by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Who Killed Jesus? (5 of 7)
Series: The Passions of Christ
Roger Thomas
John 19:1-18

Introduction: The movie "The Passion of the Christ" appears well on its way to setting box office records. Many of you have already viewed it. I hope all of you will. The movie is not for the faint of heart. But it is a graphic, historically accurate, portrayal of Jesus' last hours. Right now the film is a cultural phenomena. Talk about it is everywhere. The movie provides both opportunities and challenges for Christians.

A recent cover of Newsweek (Feb 16, 2004) explored the controversy. "Who killed Jesus?" the headline blared. Columnist John Meacham wrote, "Mel Gibson's powerful but troubling new movie, 'The Passion of the Christ,' is reviving one of the most explosive questions ever." You have no doubt heard some of the discussions. If you are like most folk, you are probably a bit put off by the heated nature of the discussions. Some how it just doesn't seem right to argue over the cross.

Let's tackle that question today. Hopefully the light of the Bible can dispel some of the confusion. Perhaps Scripture can also rekindle some of our own convictions. The biblical answer to "Who Killed Jesus?" is not simple.

Once we assemble all of the evidence, we will see that the answers come on different levels. Answering this query can be like peeling an onion. As soon as one layer is pulled away, we find another and yet another. Let's divide these layers into three categories. I call them: 1) the historical answers, 2) the biblical answers, and finally, 3) the eternal, or ultimate answer.

The Historical Answers. The most obvious answer--the Roman soldiers killed Jesus. The representatives of Caesar's Legions controlled the peace and enforced Roman law in Israel. By the time of Jesus' death, Rome had controlled the Middle East for almost a century. Their rule was absolute and ruthless.

Both the New Testament and the movie, The Passion of the ...

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