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. Who killed Jesus? (Good Friday Sermon)

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. Who killed Jesus? (Good Friday Sermon)
Page 2. Our transgressions killed Him.
Page 3. Our iniquities killed Him
Page 4. It was for our peace that He was killed.
Page 5. It was for our healing that He was killed
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We are living in a day and age where people are more concerned about the temporal than the spiritual. They are more concerned about that which they see in the movies and on television than that which is eternal and recorded in the pages of Scripture. Many years ago there was a program on television called Dallas and in it one of the key role players named JR got shot. People took it so serious that the newspaper billboards read ‘who shot JR’, magazine covers read ‘who shot JR’ and there were even bumper stickers that read ‘who shot JR’. The bumper sticker I liked was one that said ‘I shot JR’, which was someone’s crazy idea of answering the question that everyone was asking even though nobody knew what the answer was.

Well, in the spiritual realm there is a more important question to ask and that is; ‘who killed Jesus?’ This question is maybe the most important question anybody can ever ask. I was tempted to join John Piper in the title of a sermon he ‘who killed the King of Glory?’ However you put it, the very simple question is this – ‘who killed Jesus’?

Well the answer I guess we would all love to provide is that it was either the Romans, or the Jews, or the Scribes, or the Pharisees, or wasn’t it a Judas thing. Maybe Pilate should be blamed because he could have prevented it, or maybe Herod. Who killed Jesus?

Peter helps us in Acts 2:22-23 & 36 (ESV) “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— 23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

I remember when I was a little boy I saw a painting of the crucifixion. This painting was unlike any painting I was used to. Normally paintings of the crucifixion looked across the crowd at three figures hanging on crosses. Some will focus on Christ on the cross and somehow seek to portray His pain and suffering. The painting I saw as a child was painted from the opposite side. This one was focusing on the crowd from the perspective of the cross, and showed some of the crowd sneering, others with clenched fists, others spitting at Christ, others with a visible expression of cursing and snarling exhibited on their faces. Others were throwing things at Jesus and others were laughing in a mocking way, then there were those like His mother in tears while others cast lots over His clothes. Also amongst the crowd were Roman Soldiers the Pharisees, Scribes and priests. This painting had a title which was simply this ‘were you there’? Let us ask this question of ourselves this morning, ‘were you there, as one of His killers?’ Did you not maybe kill Jesus?

I have to assume that your first reaction is a feeling of denial and resentment that something so far away could even begin to be laid at your feet. I mean, you have a good alibi, don’t you? I was born 2000 years later, surely you cannot suspect me. Were we there, did we kill Jesus?

With Peter I want to say to all of us here this morning, that you were there and you did kill Jesus. Let’s identify with the Jews for a moment.

How Can Peter Say to them, "YOU Crucified Jesus"?

Remember that he is talking to several thousand Jewish people in Jerusalem (3,000 are going to be converted, v. 41!). Many of these people had nothing directly to do with the death of Jesus. Even if many of them were among the mobs that shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" you know that in a crowd this large there were a good number who did not do that—they weren't even there on that day. But Peter doesn't seem to be worried about that. In verse 23 he says, "This Jesus YOU crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men." And at the end, in verse 36, he says, "This Jesus YOU crucified." How can he say that?

He can say it because everybody in that crowd was involved in the crime against Jesus that brought him to his death. The essence of the crime against Jesus was not the ending of his physical life. The essence of the crime against Jesus was the rejection of God in Jesus' life, but even more critical than that, it was our sins that put Him there. Think with me carefully about this. It is tremendously important and has major implications for us today.

Turn with me to Isaiah 53:3-5 (ESV) 3He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

I want to focus for the rest of this sermon on verse 5. Yes like the Jews in the time of Christ rejected Him, by our very nature we reject Him; we hide our faces from Him because according to Romans 8:7 the mind of the natural man is hostile towards God. But it is more that our rejection that makes us culpable. We are culpable because of what we read in verse 5. So no matter how good our alibi, no matter how far we see ourselves from the event, our fingerprints are all over the crime scene. I have one statement to make, and that is ‘I killed Jesus’. Let me share with you four of those fingerprints that prove that we were there and that we killed Him.