Who killed the Christ?

In matters pertaining to the life and death of Jesus the Christ, the question of who to blame for his death may be the least relevant. According to the accounts, the mortal wounds were inflicted by Roman soldiers.

The relevant question for us is: What lessons can be gleaned from the circumstances of the crucifixion of the savior.

Perhaps the easiest way is to take you back to that time and consider what role you would be playing.

First, the ground rules:

1. Ethnic identities are irrelevant to this lesson. All the roles are filled by humans.

2. There were no Christians at the time, not as we know them, there was no doctrine of the trinity, no apostles creed, no Christian church to tell you how to save your soul.

Here's how the story goes: A man was teaching people how to live together in harmony. His message was very effective and he became very popular among the Jews. The Pharisees, religious leaders of the time, were envious of his popularity and fearful that their own authority would be undermined, determined that this heretic' must be gotten rid of. They conspired to have the man betrayed. They spread fear among the people. They demanded that the man with political power have the man arrested and crucified. The some men arrested the man and threw him into prison. They beat and tortured him. Among the mans friends, one betrayed him to the soldiers. Another denied having known him. None that had heard his teachings stood up for him. Then some men affixed the man to a cross, driving nails through his flesh, and pierced his side. And hung him on the cross until he died.

So what role do you think you would be playing?

Would you be a Pharisee, jealous of Jesus' popularity and fearful of losing your influence?

Would you be among the rabble emotively manipulated by the Pharisees into calling for the crucifixion of the Christ?

Would you be one of the Roman soldiers just doing their jobs?

Would you be one of the decent people who stayed out of the way, too fearful to risk your own position to stand up for the heretic?

There is only one Pontius Pilate, so that role should go to someone who relishes the privileges of a position of political power.

Do you think you would be one of Jesus's followers?

Maybe you would play Judas willing to betray his friend and teacher for some hard cash.

Perhaps you would play Peter who, fearful for his own safety, denied his association with Jesus.

This is not a test with right or wrong answers, there are only true answers, or lies that you may tell yourself.

What role would you play?

You see, Jesus wasn't killed "by the Jews", but by human frailties: fear, envy, cruelty, politics, undisciplined passion, and denial of moral agency.

Truly, anyone who would assert that the Christ was killed by the Jews hasn't learned the lesson. Perhaps they would play a Pharisee.

"Truly I say to you, Because you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."

".. the tree is known by its fruit."

It is one thing to claim a belief, but actions are the fruit of what you truly believe.

Now comes the hard part: applying the lesson to the here and now. What have you learned?

The rest of the lesson.

Notice how humans have contrived a means for destroying people without affixing direct blame.

 Can you see it?