Making the Case for Who Killed Christ

Who was responsible?  Jews (all, few, leaders), Pontius Pilate, Roman soldiers or just the final Roman Soldier?

Let’s make a case


Matthew 26:3 Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
Matthew 26:4 and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.
Matthew 26:5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
Matthew 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.

They came in the night under the cover of darkness and arrested Him without charging Him.

It used to be that you would have to tell someone why you were taking them into custody and imprisoning them.

John 18:12 Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.
John 18:13 And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.
John 18:14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

At night (illegal; it was supposed to be done in the daylight between the morning and evening sacrifices, while the Sanhedrin “sat” and there were people around) and before Annas who had no legal authority (He was a former High Priest).

They were still trying to get the goods on Him and come up with a charge before He had to meet with Caiaphas

John 18:19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine.
John 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.
John 18:21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”

When a person went to trial they were supposed to have a crime charged before they went to court. They were on a fishing expedition – waiting for that “aha” moment

John 18:22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”
John 18:23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?
John 18:24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

There were many other of their own rules that they pushed aside, rules to insure that an innocent man would not be killed….

False Witnesses

Mark 14:55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none.
Mark 14:56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.
Mark 14:57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying,
Mark 14:58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ”
Mark 14:59 But not even then did their testimony agree.

They needed it at the mouth of two or three witnessess

Not only was there no charge, but there was not even an accusation

Mark 14:61 But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Mark 14:62 Jesus said, I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.
Mark 14:63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
Mark 14:64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

This was even illegal under their law. You could not incriminate yourself without other witnesses testifying to the same fact.

Mark 14:65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands.

This too was illegal treatment of someone in Christ’s position. Even someone on death row had rights and they violated them too.

Coming Before Pilate

Early morning they took Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium [Hall of Judgment],

John 18:29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

They still did not have a legitimate one to bring before a Roman authority. At this point all they had was the blasphemy – which was a RELIGIOUS issue, not one under the jurisdiction of Pontius Pilate. If he would have been aware of this he would simply have pushed it back down to their court system.

John 18:30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.”
John 18:31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,”

Now their real motive comes to light.

Pilate interrogates him and comes to the following conclusion (especially since he had no agenda like the Jews did)

John 18:38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

But this wasn’t good enough for the Jews. So Pilate sent Jesus to Herod who was much more ruthless than Pilate was. Pilate was hoping that he could wash his hands of it by putting it in Herod’s court.

Luke 23:8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.
Luke 23:9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.
Luke 23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.
Luke 23:11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
Luke 23:12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.
Luke 23:13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,
Luke 23:14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;
Luke 23:15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.
Luke 23:16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him
Luke 23:17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).
Luke 23:18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—
Luke 23:19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
Luke 23:20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them.
Luke 23:21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
Luke 23:22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”
Luke 23:23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.
Luke 23:24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.
Luke 23:25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

And finally:

Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.
Matthew 27:25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Peter confirms that the Jews killed Jesus Christ

Acts 3:12 So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
Acts 3:13 The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.
Acts 3:14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,
Acts 3:15 and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses.

Paul confirms the Jews did it

1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans,
1 Thessalonians 2:15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men,



Matthew 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he [Pilate] delivered Him to be crucified.

Was washing hands enough; He could have put His foot down; didnt want trouble with Caesar (he already had that with mixing the blood of the Galileans with Jewish sacrifices); his wife warned him not to be involved in this because of a dream she had.

Roman Centurions

The Romans carried out the sentence in typical fashion—a brutal beating, scourging and crucifixion. It was a Roman who drove the nails into His wrists and feet. It was a Roman spear thrust into His side.

John 19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him.
John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers [had] pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
John 19:36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “NOT ONE OF HIS BONES SHALL BE BROKEN.”
John 19:37 And again another Scripture says, “THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.”

Many to blame

Acts 4:27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together

Many were complicit

But now we see who REALLY made this happen

Acts 4:28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

The Jews and the Romans were used as an instrument in the death of Christ.

God and Jesus Christ were the ones Truly Responsible

John 10:17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.
John 10:18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Think about it – Christ on earth (who can call legions of angels at any time to do His bidding and we have God in heaven in ALL His power and glory)

What could anyone do?

This was part of the plan from the beginning

1 Peter 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
1 Peter 1:19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
1 Peter 1:20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you

The sacrificial system foreshadowed

Matthew 26:54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?”
Matthew 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me.
Matthew 26:56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.

All Mankind is Responsible

Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Romans 6:23; Romans3:23

Christ HAD to die to pay for OUR sins…the sins of humanity.

1 John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Christ had to die for each one of us individually

He became a substitutionary sacrifice for us – in our stead


All are responsible

Had Jesus Christ come and done what He had done in other cultures he would not have been accepted. How long do you think He would have lasted with the Muslims, telling them that they are wrong.

What about today and bringing His teachings. He would not have been accepted. He is not being accepted today!

1 Timothy 1:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

It was a world unknowing and unaware; We were ignorant of all this – Jews, Romans, etc

Would we really have done any better had we been there?

Odds are we would have:

  • left His side
  • not testified at His trial on His behalf

  • spit upon

  • denied Him

  • punched Him in the face, beaten and scourged Him

  • put the crown of thorns on His head

  • put the nails into His wrist

  • hung him on a tree

  • thrust a spear in His side

  • betrayed Him with a kiss

We are guilty of His death, yet because of it we can be forgiven

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. [Everyone of us!]