This is an edited update of a blog I wrote ten years ago but I think it’s so important, we need to present it again. I’ve seen articles and heard sermons over the years with this question of who REALLY killed Christ. You’ve seen them too, I’m sure. I’ve spoken on it myself. I think most of the time, the real answer is missed. Do YOU know who REALLY killed the Messiah? Don’t assume I’m going to give any traditional answers, because I will not!
(Remember you can just control-click on the scriptures in our blogs and the whole passage will pop up).
Many say the Jews did. Certainly they’re right. They did. Paul and others attest to that (see 1 Thessalonians 2:14-15). Many say the Romans did. They’re right too – for it was the Roman government that had him nailed to the cross and who thrust the spear into His side. Still others say – and I’ve said in the past too – that we ALL killed Yeshua of Nazareth. Peter seems to say this to his sorrowful Pentecost audience (Acts 2:36-37), and later to a group in Acts 3:12-17, see especially verse 15. How did we ALL kill the Christ? By our sins. Our sins required His death in our stead. Please look up those verses and read them in your own Bible or by control-clicking on to the scripture in this blog.
But all of those answers miss the biggest answer of all!
I rarely have seen writers put to pen, or speakers preach, who ultimately killed Christ. It goes beyond the Jews of Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) day, beyond the Roman soldiers and beyond all of humanity requiring His death by our sins. The answer is going to surprise you or even initially upset you, but believe me only if you see it in the scriptures I will give.
As I’ve said, all the answers traditionally given are also correct, but there’s one more who really killed the Christ.
WHAT was the Messiah? One answer is what John the Baptizer said: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Later, the apostle Paul referred to Christ as “our Passover Lamb” (1 Cor. 5:7), so the Passover and days of Unleavened Bread of Exodus 12 pointed to, prophesied about, the REAL Lamb, the One all those little Passover lambs were pointing to – the Lamb of God. Of course you remember that in Exodus 12, God told Israel they could present a lamb or a goat kid that had no blemish or defect (Exodus 12:5).
Who was responsible in Exodus 12 to select a lamb without blemish and to have a lamb ready on Passover and to kill that lamb for their family in that original Passover service? It was the FATHER of the household who presented the selected lamb (Exodus 12:3) and who killed the family’s Passover lamb in Exodus 12. This was happening among all the Israelites (Exodus 12:6-7).
So when we read that Yeshua/Jesus was called “the Lamb of GOD”, what was John referring to? Well, we know Jesus was crucified on Passover day, to die in our stead. He was blameless and without sin.
GOD the Father had pre-selected the Word, who became flesh and became the SON of God (John 1:14) to be His Lamb. In fact, Jesus was as good as already slain from before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:18-20). So ALL the Passover lambs of Exodus 12 and afterwards, all pointed to the future fulfillment of Messiah, the Lamb of God.
God the Father had to present a lamb for His household – one lamb per household, remember (Exodus 12:1-3). The Lamb being offered had to be enough for the household. ALL who wish to be part of the Household of God will partake of Father’s lamb, in Father’s house. On Passover day, the Israelite heads of households took their chosen lamb and killed it, spilling its blood, and establishing a blood covenant between them and God. The splattered blood of the lamb on the lintel and door posts of each home protected the household from the Destroyer – but it was really God Himself who was making the decision who lived and who died. Yehovah Himself inspected and passed over each house – where we get the word “Passover” from, when He saw the blood.
“For YHVH (the LORD) will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when HE sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD (YHVH) will PASS OVER the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.”
So who really and ultimately had to kill the Lamb of God? Who alone truly could do it? Another clue is given by Yeshua himself during his final Passover. He is quoting from Zechariah 13:7.
31 Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'
Who is the “I” in “I will strike the Shepherd?” WHO is going to strike the shepherd? Remember that Yeshua was the Word who was God and WITH God (John 1:1-2). So let’s see what the original source – Zech 13:7 – says, and notice how God calls that Shepherd “the Man who is my COMPANION”. If you take the time to read it, it is YHVH who is speaking. Yeshua is quoted in Matthew 26:31 as saying “I will strike the Shepherd” – but He is quoting GOD speaking in Zechariah 13:7. So GOD will strike the Shepherd. Who is the Shepherd? Jesus himself says HE is the good shepherd (John 10:11); the Shepherd who was struck by God.
Many of you know that the end of Isaiah 52 and all of Isaiah 53 is a prophecy about the crucifixion and sacrifice of Yeshua of Nazareth. (Remember I use the name His mama called Him – the Hebrew name Yeshua, which means “salvation”.)
Let’s see who did the striking and sacrificing here. Isaiah 53 explains John 3:16 – that GOD so loved the world that HE gave his one and only Son. Why? So that those who believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. God the Father saw that by sacrificing His only Son for a time, that in his love he’d be opening the door to potentially millions or even billions more sons and daughters (2 Cor. 6:18). And Jesus was perfectly OK with that too (John 10:17-18).
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him STRICKEN, SMITTEN BY GOD, and afflicted….
6 All we like sheep have gone astray, We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And Yehovah (the Lord) has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
10 “Yet it PLEASED YHVH (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 Yehovah (the Lord) shall prosper in His hand.
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.”
Did you catch that? HE – YHVH – has put Him to grief. WHY would God put His own innocent Son to death? I know, I know; it’s easier to blame the Jews or the Romans. But that misses the point of the entire Passover! Isaiah 53:10 says GOD made His soul an offering for sin in His love for all of us!
So really the One who killed Christ was the Head of the Father’s House – Yehovah Most High, God our Father, for all those in His House who would accept this blood. The blood that covers and cleanses us from ALL our sins, no matter how bad they were. The blood of the Lamb of God, whom FATHER slew for His household, protects us from the Destroyer, saves us from the penalty of death that we earned, and covers us by His grace. Yeshua becomes the Covering for His people, for His Bride.
Still not convinced? Then what does John 3:16 say? GOD gave His only begotten son as His LAMB for all and any in the whole WORLD. The Head of the House had to be the one to slay HIS own lamb at Passover. Perhaps this will make John 3:16 1 John 4:9-11 mean more now.
What an incredible HEAD of the household of God that we have. He offered His OWN innocent Son for all of us who will accept Him as our Savior.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 HE WHO DID NOT SPARE HIS OWN SON, BUT DELIVERED HIM UP FOR US ALL, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
What an incredible duo. Father and Son. Yeshua adds another fold to this incredible story. Father offers His innocent Son in order to save all who would repent and accept Him. The Son – Yeshua - -ALSO offers HIMSELF willingly and agrees to step up to Father’s Plan. This just gets more and more amazing. Show me another religion whose God offers HIMSELF for His people!
Of course that too was pictured by Abraham offering up his grown son Isaac until God stopped it at the last minute (Genesis 22). Isaac was big and old enough to refuse it, but he obviously agreed too. And Isaac carried the wood, picturing the stake/cross of Christ.
"Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 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."
Yeshua, can I speak to you on behalf of all who are reading this: “Well done, our Master, well done. You’re simply amazing. We are not worthy of your grace and love but you offer it anyway. Thank you, our Beloved, thank you, and yes, we accept you and your covering blood again this year. You’ve washed us in your blood, you’ve wiped away our sins, and you’ve washed our feet of any of the dust/sins we’ve picked up in the last 12 months. And yes, Master, we are slowly learning to forgive and love one another as you have loved and forgiven. You have set such an awesome example for all of us to follow. You’re amazing, holy Brother -- our Lord and Master, our Friend, our Savior, our King, our Husband-to-be, our JOY, our Love – and yes, our God. Thank you. We sure love you.”
“And Father, all of us fathers wish we could be a father like you. You are so kind, so patient, so loving, so giving, so forgiving – over and over. Thank you for that. Thank you for offering up your eternal companion the Word so that ultimately in your plan, he becomes the Firstborn among many brethren. But what an example you are and please help me and all of us fathers be a better father. Help all of us fathers to more perfectly turn our hearts to our children and please, please Father, turn our children’s hearts to their fathers, and especially to you, as the ultimate Father. Please. Please teach us how, please make us all one, as you and Yeshua are one. We love you so much, holy Father. Amen.”