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Friday, February 12, 2016

Why Was Jesus Killed? 149 Reasons

Rembrandt van Rijn, Raising of the Cross (1633)

I looked in the New Testament to get answers about why Jesus was killed. I thought I'd find a few. I found a lot.

Granted, among the reasons for Jesus' death listed below, there is much overlap. But the list still shows the startling complexity of why Jesus was executed in Jerusalem, nearly all New Testament authors' keen interest in the subject, and their stubbornly repetitious insistence on substitutionary atonement (notwithstanding many other important, complementary reasons).

Please note: Whenever "we"/"us"/"our" is used below, in context it nearly always refers to people who have placed their trust in Jesus and his death as the source of their salvation.

Why was Jesus killed?

  • Matt. 2:2-3, 13—he was born the king of the Jews
  • Matt. 10:21-28—the Pharisees believed he was the devil incarnate
  • Matt. 12:14—he demolished the Pharisees’ criticism of his Sabbath activity with irrefutable reasoning from Scripture and assertion of his own authority
  • Matt. 16:21-23—it was God’s plan
  • Matt. 17:12—the authorities did not recognize him
  • Matt. 20:28—he gave his life as a ransom for many
  • Matt. 21:45-46; 22:15—he publicly alleged that the chief priests and Pharisees rejected God, and the people held him to be a prophet
  • Matt. 26:14-16—Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve disciples, betrayed him
  • Matt. 26:28—his blood sealed a covenant and was poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins
  • Matt. 26:39—his Father wanted it
  • Matt. 26:54—it fulfilled the Scriptures
  • Matt. 26:59-66—the chief priests and the Council seized on Jesus’ quotation of Ps. 110:1 and Dan. 7:13 as the crime of blasphemy
  • Matt. 27:18—the chief priests and elders envied him
  • Matt. 27:20—the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas’ release instead of Jesus’
  • Matt. 27:24—Pilate wanted to prevent a riot
  • Matt. 27:37—he was claimed to be the king of the Jews
  • Matt. 27:46—he was forsaken by God like David was (Ps. 22:1)
  • Mark 3:6—the Pharisees/scribes believed him to blaspheme by forgiving sins on his own authority and to eat and drink in unholy ways, and he healed on the Sabbath
  • Mark 8:31-33—it was God’s plan
  • Mark 10:45—he gave his life as a ransom for many
  • Mark 11:18—he accused the chief priests and scribes of turning the temple into a robbers’ den, and the crowd was amazed at his teaching
  • Mark 12:12—he claimed to be the son of God (the Messiah) whom the chief priests, scribes, and elders rejected
  • Mark 14:10-11—Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve disciples, betrayed him
  • Mark 14:24—his blood sealed a covenant and was poured out for many
  • Mark 14:36—his Father wanted it
  • Mark 13:49—it fulfilled the Scriptures
  • Mark 14:61-64—Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah and quotation of Ps. 110:1 and Dan. 7:13 were construed by the chief priests and the Council as blasphemy
  • Mark 15:10—the chief priests envied him
  • Mark 15:15—Pilate wished to satisfy the crowd, which had been incited by the chief priests, by releasing the insurrectionist and murderer Barabbas instead of Jesus
  • Mark 15:26—he was claimed to be the king of the Jews
  • Mark 15:34—he was forsaken by God like David was (Ps. 22:1)
  • Luke 2:34-35—he was appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel and for a sign to be opposed
  • Luke 4:22-30—no prophet is welcome in his home town
  • Luke 6:11—he ignored and exploded the scribes and Pharisees' purity standards
  • Luke 11:53-54—he blasted the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy
  • Luke 18:31-33—the prophets foretold it
  • Luke 19:47-48; 20:19, 26—he denounced the authorities in Jerusalem, and the people loved it
  • Luke 22:3-6—Satan entered Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve disciples, and led him to betray Jesus
  • Luke 22:20—his blood sealed a new covenant
  • Luke 22:37—he was counted among the criminals in order to fulfill Scripture (Isa. 53:12)
  • Luke 22:42—his Father wanted it
  • Luke 22:53—the people who wanted to seize him were granted the moment to do it and the power of darkness to execute it
  • Luke 22:70-71—the Council seized on his noncommittal response to their question as self-incrimination
  • Luke 23:24—Pilate conceded to the crowd’s demand that insurrectionist and murderer Barabbas be released instead of Jesus
  • Luke 23:34—his killers did not know what they were doing
  • Luke 23:38—he was claimed to be the king of the Jews
  • Luke 23:46—he committed his spirit to his Father’s hands, like David did (Ps. 31:5)
  • Luke 24:25-27, 46—Moses and the prophets said that the Messiah had to suffer what he suffered
  • John 1:29—he was God’s offering to himself to take away the sin of the world
  • John 5:16-18—he enraged the Jewish authorities by healing on the Sabbath and calling God his own Father, thus claiming to be equal with God
  • John 7:7, 19—he asserted that people did not obey God’s law and that their deeds were evil
  • John 7:25-26, 30-32, 44-52—the chief priests and Pharisees in Jerusalem did not recognize that he was the Messiah and disbelieved his claim to be sent from God
  • John 8:20—he alleged that the Pharisees did not know God, his Father
  • John 8:37, 40, 44—his true message did not find a place in the authorities because, like their father the devil, they hated the truth and wanted to murder those who tell it
  • John 8:59—he claimed to be eternal God
  • John 10:10, 15-18—he laid down his life of his own accord so that his “sheep” would have life according to his Father’s command
  • John 10:30-39—he enraged the Jewish authorities by claiming to be one God with the Father
  • John 11:48-53—the chief priests and Pharisees were afraid that if everyone believed in him, the Romans would depose them and annihilate the Jews as a nation, but that if Jesus died then diaspora Jews would return to Judea
  • John 12:32-33—he intended to draw all people to himself
  • John 15:13—he laid down his life for his friends, his disciples
  • John 15:18-20—the world hated him
  • John 15:21-24—the world did not know the Father and hated him too
  • John 15:25—the cries of David in the Psalms about being hated without a cause had to be fulfilled
  • John 16:2-3—his killers thought they were doing a service to God
  • John 18:11—his Father wanted it
  • John 18:33-34; 19:19-21—he was accused by the chief priests of pretending to be the king of the Jews
  • John 18:40—the chief priests demanded that Barabbas, a robber, be released instead of Jesus
  • John 19:7—he violated the Law of Moses by making himself out to be the Son of God (more than just the Messiah)
  • John 19:10-11—Pilate was given authority over Jesus by God
  • John 19:12—Pilate protected himself from the chief priests’ allegation that he was disloyal to Caesar
  • John 19:14-16—Pilate used him as a way to wrest a confession of allegiance to Caesar from the chief priests
  • John 19:19-22—Pilate was sending a message to the Jews that Rome would crush anyone who claimed to be their king
  • Acts 2:23—God knew it and planned it in advance
  • Acts 3:13-14—the people of Jerusalem disowned him in Pilate’s presence in exchange for a murderer when Pilate wanted to release him
  • Acts 3:17—both the rulers and the people acted in ignorance
  • Acts 3:18—God announced it beforehand by the prophets
  • Acts 4:28—God’s hand and purpose predestined it
  • Acts 7:51—the Council was stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, resisting the Holy Spirit just like their fathers
  • Acts 7:53—the Council received the Law of Moses as ordained by angels but did not keep it
  • Acts 7:32-35—he fulfilled Isaiah 53:7-8
  • Acts 13:27—the residents and rulers of Jerusalem did not recognize him or the prophecies written about him that are read every Sabbath, which they fulfilled by condemning him
  • Acts 26:22-23—Moses and the prophets said that the Messiah had to be subjected to suffering
  • Rom. 3:25—God displayed him as a propitiation that justified God’s merciful disregard of sins committed up to that point and God’s acquittal of those linked to Jesus through faith
  • Rom. 4:25—he was delivered up because of our crimes
  • Rom. 5:6-9—God demonstrated his love for us helpless, ungodly sinners by acquitting us and saving us from his wrath through Jesus’ blood
  • Rom. 5:10—it reconciled us to God while we were God’s enemies
  • Rom. 5:19—it was an act of obedience that designated many to be righteous
  • Rom. 6:6—our old self with its sin-corrupted body was crucified with him so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin
  • Rom. 6:7, 11—by baptism into Jesus’ death, we are dead to sin and held innocent of it
  • Rom. 7:4-11—through it we died to and thus were released from the Law that exacerbates our guilt by illuminating it and exciting our rebelliousness
  • Rom. 8:3-4—God did what the Law could not do: condemn sin in the likeness of sin-degraded humanity without condemning us, so that the requirement of the Law could be met in us
  • Rom. 14:9—it made Jesus Lord even over those who have died
1 Corinthians
  • 1 Cor. 1:18-25—God wisely planned to expose worldly wisdom’s inadequacy for finding God by using the foolishness of the cross to save those who believe it
  • 1 Cor. 2:7-8—none of the rulers of this age understood the secret truth of God’s wise, predestined plan
  • 1 Cor. 5:7—he is our sacrificed Passover lamb whose blood protects us from the deadly wrath of God
  • 1 Cor. 11:25—his blood sealed the new covenant
  • 1 Cor. 15:3—he died for our sins, in accord with what the Hebrew Scriptures said
2 Corinthians
  • 2 Cor. 5:21—God made him to embody sin in our place, even though he knew no sin, so that by him we would embody God’s righteousness
  • 2 Cor. 13:4—he was weak
  • Gal. 1:4—he gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age, as God the Father wanted
  • Gal. 2:21—it was the necessary means for us to gain righteousness by God’s grace, because the Law does not deliver it
  • Gal. 3:13-14—he redeemed us from the curse embedded in the Law by embodying that curse on our behalf, so that Gentiles might receive the blessing given to Abraham and Jews and Gentiles might receive the promised Holy Spirit
  • Gal. 6:14—his cross makes his followers despised and as good as dead in the world’s eyes but also makes the world despised and dead to them
  • Eph. 1:7—it redeemed us and made possible the forgiveness of our crimes according to God’s rich grace
  • Eph. 2:13-16—it made made peace between Jews and Gentiles, uniting them in one body, by annulling the commandments of the Law that divided them, and it reconciled them to God as one
  • Eph. 5:26-32—he intended to make his church holy and clean in order to present it to himself as his wife, glorious and flawless, with whom he will become one
  • Phil. 2:8—he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death
  • Col. 2:19-20—it was God’s desire to make peace between himself and all things through the blood of Jesus’ cross
  • Col. 2:22—it reconciled us with God in order to present us holy, blameless, and beyond reproach before himself (provided we continue in the faith)
  • Col. 2:11-12—we are buried with him through baptism, which is Jesus’ means to remove our sin-corrupted bodies from us as a non-physical circumcision
  • Col. 2:14—in his crucifixion our unmet obligations were crucified too
  • Col. 2:20—it enabled us to die with him with respect to the elementary principles of the world
1 Thessalonians
  • 1 Thess. 4:14—it enabled those who die through him to rise as he did
1 Timothy
  • 1 Tim. 2:6—he gave himself as a ransom for us all, which was a timely testimony
2 Timothy
  • 2 Tim. 2:11—if we die with him, we will also live with him
  • Tit. 2:14—he gave himself for us in order to redeem us from every lawless deed and to purify for himself a people for his own possession that is zealous for good deeds
  • Heb. 2:9—he tasted death on behalf of everyone
  • Heb. 2:10; 5:9—it made him complete as the inaugurator of our eternal salvation
  • Heb. 2:14-15—by it he incapacitated the devil, who had the power of death, and delivered us who were enslaved through fear of death all our lives
  • Heb. 2:17; 5:1—it conformed him to his human brothers and sisters in all ways so that he could propitiate God for our sins as our high priest
  • Heb. 2:18; 5:2—it enabled him to help gently those who are tested at the point of death, because he was also
  • Heb. 5:8—it taught him obedience
  • Heb. 7:27—he offered up a once-for-all sacrifice to God when he offered up himself
  • Heb. 9:12—his blood enabled him to enter the heavenly holy place as high priest once for all because it obtained eternal redemption
  • Heb. 9:13-14; 10:10; 13:12—it was an unblemished offering that Jesus gave to God through the eternal Spirit that cleanses the consciences of defiled people from dead activities to serve the living God as holy people
  • Heb. 9:15-16—it redeemed the crimes committed under the first covenant and is the means by which Jesus mediated a new covenant, so that those who have been called to participate in it may obtain the promise of an eternal inheritance
  • Heb. 9:22—it made forgiveness possible
  • Heb. 9:23—it cleansed the accoutrements of the heavenly holy place to inaugurate their use
  • Heb. 9:28—he bore the sins of many
  • Heb. 10:10-18—by it he obtained single, complete, eternal, final forgiveness for all those who have been designated as holy by his death
  • Heb. 10:19-22—it gives us confidence to draw near to God in the heavenly holy place even now with a clean conscience
  • Heb. 12:2—he was motivated by the joyous prospect of ascension
  • Heb. 13:20—it enabled God to raise him from the dead
1 Peter
  • 1 Pet. 1:2—it cleanses us and ties us to God in a covenant
  • 1 Pet. 1:11—it was predicted by the Spirit of the Messiah through the prophets
  • 1 Pet. 1:18-19—it redeemed us (Gentiles) from the futile way of life handed down to us by our forefathers
  • 1 Pet. 2:21—his suffering for us left us an example to follow in our own unjust suffering
  • 1 Pet. 2:24—he carried our sins in his body so that we might die with respect to sin and live with respect to righteousness
  • 1 Pet. 2:24—by his wounds we were healed
  • 1 Pet. 3:18—he died for the sins of the unjust in order to bring us to God
1 John
  • 1 John 1:7—his blood cleanses us from all sin
  • 1 John 2:2—he himself is the propitiation for our sins and those of the whole world
  • 1 John 3:16—he showed us what love is by laying down his life for us
  • 1 John 4:10—God loved us and sent his own Son to be the propitiation for our sins
  • Rev. 1:5—he released us from our sins by his blood
  • Rev. 5:9—it made him worthy to unleash judgment on the evil world
  • Rev. 5:9—it bought people from every tribe, language, people, and nation for God
  • Rev. 7:14—it purifies those who endure the great tribulation
  • Rev. 12:11—it enables us to overcome the devil when we testify about Jesus