Take a good look at this picture. Who do you think that is nailing Jesus to the cross? Keep reading and you’ll find out..
I remember during the release of Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of Christ”, there was a ton of controversy brewing about the anti-Semitic overtones aroused by the movie, particularly with the idea that Jews killed Jesus. The question still circulates today: Who was responsible for the death of Jesus? Was it Judas Iscariot, the traitor who turned Jesus over for money? Nope. How about the Jewish leaders who brought Him to trial? Sorry. Try again. Was it the blood thirsty crowd who preferred to release a murderer than to let Jesus live? Well, while it was pretty ironic that they freed a criminal bearing the same name as Jesus, that’s not it either. Should we blame Pilate for giving in the crowd for political purposes? I’m sorry, but he’s not the red-herring here.
I believe that, while the Jewish leaders, Judas, the angry crowd, and Pilate all served as key players in fulfilling God’s plan of Jesus’ death, they were not at all responsible for His dying.
The truth is: we are responsible for Jesus’ death. You and me. Jesus died for my sins as well as yours. It was only through His death that we would have the chance to procure salvation. As the Bible reminds us in Hebrews 9:22, “without the shedding of blood, [there] is no remission of sin.” So, Jesus had to sacrifice Himself to deliver us from our sins.
Essentially, Jesus was born so that He could die. He died so that we could live. He rose from the dead so that we could be with Him forever. End of story. He paid a debt that He did not owe to free us of a debt that we could never pay. Jesus Himself came to the understanding that He had to endure the agony of death in order to take away the sins of the world. Otherwise, we could have received salvation through our works…which would have made Jesus’ death pointless (Galatians 2:21).
With all of this to consider, let me repeat the question that I asked you at the beginning of this post: Who is that person nailing Jesus to the cross? For the answer to this question, take a look — a good look — at the person in the mirror. There’s your culprit. That’s the person for whom Jesus gave His life.