Why did we kill Jesus? We killed Him because we think we know the truth when, in fact, we are blind. Jesus fulfilled the roles of prophet, priest and king yet the people of his day were blind to this truth and rejected him to the extreme of killing him on a cross. The same is still true today when we reject Jesus for who he reveals himself to be.
Jesus was accused of being a false prophet – one who spoke blasphemy and claimed to have come down from heaven. While his contemporaries were searching for truth and a true prophet, they depended on their own expectations and understanding and righteousness.
In fulfilling the role of priest, Jesus confronted a religious understanding of the law, covenant and sacrifice. He showed the elites true righteousness in a corrupt world and confronted humanity’s effort and attempts to be accepted by God through practices. He exposed human judgments and exclusivity.
As the true king, Jesus was rejected because he was not the kind of king hoped for or expected. The world considers servanthood as weakness. Dependence on others is not revered as a characteristic of leadership or victory. Jesus was not accepted as king because he did not appeal to humanity’s longing for the display of power and might.
A New Kingdom
Jesus taught about the kingdom of God as something that was already present in saving power through him. Jesus’ popularity increased as word spread of his teaching, healings, and miracles. His popularity created great controversy with groups such as the Pharisees, who questioned his credentials and were outraged by his denial of self-righteousness, and the powerful Sadducees who benefited from allegiance with the Roman authorities. Jesus’ was a threat to these groups so their plan of action was to silence him.
Why did we kill Jesus?
The corruption of humanity is what led us to kill Jesus. “Our longings are distorted by sin.” Jonathan Wilson explains, “When we force ourselves and others into those longings and expectations, we destroy them and ourselves.” When we feel threatened in terms of our power, control, or privilege, we seek to take out the source of that threat. This is what happened to Jesus, being crucified on a cross. It is a confrontational encounter where we must not only look at God crucified but also into the mirror and ask, “Am I a part of this?”