Who Killed Jesus?

Was it the judges?
 
Please read along with us; we know you will be blessed!
SHOFTIM (Judges)
Deuteronomy 16:18–21:9; Isaiah 51:12–52:12; Mark 14:53–64
“Appoint judges [shoftim] and officials [shotrim] for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge [shafat] the people fairly [tzedek mishpat / righteous judgment].” (Deuteronomy 16:18)
 
Last week, in Parasha Re’eh, God set a blessing and a curse before the Israelites.
 
The blessing was a result of obeying God’s commandments and the curse as a result of forsaking them.
In this week’s Torah portion, Moses instructed the nation of Israel in the appointing of judges (called shoftim in Hebrew) and law enforcement officers (called shotrim) to administer justice. These judges and officers would not only teach but also interpret the laws of the Torah.
What is the difference between a judge and an officer? A judge refers to one qualified to deliver judgments according to the laws of the Torah. The officer then enforces these legal judgments, even by force if necessary.
The Hebrew prophet Isaiah promised that there would come a day when judges would be restored as in the days of old:
“I shall restore your judges [shoftim] as at first, and your counselors [yaats] as at the beginning.” (Isaiah 1:26)
Although Isaiah mentions the judges, the officers do not appear in this prophecy, but rather “counselors.”
 
Why will counselors replace the role of officers?
In the days of redemption, when the Messiah returns to rule and reign in righteousness, there will be no need for “enforcers” of the Torah.
In the Messianic era, all will have such a deep desire to follow and obey the Lord that only counselors will be needed to explain and clarify (not to enforce) the decisions of the judges.
Even today (before that great day of the Lord that is to come) those who are truly in Messiah do not need external coercion to keep God’s commandments and judgments.
For when we have been given a new heart and a new spirit, there arises within us a desire to keep God’s laws and commandments, not in a spirit of legalism, but out of a heart of love:
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:27)
For those who believe in Yeshua (Jesus) but do not observe His commandments in the Torah, the question we need to ask is, “Why not?”
Either the person is not truly following Yeshua and filled with His Spirit, or they have received and accepted a teaching of false grace which erroneously emphasizes freedom from guilt over freedom from sin.
Certainly, Yeshua did not pay the ultimate price to set us free from bondage to sin so that we can continue sinning without guilt.
“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4)
 
Pursuing Justice for All
“Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.” (Deuteronomy 16:19)
This Parasha warns that judges (or magistrates) are not to show any kind of partiality or favoritism. They are forbidden from accepting a bribe. It is written that God shows no favoritism but accepts anyone from any nation who fears Him and does what is right (Acts 10:34).
Justice has always been a fundamental value in Judaism; therefore, it was to be administered without corruption. Difficult cases could be referred to a higher court, which was called the Sanhedrin in Second Temple times.
“Tzedek, tzedek tirdof — Justice, justice you shall pursue.” (Deuteronomy 16:20)
A thorough investigation of crimes was required, and in order to deliver punishment upon a criminal, a minimum of two credible witnesses was required.
As we shall see, this is why the trial of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) was completely unjust and contrary to Jewish law — and yet it was God’s will that He suffer and die on the execution stake.
 
Who Killed Yeshua?
The question is often asked, “Who killed Yeshua?”
Usually, the blame is placed upon the Jews, with accusations of “Christ Killer” fueling the fires of anti-Semitism over the centuries. But is this accusation true?
To answer that, we only need to look at the record of Yeshua’s trial.
Yeshua did not receive a trial by jury. In Jewish law, the judge would hear and evaluate an accusation from two impartial witnesses. If two or three witnesses would agree, the judge would issue a conviction; but in Yeshua’s case, the witnesses against Him presented false testimony.
“The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Yeshua to put Him to death, but they could find none. For many were giving false testimony against Him, but the testimonies did not agree.” (Mark 14:55–56)
Because the testimony of the witnesses did not agree, the judges could not convict him.
Thus, the Sanhedrin had no other choice but to ask Yeshua directly if He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God — a charge to which He confessed, thereby positioning Himself as being guilty of blasphemy, which carried the death penalty.
“Again the high priest questioned Him, ‘Are You the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’
“‘I am,’ said Yeshua, ‘and all of you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.’
“Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What is your decision?’
“And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.” (Mark 14:61–64)
This interrogation essentially reveals that neither the Jewish Sanhedrin nor the Roman authorities could have killed Yeshua without His cooperation.
Even some of the Roman soldiers came to believe that Yeshua truly was the Son of God.
“When the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Yeshua, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, ‘This man really was God’s Son!’” (Matthew 27:54)
So to answer the question of who killed Yeshua, we only need to look at His trial to see that He willingly gave the authorities the “confession” they needed to condemn Him to death.
Keeping the Nation of Israel Holy
Yeshua, however, said that He lay down His life of His own accord — to save us from our sins as the promised Messiah.
He said by His own words, “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life — only to take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from My Father.” (John 10:17–18)
 
For Us!

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