Why did they kill Jesus Christ?
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Mat 26:39)
It is usually part of a normal investigation of a crime to determine the motives of the criminal (s). Understanding the motives of a crime helps the investigators to establish the root cause of the crime. It also helps the government or people in positions of authority to know how to check recurrence of such problems in the future. New laws are often made and existing laws elevated to serve as a deterrence of the same crime in the future. However, there have been crimes whose motives were not known. The reason could be that the criminal eliminated themself and consequently closed the lead to knowing the reason for the crime. But there are crimes for which the root cause was not determined because they were committed by people who are in the position of power. Such crimes are often difficult to investigate by law enforcement or those who are saddled with investigations. Crimes have been swept under the carpet not because of the nature of the crime but because of the status of those who committed the crime. Today, there are many unresolved political crimes not only in the third world but in the civilized nations of the world.
We live in a fallen world as a result of sin. Many human actions are laced with personal or group interest often with no consideration to what is right or wrong. Some crimes are not truly investigated to ascertain the motives. Several people have been killed in the world, and the investigators have not bothered themselves to know the motives. Sometimes, when investigators know or perceive the motive of a crime, the outcome of such investigations are classified as ‘national security’ because those behind the crime are politically compromised persons. Several people have been destroyed by political powers because of their opinions against actions or policies of governments. Some people are in jail for expressing views opposed to the policies of those in authority. Government agents frame people up and destroy their lives because they are perceived to be enemies of authority. Wickedness has taken control of human life to a great extent since the sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Justice is therefore not an easy expectation on earth because those who would dispense justice are often biased. A nation that does not allow the gospel of the Lord to flow freely among its people will produce ungodly bureaucratic, lawless law enforcements, and perverse justice systems that will destroy the society,
Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem Judah. He grew up to create stirs and controversies in Israel. People were apprehensive about His presence for different reasons. Notably among the unsettled group of people were the political and religious leaders. Though their objectives were not the same, they worked in concert to protect their scope of authority and power. The rulers were upset because Jesus appeared to threaten their political future. Unfortunately, humankind does not consider the fact that the human future is largely uncertain. Politics or whatever power on earth is temporary. Moses recognized that it is foolish for man to think he could hold on to power forever. He said, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10). The rulers were worried about their political future as a result of the surging popularity of Christ on earth. He was called the King of the Jews, but Jesus was not seeking political power. His mission on earth was a populist one because the people of the world were overwhelmed by the destruction of sin and Satan and they needed a Savior which was the reason for the coming of Christ into the world.
Jesus Said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19). Things took a dramatic turn concerning the man Jesus Christ all over the world. John the Baptist saw Jesus Christ at a distance and proclaimed: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” (John 1:29). Jesus Christ became a big game changer in the world as people received reprieves and comforts in the areas of difficulty in their lives. People found deep compassion from Him as they navigated through the travails of life. For example, a young man who just wedded had a crisis of wine finishing in the middle of the ceremony, an issue that put stress on the groom and his family. But they approached Mary the mother of Jesus, who told them to go to meet Jesus and anything He asked them to do, they should do. Jesus provided them the best wine ever on earth from ordinary water.
At different times, Jesus fed crowds of 5000 and 4000 people with little or nothing. The number of people who were sick and who received supernatural healing was staggering. Truly Jesus was so popular that it would be difficult to defeat Him at a political election ballot. In the midst of the worry of the rulers and leaders, Jesus attracted public attention to Himself in the city of Jerusalem. He entered the city in a heroic form. Though, on a lowly donkey, a very large crowd hailed Him in His historic entry to the city. People spread their clothes on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road; and the crowd shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” The desperation of the rulers has suddenly reached its peak. Politics to the ordinary politician is a game of life and death because humankind does not like anything that would threaten their political power. They were therefore worried that Jesus was about to topple their government.
In today’s world, either in underdeveloped or developed nations, politicians deal ruthlessly with their opponents and those who have different opinions with them. Sometimes they were crude to terminate people’s life just because of power that was temporary. Jesus made the matter worse for them when He entered into Jerusalem, and went into the Temple to cleanse it. He drove out all highly placed and privileged people who were buying and selling; overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves in the Temple courts. He said, “It is written, My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ But the Lord in compassion, turned to the poor and lowly, the blind and the lame that came to him at the temple, and He healed them. What a populist government at war with the high political class?
Jesus was arrested and brought before the judicial authority, and was accused of abrogating to Himself political power. Pilate, the governor had asked Him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus responded to Pilate, “Is that your own idea,” “or did others talk to you about me?” At any rate, if you say that I am King, you are right but “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (John 18: 34-37). The hearts of humankind are certainly delusional in thinking that Jesus could be struggling with them on earthly temporary power. They were oblivious of the eternal kingdom. David got it right when he prayed to God: “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure. “Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be”. (Psalm 39:4-6)
But what were the concerns of the religious leaders in regards to the presence of Jesus Christ on earth? Why were they also desperate to do away with Him? This is another angle to the hatred the world has for Christ. He did not just call Himself the Truth. He is the Truth. Truth is a serious issue for the world. It is a fact that humankind hates the truth, and we cannot stand the truth. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In principle, everyone wants to be seen as being on the side of the truth, but the reality is that the majority if not all hate the truth. Speaking the truth puts anyone at odds with society. Unfortunately, not even the church as is seen today, accepts the total truth. It was worse when Christ came into the world because the world before His birth was in utter darkness. He was often faced with violent reactions when He confronted the people with truth. Jesus said, “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?” (John 8:43-46)
The reaction of the religious leaders was to fight and get rid of Him quickly before He exposed them. But truth cannot be killed. You can only suppress the truth momentarily; it will come back strong against you. In answer to a question before the court of Pilate, Jesus said, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of the truth listens to me.” The focus of Christ was His purpose on earth. He was heading to the cross to die and deliver the world from sin. And above all He was set to destroy the power of death over humanity. Death is an enemy of the human soul that must be crushed which Jesus Christ did. (Issue of death is fully covered in my upcoming book, “The Mysteries of God”). When Jesus died on the cross, a Centurion [a higher commander of the army], who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, and said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:39).That was an eye-witness and his witness was powerful. The political leaders and the High Priests also panicked about His likely resurrection because He said it of a truth. They remembered Jesus had said, 'After three days I will rise again.' They therefore requested Pilate to order for the tomb where He was buried to be made secure until the third day; so that his disciples would not come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. The order was granted but no security could hold Jesus Christ in the grave. He was risen, and that is the truth that Satan has continued to fight until today. Christ is risen indeed and He said, because I live, you will also live.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is dangerous to flow with the crowd. Several people in the world today are compromised because of self-survival. You are wondering why life is becoming harder even when you are Christian believer. The Christian truth is enmity to the people of the world. Ironically even the “so called Christians” attack you because they perceive you don’t love them because you say the truth. It is therefore common to hear from people that you didn’t say the truth ‘in love’. The truth is that no matter the way you say TRUTH, it often hurts the recipient. No one hit by the truth ever accepted that it was said in love to them. However, you need to keep holding to the truth because it is only in truth that you will be free. Here are some pieces of advice from Jesus Christ concerning the truth: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ (John 15:18-25)
With the resurrection, we have great and high hope. Happy resurrection.
Michael Jolayemi is a Christian writer, author of Saving America: the war we can’t ignore and Sheltered through the Storms. Please watch out for his new Book, “The Mysteries of God”. It will be a good read. Will soon be announced.