Who crucified Jesus? The answer to this question has many aspects. First, there’s no doubt that Israel’s religious leaders were responsible for Jesus’ death. In Matthew 26:3-4, we read that the elders and chief priests assembled in Caiaphas’ palace, and they planned to arrest Jesus and kill Him secretly. The Jewish leaders ordered the Romans that Jesus be put to death, specifically in Matthew 27:22-25. They couldn’t continue to let Him work wonders because it threatened their place and position in religious society, so they plotted how to take His life.

Who crucified Jesus?

Matthew 27:27-37 tells us that the Romans were the ones who crucified Jesus. Crucifixion was a Roman approach to execution, authorized and carried out by the Romans under Pontius Pilate’s authority, the Roman governor who sentenced Jesus. Roman soldiers were the ones who drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet, and Roman troops put up the cross while a Roman soldier pierced Jesus’ side. The people of Israel were also involved in Jesus’ death. They shouted, “Crucify Him!” as He stood before Pilate on trial. Peter reinforced this in Acts 2:22-23 when he told the men of Israel that they helped put Jesus to death by nailing Him to the cross.

In fact, Jesus’ murder was a conspiracy involving Herod, Rome, the Jewish leaders, and the people of Israel, an assorted group of people who had never worked together on anything prior or since, but they came together this one time to plot and carry out the unimaginable: the murder of the Son of God. God didn’t literally kill Jesus, but He allowed Jesus to be put to death at the hands of the Jews and Romans. Acts 2:23 highlights God’s knowledge as He let people unlawfully and brutally murder His son. While God didn’t stop people from physically killing Jesus, He also didn’t let death have the final say, as detailed in Acts 2:24.

Jesus’ death and resurrection were part of God’s plan to redeem all who would believe in Him eternally, as detailed in 2 Corinthians 5:21. His sacrificial death on the cross gives salvation to all who trust in Him. All who have to come to Jesus in faith are guilty of His bloodshed on the cross for us and our sins. He died to pay the price for our transgressions. In “The Passion of the Christ,” Mel Gibson, the director, was the one whose hands you see driving the nails through Jesus’ hands. He said he did it that way to remind himself and others that it was our sins that nailed Him to the cross.

Why did Jesus endure so much suffering?

Throughout His trials, torture, and crucifixion, Jesus suffered severely. His suffering was physical, as Isaiah 52:14 tells us that Jesus’ appearance was so disfigured beyond human likeness. His suffering was also emotional, as detailed in Matthew 26:56. Jesus’ suffering was also spiritual, as we read in 2 Corinthians 5:21. Jesus had the weight of the entire world’s sins on Him; it was sin that made Jesus cry out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” as we read in Matthew 27:46. His brutal physical suffering was enhanced by His having to pay the guilt of our sins and die to pay the price.

In Isaiah 53:3-5, Isaiah predicted Jesus’ suffering, saying that Jesus was rejected and despised by men and was pierced for our transgressions. His punishment brought us peace, and by His wounds, we are healed. This passage also specifies the reason why Jesus suffered, saying it was for our transgressions, healing and to bring peace. Jesus also told His disciples that His suffering was inevitable, as detailed in Luke 9:22. It says that Jesus must suffer and must be killed. Christ’s suffering was God’s plan for the world’s salvation.

Psalm 22:14-18 highlights some of the Messiah’s suffering. In this verse, Jesus says that He was poured out like water, and all His bones are out of joint. His heart was turned and wax, melting away inside Him. His strength dried up like a potsherd, and His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth. He added that a band of wicked men surrounded Him, piercing His hands and feet. He concluded by saying they divided His clothing among them and cast lots for His clothing. For this and other divinations to come to fruition, Jesus had to suffer. Why did Jesus have to suffer so severely? The principle of an innocent person dying for the guilty was started in the Garden of Eden.

Adam and Eve had to wear animal skin to cover their shame, as detailed in Genesis 3:21. Thus, the blood was shed in Eden. Later, this principle was established in the Mosaic Law. Jesus had to suffer because suffering is part of a sacrifice, and Jesus was the Lamb of God who was sent to take away the world’s sins, as detailed in John 1:29. Jesus’ physical abuse was part of the payment necessary for our sins. With the precious blood of Christ, we are redeemed. Jesus’ suffering on the cross showed the heartbreaking nature of the wrath of God, sin, the harshness of humanity, and the hatred of Satan. At Calvary, humanity was permitted to do his worst to Jesus as He became the Redeemer of humanity.

Satan may have thought he’d won a great victory, but it was through the cross that Jesus defeated sin, death, and Satan, as detailed in John 12:31. Jesus suffered and died to secure salvation for all believers. On the night of His arrest, as Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, He committed everything He had to the task, as we read in Luke 22:42. The cup of suffering wasn’t taken from Christ. Instead, He drank it all for us because there was no other way for us to be saved. Ultimately, we’re all guilty of killing Jesus because it was our sin that put Him on the cross.

Due to our sins, God sent His Son to have us. Humanity is both the beneficiary and the cause of Jesus’ death. God can use even the evilest of actions to bring about His perfect plan. Sinful people killed Jesus, but God used the unlawful killing as a vessel for our salvation.

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