And those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together…Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward…And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer.” (Matthew 26:57, 59-60; 27:12)
Jesus Christ’s primarily mission on earth was to bring salvation unto all men by dying on the cross. The redemption of humanity was His heart desire for which He willingly decided to give His life as ransom. He did come unto us, O such a sacrificial Saviour He was. Ambitions of His were but a factor of zero. Love abounding was the rudder which steered Him. Facing death as a sheep led to the slaughter was He yet at peace. O Blessed Beloved of mankind.
Though He willingly condescended to die, His death was instigated by His own people – His own leaders and authorities, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders and the whole Council of Jewish leaders. Why do you think His people demonstrated for His death “crucify Him! crucifyHim!” with their leaders leading? Here are three possible reasons why the leaders and authorities gravely wanted Him dead:
1. They were afraid of having their laws questioned
Teaching and abiding by the Mosaic laws was the pride of the leaders and authorities of the time. And having built their life on these laws they were unwilling to accept anything contrary. For example, they believed in stoning harlots to death but Jesus taught otherwise, that the sinner cannot be judged by sinners. Jesus taught about offering the other cheek differing from the normal eye for an eye doctrine. These leaders fear of inexplicable questions from even the commoners concerning the law was palpable. As Jesus’ ministry attracted the multitudes, the tension among these self-righteous obstinate leaders grew to be unbearable. For that matter the only option left to these bamboozled old folks was to eliminate this young Rabbi.
2. They feared that their authority over the people would be denied
Having a compassionate heart, Jesus associated with outcasts, publicans and sinners for which He earned the nickname “friend of sinners”. He always found Himself among the despised and weak. With a singular reason did He this, that the sick needs a physician not the healthy. This attitude and association inspired threat. “He is gathering them to rebel against us”, they might have thought. And the sudden confidence which arose among the subjugated threatened to overcome the authorities. But overthrowing the authorities was not the reason for their confidence. If there is anything the gospel can do best it is its ability to bring thorough emancipation. “It is better to lose one young rascal than to see our people without the law”, they might have reasoned among themselves, thus was this innocent man from Nazareth was annihilated mercilessly. They did not know that He who they crucified was Himself their Lawgiver.
3. They were in fear of having their theories shaken
Full of wisdom was the embodiment of this youthful Rabbi, which He thus portrayed by teaching with parables. His theories (parables) even caused the authorities, leaders and renowned Rabbis of the time to confront Him with their doubts, though most of the time they intended to find fault in His speech which they found not any. His teachings were unimpeachable. The multitudes thronged upon Him to hear Him each day. This brought instability in the theories and doctrines of the Jews. Dealing with this frustration was very uneasy, I can testify. Getting rid of Him was the only way out to teach people from their archives of law-based-knowledge.
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By S. E. Entsua-Mensah. ©2014 Christ for Humanity Outreach
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