WHO CRUCIFIED THE LORD JESUS?
Cooper P Abrams III
INTRODUCTION:   1. The question would seem to be irrelevant almost 2000 year after it happened. But the implications of why Christ was crucified has far reaching implications to us today.
2. For the Jews it has sinister and dreadful implications. For centuries they have borne the quilt and being called "Christ killer" in a thousand tongues. They have been hated and even murdered. Yet, those that have hated the Jew, have in truth done so in error. Most have used the crucifixion of Jesus to condemn and hate them. But the real reason has to do with their wealth and close knit society. Those who have persecuted the Jews in truth have not done so because of a love of Christ.
Jesus himself prayed, Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing. Those who accuse the Jews today as down thru history, prove their own quilt and part in the crucifixion.
3. There were many persons and groups who took part or were there when Jesus was Crucified.
There was the high priest, the priests, the rulers and the elders of the Jewish people, the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. The Romans also had a large part in the Crucifixion: Pilate, the governor of the Roman providence, gave the order and his soldiers carried it out.
Others were there. Jesus's mother, and the other Marys, and some of his disciples. John took Mary home before he died. But these were but bystanders, they took no part.
All of Jerusalem knew of it. Thousands have cried over and over "crucify him." But though they sought His death, where they ultimately responsible for His going to the Cross?
I. THE HIGH PRIESTS PARTICIPATED IN THE CRUCIFIXION.
Annas was the retired high priest when Jesus stood before him. The actual high priest was Caiaphas Annas's son-in-law. The priesthood was almost totally corrupted, Annas was the power and ruled through his fives sons.
They had brought the position from the Romans. They were feared and hated by the Jews. They had around them a secret police force of common thugs, who spied on the people and no one dared even whisper a word against them for fear of prison.
The chief source of their wealth seems to have been the sale of requisites for the temple sacrifices, such as sheep, doves, wine and oil, which they carried on in the four famous "booths of the sons of Annas" on the Mount of Olives, with a branch within the precincts of the temple itself. During the great feasts, they were able to extort high monopoly prices for theft goods. Hence, our Lord's strong denunciation of those who made the house of prayer "a den of robbers" (ISBE)
Such was the high priest Jesus was brought before. He had driven the sellers and money changers out of the temple a short time earlier. He openly called the temple a den of thieves.
This plus his called to righteous and repentance from sin, was sufficient reason to wish Jesus dead.
Jesus was tried first before Annas' at night which was illegal. He was not the High Priest and it was illegal to hold a trial at night in secret. The He was taken to Caiaphas' house at 3:30AM , who was the son-in-law of Annas. Again at night and illegal under Jewish law. Jesus was then taken at 6:00AM before the members of the Sanhedrin. They had no formal charge against Him so they charged Him with treason against Rome.!?!?! Jews defending Rome?! He was then tried before Pilate, then Herod and then finally before Pilate again. He was never convicted of anything...yet sentenced to death.
II. THE SADDUCEES AND PHARISEES.
The elders and scribes belonged to two political parties in the Sanhedrin. The Sadducees rejected life after death, angels or and thing supernatural.
They were the aristocracy and well to do ruling class. The Pharisees believed in God. Paul said they had a zeal, but not according to truth.
They have refined hypocrisy to a science. They passed themselves off as the religious leaders of the Jews, yet they lived on pride, power and self-righteousness. They longed for a Messiah, but they wanted a strong military leader who would throw off the Roman oppressors. They wanted Israel to be strong and powerful and a glorious nation.
They could not accept a Messiah, who came from the family of a poor carpenter, or the poor town of Nazareth.
III. THE ROMAN GOVERNOR, PILATE AND KING HEROD.
He as a puppet of Roman. His only concern was in getting rich, and making a good name so that when he returned to Roman, he would be honored.
Scandal or unrest in the captured Palestine would look bad on his record. He wanted to drop the hold matter of Jesus. But because the Jews were so upset, he had to appease them to keep the peace.
So he allowed an innocent man, that he knew had done no wrong, be crucified for his own financial and political gain.
Herod was not even a Jew, he tried to play games with Christ and mocked and belittled Him. IV. THE ROMAN SOLDIERS.
The soldier actually carried out the crucifixion. The officers were all Roman, but within the ranks were men from many countries. Germans, Gauls, Britains, the ancestors of all European and American nations.
It was as if God intended to illustrate the sin of all men, because most nationalities were represented there.
They acted as soldiers of their day. The mocked their prisoner, tortured Him mercilessly, played cruel games, Blindfolding Him they slapped Christ Jesus, and asking him who it was the hit him.
They hated the Jews, and vent their hate of all Jews on Christ. The put a crown of thorns on his head, gave him a sceptre, and some scarlet rages mocking Him, as the King of the Jews.
It is interesting that the Romans who tortured, and actually crucified Christ, are never called "Christ killers" as are the Jews.
V. THE JEWISH PEOPLE.
The cried in the streets, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him" and they mocked Jesus and the cruelest of ways.
Even as He hung in torment and terrible suffering, they mocked, him and spat on Him. Most hated him vehemently.
YET, THERE WERE OTHERS ALSO WHO LOVED HIM AS MUCH AS OTHERS HATED HIM.
His disciples, wanted to defend Him. Peter, had a sword and cut of the ear of on of Jesus's captors in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Yet, Jesus would not allow them to defend Him. Helpless, they watched Him, tried, tortured and crucified.
It is unfair to place all the blame on the Jews. Many others were there and took part in the carnage.
Judas, betrayed Him and Peter denied Him three times. Yet, within two months, as recorded in Act 2,4, over 8000 Jews believed and were saved. The early church was 100 percent Jewish.
VI. WHO DID CRUCIFY THE LORD JESUS?
"The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done." (Acts 4:26-28)
2. We were not there in person, but we were they in character.
Each one who took part, High Priest, religious leaders, political leaders, Jews, Romans and Gentiles of every nation....we today have their counterparts.
Sin marred man lives today as he did then. Their sins are our sins, their guilt our guilt.
When we purpose to establish our own righteousness, ignoring the righteousness of God, we stand with the those people of old.
We still are steeped in sin, seeking to gratify our craving and lusts, having little thought of others. All those who reject Christ, mock Him. Make little of his suffering for them. Show contempt on all He did. Oh, yes, every person who claims to know Christ as Savior, yet lives in sin, continues in sin, mocks Jesus as he suffered.
It would have been the same had Christ come in this generation. Nothing would be different.
3. We have only looked at the human aspect of the Cross. What of the Spiritual of God's purposes?
Surely Christ died for the sins of all the world. Because man sinned then in order for man to be saved Christ had to pay the penalty...no one else but God could.
You see in reality, it was God who allowed Jesus to be Crucified!
Is there anyone who could say, and believe this to be true, that God does not want to forgive your sins? Could anyone, not see and understand that it was God, who allowed Himself to suffer, to pay for our sin.
God is not in the blaming business! He is one who wants to forgive! You were there on that day of infamy. The day the crucified the Lord Jesus you were in His mind. We were all there in that your sins and mine were heaping suffering upon Him. Yet, Him who suffered for your sin has only love and concern and forgiveness for you.
Would you right now, bow at the cross of Jesus, and repent of your sin, and ask God to forgive you. He will....How do we know? Folks, that is why he was there...that you might not have to bear the penalty of your sins.
"Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin had left is crimson stain, He washed it white as snow."
Want you receive Jesus now? It happen all for you!!