• Who Crucified Christ?

    Who Crucified Christ?
    by Rev. Oren Fenton Potito

    Once again false propaganda has been stepped up which undertakes to prove that it was not the modern Jew nor his ancestors who were in any way responsible for the death of Jesus. Because this question continually arises as to who was responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, an examination of the evidence as set forth in the Gospels will be valuable. For the Jews, in order to make out a case exhonorating themselves, undertake to demonstrate that the Gospels do not agree; sighting certain supposed disagreements from which they proceed to an attempted demonstation that the accounts are inaccurate when used as evidence against the Jews or for the purpose of making them responsible for the crucifixion. The four Gospels, I set for the testimony of four witnesses who gave evidence as to the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These four are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Some mention incidents which the others do not record, while in turn the others tell in detail what is not mentioned by any of the rest. This in no respect means that these witnesses are not all telling the truth. To draw an illustration: if one were to ask four men to give testimony regarding a scene all had witnessed, none of them would tell the story alike. All would, nevertheless, be telling the truth: for each would report that which had impressed him the most. Some things would be noticed which would not be noticed by the other, while no two would place the same emphases on all the details. The four could not possibly tell the story alike unless there had been collusion between them. The Jews claim that the four Gospels are in disagreement because none of the diciples saw all the events in the same importance and some emphasized one detail and some another, while details given by one are not even mentioned by the others. They have failed to recognize that each was telling the story as an eye witness, emphasizing events which made the deepest impression upon the one giving the testimony: while the joint testimony of all four, when put together, gives us a true picture of what actually took place.

    If the four Gospels had been in agreement in all their detail, with no variation in the descriptions, scenes and events leading to the trial and crucifying of Jesus, one would and could say that there had been collusion between the witnesses.

    Any attorney or judge knows that when all witnesses agree in every detail, using the same phraseologies of expression concerning events which cover a period of time and of which they are supposed to have been witnesses, that which is unnatural almost conclusive evidence that the witnesses have been coached or drilled to tell the same story. This can be tested by asking any number of people who have watched the same event to give their impression of what they were witnessing. The sum total of what is said will give a general over-all picture of the event itself, but no two witnesses will tell the same detail or give the same apparent order to all the happenings.

    The Gospels have all the ear marks of the sincere testimony of four men: each giving in detail what he saw and heard and emphasizing what to him seemed most important. The testimony of these four can and has been completely harmonized with the actual events so that we know that their testimony is true. Furthermore, the internal evidence of the Gospels themselves substantiate the authenticity of the story as told; and God Himself, through the Holy Spirit, placed the final seal of authority upon that testimony, bearing witness to the truth of the statements of the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as the identification of those who were responsible for the crucifixion. To all this may be added, if further evidence is needed, that the Gospels themselves follow a mathematical pattern: defying any man to duplicate them in any writing except to be inspired by God Himself. This mathematical harmony is evidence of a high order of inspiration regarding the Gospels, written as they were by four independent witnesses who, even though they had been in collusion, could not have produced such mathmatical harmony.

    Present day Jews are endeavoring to falsify the facts of history to exonerate their ancestors of a crime commited nearly two thousand years ago. It would be far better to face the situation and admit the wrong done and do everything possible themselves to rectify that wrong. But to excuse, conceal, or to deny what actually happened makes them a party with those who committed the crime. If Jewry would only now recognize on their part that Jesus the Christ was the Messiah, the son of God, it would not only go a long way toward the elevation of their self imposed trouble, by an acceptance of the doctrines and teachings of Jesus and the discordance of the teaching of the Talmud, they would find Salvation.

    Concerning the crucifixion, follow the testimony of the Apostle: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and note how each contributes his part. As a result, all the testimony of these four—when put together—tells the entire story. For some time before the crucifixion, Jesus refused to walk in Jewry. John puts it this way, "Jesus walked in Galilee: for He would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him." (John 7:1.) This statement clearly shows that it was not the Romans who sought His life, but the Jews. John further states, "The Jews sought the more to kill Him, because He had not only broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making himself equal with God." (John 5:18.) Jesus directly challenged the Jews because they sought His life He said. "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keep the law? Why do you go about to kill Me?" (John 7:19.)

    Matthew testifies that the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled together, "and consulted that they might take Jesus and kill Him." (Matthew 26:3-4.) Notice, that they were to be subtle in their method of bringing about His death, and this was evidenced in the use made of the Romans in the actual crucifixion of Him whom they sought to kill. In an examination of the evidence, let it always be born in mind that, under the law, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." (Deuteronomy 19:15.) So the above testimony of two witnesses, John and Matthew, establishes the guilt of the Jews in so far as seeking to kill Jesus is concerned.

    Mark testifies that Jesus took the twelve aside just before He went to Jerusalem for the last time and said, "Behold we go to Jerusalem: and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priest, and unto the scribes: and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the nations: and they shall mock Him and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him: and the third day He shall rise again." (Mark 10:33-34.) Luke, also, testified to this statement of Jesus (Luke 18:31) and furnishes the second witness needed to establish the facts. Let us pause here to note the subtleness of the procedure. Matthew said the chief priests and the scribes had planned it so: Jesus Christ was delivered into the hands of the leaders of Jewry, who condemnd Him to death: but rather than carry out the sentence themselves. His accusers trumped up charges against Him in a Roman court where they had taken Him as an offender against the state. We will later see that even the Roman court considered Him innocent but that Pilate for fear of the Jews carried out their request and had Jesus Christ crucified. The subtleness of it is apparent, and the claims of Jewish writers and leaders of today that He was killed by the Romans, thus hoping to exonerate the Jews from any responsibility, revealed them as forgetting that if one dies as the result of the testimony of false witnesses, IT ISN'T THE COURT BUT THE WITNESSES who are guilty of the shedding of innocent blood.

    The subtleness of the crafty council of the leaders of Jewry in succeeding in getting the non-Jews to execute Jesus in no way freed them from guilt. Thus, when the Jews say it was the Romans who crucified Jesus we can agree: but from whence came the false testimony which put pressure upon Pilate to cause Jesus be crucified? The Jewish leaders in their council planned it so and, in accord with the Roman method of dealing with the criminals of the state, had Him crucified. The modern Jews are deliberately doing what the ancient Jews intended should be done: blame the Romans—a method by which they evidently hope to escape the stigma of having been responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. When Pilate told Jesus he had power to crucify Him, Jesus replied, "Thou couldest have no power at all against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered Me unto thee hath the greater sin." (John 19:11.) Who was it that delivered Jesus to Pilate? It was none other than the Jews: and so, in the words of Jesus, the Jews were far more guilty than the Romans—a fact the modern day Jews have very conveniently overlooked.

    Let it be carefully noted that the Romans had not arrested Jesus nor were they apparently interested in His activities. He certainly had not been accused by them of any political offense—not even of being a king and thus the Jews contention that the Romans were trying Him because He had violated a Roman law does not hold in the face of all the testimony given at His trial. The fact is, the Jews were desperate and were doing everything in their power to get the Romans to crucify Jesus. They had been seeking His life (the Romans had not) and now, as Pilate was about to release Jesus, they threatened even the judge: declaring he was no friend of Caesar. In that threat, notice was served upon Pilate, if he did not execute Jesus, Caesar would be informed of his attitude toward one who claimed to be a king.

    Pilate was disturbed, not because Jesus was accused by the Jews of claiming to be a king, for Pilate knew "That for envy they had delivered Him." (Matthew 27:18), but because the Jews threatened him politically by an appeal to Caesar. The subtlety of their method in securing a conviction and the sentence of death by crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Romans is apparent. The modern day Jews refer to Luke's statement "There followed a great company of people and of women which also bewailed and lamented Him" as evidence that not all the Jews present at the trial wanted Him crucified. In this they should note that most of the followers of Jesus were Galileans, who racially were not Jews at all, but of the tribe of Benjamin with some of the tribe of Judah mixed in with them. No doubt there were some who were religious Jews who did net agree with their leaders and elders, nor with the chief priests: but, as a nation, Jewry stood back of their leaders and were responsible for what their elders and priests did in the name of the nation, for these rulers spoke for the people. Modern Jewry's endeavor to give credence to the subtleness of the rulers' attempt to blame the Romans indicates that Jewry is still willing that it be understood that the chief priests and elders of their nation, in the trial of Jesus, spoke for the nation: hence their present desire to exhonorate them from a responsibility which becomes the responsibility of Jewry.

    Also, scripture confirms that people are responsible for the acts of then leaders. When Joshua and the elders of Israel made a league with the inhabitants of the land and later the people wanted to break the covenant, they were unable to do so for the act of their leaders had become binding upon the nation. This is true today. The acts of our leaders in Washington bind our nation to carry out the agreements they make in our name. So it was with Jewry, the act of the leaders in bringing about the crucifixion of Jesus bound the nation and through their leaders became an act of that nation. From that day to this, the Jews have never repudiated what their leaders did: rather they have tried to exonerate those leaders and make it appear that the Romans were entirely responsible for the death of Jesus. The modern day Jews are but contributing their part to the perpetration of the myth of the Romans rather than Jewish guilt for the crucifixion. The political issue raised by the Jews in their contention that the Romans crucified Jesus as a political offender does not hold in the light of the evidence furnished by the Gospel. Pilate did not dare resist carrying out the demands of the Jews when they cried "Crucify Him," because of the pressure brought to bear upon him by the Jews is the one thing, which would have the most effect: his political career—for the Jews threatened to report him to Caesar. It is a subtle method of persuasion that has often been used by politicians and others in compelling another to do their bidding. JEWS HAVE BEEN AND STILL ARE PAST MASTERS AT THIS GAME. Pilate did not want to crucify Jesus and it was the Jews who contended with him when he sought to release Him. They demanded that Barrabbas be released and that Jesus be destroyed. Now Mark informs us that Barabbas had been guilty of insurrection and had committed murder in that insurrection. This fact invalidates the Jews contention that, when Pilate offered to release Jesus, the high priest suspected a trap and that if he had consented he might later be accused of conspiracy against the state because Jesus was a political offender. Such a contention is foolish in the face of the demand for the release of Barabbas who had actually been in insurrection against the state. The high priests and the elders, with the people, demanding that Barabbas be released were doing exactly what the Jews declare they were afraid to do: demand the release of a political offender. The Gospel story clearly shows that the Jews had been seeking a way by which they could kill Jesus for some time prior to His crucifixion. They became determined to accomplish this end after He had cleansed the temple of the money-changers at the close of His ministry. It is useless for the Jews to declare they were not guilty. Jesus was tried before the Sanhedrin and found guilty by perjured testimony and then He was delivered to Pilate by the Jews to be tried for a capital offense.

    The high priests, scribes, and the elders of the people, as well as the multitudes, perjured themselves in the judgement hall of Pilate. Under the Israel laws covering perjury, if a witness testifies falsely, then that which he had thought to do to another shall be done unto him (Deuteronomy 19:16-20). While the Jews did not actually execute Jesus, they succeeded in getting the Romans to do this: committing perjury for that purpose, besides threatening Pilate in order to secure a verdict of guilt and death for Jesus. Under the law governing witnesses, they and they only are guilty of the death of Jesus Christ. Under that Law, also as a people—through having brought an innocent to death by perjury—they have suffered throughout the centuries in accord with the prophetic statements of Jesus and the prophets for having slain the Messiah.

    Pilate recognized that Jesus was innocent when he took water and, washing his hands before the multitude, said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." The people answered and said. "His blood be upon us and our children." Let these propagandists, if the Jews, as they contend, were not guilty of the death of Jesus, explain why His blood has literally been upon them and their children in fulfillment of their request. History gives us silent but eloquent testimony as to who is guilty of the crucifixion of the just One. The Jews' contention, in the face of that record and of the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself, as confirmed by the Holy Spirit, indicates an effort to blot out the actuality of the guilt of a people who even now refuse to admit their sin or give any evidence in their attitude toward this crime or a desire for forgiveness.

    Until the Jews come to a realization of the need of admitting the guilt of having rejected Jesus the Christ and turn from their refusal to accept His Kingship, there will be nothing but trouble: for it was of them that Jesus was most assuredly speaking when He said, "But these mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before Me." Throughout the Christian dispensation, they have suffered in the fulfillment of the curse pronounced upon their forefathers, who involved their decendants in that crime by saying, "His blood be upon us and our children." There is a way for Jewry to side-step the results of that which their forefathers did in so far as they are concerned today. It isn't through writing such articles as have appeared lately or claiming that the crime of crucifying Jesus belonged to the Romans and was not their responsibility: but rather, in an acknowledgement on their part of the facts and in the acceptance of Jesus the Christ as the Messiah and through His Saviourhood, seeking forgiveness for themselves and their people. Then, in His life, shed for the remission of sins, they will have complete atonement for the crime they committed. But rememer that though one may be willing to forgive, the benefit of that forgiveness does not operate in the favor of the ones that should seek forgiveness until forgiveness is sought.

    When the Romans crucified Jesus, parting His garments and casting lots for His raiment, He said of them. "Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do." But the Jews knew what they were doing and the context clearly shows that Jesus had reference to those who actually crucified Him. All this is verified by history, for the Romans did not suffer as did the Jews for that crucifixion and, furthermore, God used the Romans to destroy the Jewish nation, their city and temples. Thus, the very ones whom Jesus asked His Father to forgive became an instrument to bring retribution upon those who refused to seek forgiveness. One course only remains open for those responsible for the death of Jesus, forgiveness, which they must yet seek to alleviate their self-caused suffering. Undertaking to falsify the record only adds to their guilt and Jesus Christ is waiting now for them to come to Him with a SINCERE AND HONEST HEART, that He may forgive them and give them everlasting life.

    From: National Christian News, Volume 3, Number 4 (1965).
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