Mea Culpa. I confess. I did it. I killed Jesus. I have denied this for years, but I can do so no longer. The evidence is overwhelming. At least that is what this fellow told me the other day as I was trying to free my bicycle from an incredibly crammed bike rack at Middle Tennessee State University.
“Why did you Jews reject Jesus,” he asked without even so much as a “Hello you damned Jew.”
“We didn’t,” I said. “Look at Palm Sunday we welcomed him with open arms.”
“Yeah, then why does John say, “He came to His own, and these who were His own did not receive Him,” (John 1:11)?”
“Well, John had an agenda when he wrote….”
“And why did you Jews kill Jesus?”
“We didn’t,” I said, “The Romans….”
“Then why does Acts say the “Men of Israel” nailed Him to a cross and put Him to death (Acts 2:22-23)? And why does Paul say, “the Jews…both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets” (Thessalonians 2:15)?”
“Name one prophet the Jews killed,” I said.
“Are you saying Paul is a liar?”
I was about to get into a real argument with this guy, but suddenly the wind just went out of my sails.
“You know,” I sighed, “you’re right. We killed Him. We rejected him and we killed him, and I for one am damn glad we did and so should you be as well, and if you aren’t grateful to me for killing Jesus you are insulting God and damning yourself to Hell for all eternity for rejecting God and God’s Son and the gift of redemption that He secured with His death.”
I think my confession confused him, and he just stared at me blankly. So I continued.
“Paul taught it was necessary for Jesus to suffer and die and be resurrected (Acts 17:3). If you don’t die you don’t resurrect. And Acts says that Jesus was “delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God” (2:22). This was God’s plan. The Jews did God’s work. If not for the Jews there would be no Jesus and if not for the Jews there would be no Christ. If you get into heaven it is because we Jews were willing to do what God demanded. Just as Abraham was willing to kill his son so were we, commanded by God, willing to kill God’s Son. We could have said ‘no.’ We could have said, “You want Him dead, then kill Him Yourself.” But we didn’t; we did what we were created to do: we killed God.
“You think killing God was easy. No, sir. You have it easy. All you have to do is believe. We had to do the dirty work. And then people like you have the audacity to attack, condemn, brutalize, and even murder the very people God chose to bring redemption to the world. Jesus came to die, the Jews were destined by God to kill Him; this is God’s plan and you, my friend, are insulting the very God whom you pretend to love. Shame on you! And you call yourself a Christian. You are no Christian for you deny the power of God to carry out His will, and you spit on the servants of God who are tasked with doing His will. You are going to Hell for your blasphemy, and I pity you your fate. We Jews are going to heaven for our loyalty. And we will be embraced by the still bleeding hands of Jesus and the blood from His side will stain our newly white robes and we will have to find a place to wash them or perhaps a discount store where we might purchase new ones for we are destined to stand before God as the chosen servants of God who did His will by killing His Son so that people like you could have a chance at salvation which you have just blown by insulting me.”
It was a masterful speech, and, with its conclusion, I mounted my bike as if it were one of the four horses of the Apocalypse, and peddled away calling back over my shoulder, “Woe to you, blasphemer of God, woe to you and your seed and your seed’s seed’s seed’s seed unto a thousand generations of seed which is a lot of seed if you are lucky which you will not be for God hateth those who mocketh His will and those who carry it out. Woe to you, O Blasphemer, woe. And forgeteth not that this will go on thy permanent record. Woe!”
I didn’t look back but I imagined this poor fellow falling to his knees and asking Jesus for forgiveness. Most likely, however, he just went looking for another Jew.