Why was Jesus crucified? What got Jesus into trouble?

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Think Apologetics. Tabernacle of David considers this resource trustworthy and Biblically sound.


Christians claim Jesus died for the sins of humanity. But besides some of the theological issues, what about some of the historical and political issues that played a role in the death of Jesus? Here are some points to ponder:

Jesus got Himself in trouble because of the following issues:

  1.  Leviticus 24:14-16: The offense is designated as a capital crime, and the offender is to be stoned by the community.
  2.  Blasphemy involves the actual pronunciation of the name of God along with an attitude of disrespect. Or, claiming to do the same things God does is considered blasphemous.
  3. Jesus claims to do the same things God does:  1. Forgiving sins was something that was designated for God alone (Exod. 34: 6-7; Neh.9:17; Dan. 9:9) and it was something that was done only in the Temple along with the proper sacrifice.
  4. Jesus says he has the authority to forgive sins (see Matthew 9: 1-5).
  5. Jesus acts as if He is the Temple in person. In Mark 14:58, it says, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’ The Jewish leadership knew that God was the one who was responsible for building the temple (Ex. 15:17; 1 En. 90:28-2).
  6. Mark 14: 60-64. Jesus says he is the Son of Man who come in the clouds to judge humanity and He is at the right had of God. He gets accused of blasphemy.
  7. Jesus says he existed prior to before Abraham (this means he is God). See John 8: 58.
  8. Jesus also told parables of judgment about the leadership of Israel. If they don’t repent, they there would be judgment (See Mark: 12: 1-12).

Some other political reasons that Jesus died:

  1. Jesus died because he threatened the political establishment with the prospect of undesired change.
  2.  The ruling priests took action against Jesus because they feared his preaching and his prophetic criticism of the ruling priesthood might lead to insurrection.
  3.  If this happened, the ruling priests could be deposed by the Roman governor. An insurrection could lead to a very costly civil war, which is in fact what happened three decades later, in 66–70 CE.

Who killed Jesus?

The Jews?

  1. Remember, it is historically incorrect to make the entire Jewish people as such responsible for the execution of Jesus.  “The Jews” in Scripture doesn’t mean the entire Jews at that time nor every Jew who has ever lived. Sadly, so much antisemitism has taken place because of the Jews have been accused of killing Jesus. It is baffling that Christians say “Jesus had to die for our sins” but then they have blamed Jews for killing Jesus.
  2. Those responsible were the Sadducean temple leadership together with the Roman authorities.
  3. It was a group handpicked by the high priests who shouted, ‘Crucify him!’

    The Romans?

    1. The Jews had no authority to execute Jesus. They had to have Pilate order the crucifixion.

    God the Father?

    Romans 3:25 says that “God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood,” and Romans 8:32 says that God “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all.” Isaiah 53:10 also reveals that it was God’s will for Christ to die: “It was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and . . . the Lord makes his life an offering for sin.”

    Jesus willingly  offers Himself?

    1. Jesus said that no one — not the Jews, not the Romans, not the world, not even the devil — had the power to take His life. He said, “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:17-18)

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