Blogging With Saint Matthew: Who is responsible for Jesus’ death?

Matthew 27

All human beings are sinners and thus all guilty of the death of Jesus. However, down through the centuries, many Christians have blamed the Jews alone for the death of Christ. One verse that is often cited to support this is 27:25. Here the Jews cursed themselves by accepting responsibility for the death of Jesus and any punishment that may result from it. Many commentators including Matthew Henry and John Wesley maintain that the Jews have been shedding their blood for the last 2000 years as punishment.

But this verse can be viewed from a different perspective. One of the church Fathers, John Chrysostom (347-407), the archbishop of Constantinople wrote about Jesus’ reaction to the Jews who said that. He maintained that the blood of Jesus which fell on the Jews who called for His death is the same blood which falls on us. In fact, many of the same Jews who may have cursed themselves that day may have been among the same Jews who came to faith in Christ on Pentecost. That blood neither condemns nor punishes, but atones for all sin.

Thus we see that there is great mercy to be found in the cross, in the blood that Jesus shed for our sins. The fact is we all nailed Jesus to that cross with our sins, the same sins we often try to justify, ignore or explain way. And what is so wonderful is that Jesus did out of love for the very ones who sent Him to death. Praise God for His boundless mercy! Let us show that same mercy to all including those who insult, persecute and abuse us.

 

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