ was accused and crucified not for a wrong He committed but for who and what He claimed to be. Any madman can claim to be something but is it wisdom to arrest such one for his madness? If Christ was not indeed who and what He claimed to be why kill Him and tirelessly try to wipe out His name from history? Christ did not argue His case yet “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” (Col 2:14-15). Yes! He won! He chose the objected of His judgement – the Cross as the only evidence against His accusers. And He indeed prevailed.
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