Being Accused of Killing Yeshua

by Lonnie Lane

The following question took me by surprise by its directness and the assumption behind it. If one person wrote to ask the question, others may have the same question crossing their minds. This gives me an opportunity to address the implications the question suggests from a wider perspective. Here's the question:

Q.  I have a quick question about something that has been giving me a great deal of concern for decades. Please, given that you are Jewish, can you help me understand why the Jews get so angry when accused of killing Yeshua the Meshiach?

A. The simple way to answer this is to ask another question: How would you feel if you were accused of killing someone, and in fact someone you didn't even know? Please take a moment to try and relate to that question. What would your immediate "gut" reaction be? How would you respond emotionally? With fear? With anger? Would you be stirred to fight or flight? Would you want to defend yourself? Or run away? Would you feel compelled to bring truth to clear yourself of blame? What if you couldn't get your accusers to understand you had nothing to do with it? What would you think of those who were blaming you?

The question itself indicates that there might be some misunderstanding about the role of the Jews in the death of Yeshua which hopefully we can straighten out. The question may sound simple but the answer is profoundly multi-faceted. To begin with, one reason a Jewish person might get angry when being accused of killing Jesus is because this accusation has been used for centuries by so-called "Christians" to justify persecution of the Jewish people. Additionally, Jewish people today generally have no sense of connection with Jesus. All they know about Him is that though He was Jewish, He was certainly not the Jewish Messiah or the Son of God. Maybe they see him as a great teacher or even a rabbi, but they see Him as the one the  Gentiles worship. He has nothing to do with Judaism except to bring trouble to the Jews through His followers.  Secondly, to accuse a Jewish person today of what happened 2,000 years ago makes no sense and only serves to alienate them further from the Gospel. How could anyone be responsible for what happened before they were born, let alone centuries, and even millennia before? 

Yeshua made it quite clear that no one could take his life but He laid it down Himself for His sheep (John 10:11, 15). Neither was every Jew in the world nor in Israel nor even in Jerusalem at that time involved in planning His crucifixion. While we do know it was (most of) the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who were plotting his murder, there is indication that not every leader of the Sanhedrin was in favor of convicting Yeshua. So again we can't say "all the leaders" any more than we can say "all the Jews." While Jews had come from far and wide for the Passover to Jerusalem at that time, in reality there were several million Jews outside of Israel that knew nothing about Yeshua or His crucifixion, so how could they be blamed? 

The verse that reports some people saying, "His blood be on us and on our children!" (Matt 27:25) has been interpreted to mean that they called a curse on themselves for all generations for all Jews. But such is not the case.  For one thing, Yeshua said on the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34), so He forgave them. Also, if all Israel was bound into a curse as a result of that statement, there would not have been 3,000 Jews who came to the Lord on Pentecost, nor the hundreds of thousands of Jews that came to the Lord subsequently.

The English translation is unfortunate in that it looks like all the "Jews" were screaming "Crucify Him" when in fact it was a limited number of "Judeans" (not "Jews") who were instigated and set up by the leaders who had much to gain by having Him eliminated. Many of the people had loved Him. Why would they turn against Him? Would a person who had been healed of a horrible disease, or set free from a demon, now want Him dead? Would a man who's little daughter could now walk, or the old man who could now see, or the woman who's son was brought back to life after he died turn against Yeshua? Unlikely. It's more likely that His followers were devastated by this turn of events and those in collaboration with those seeking His demise were far less in number, though far more vocal, than those who would have wished to save Him.

The truth is that both Jews and Gentiles had to be involved in Yeshua's death because it was for all men that He died. Neither Jew nor Gentile was guilty to the exclusion of the other. Both Rome and Judea, that is Gentile and Jew, were involved. Yet it was ordained before the foundation of the earth that He should die for the sins of the world. The prophets told of His death. King David in Psalm 22 described it as if he had seen it by the Spirit way before it took place. No man or person could have caused Yeshua's death if it had not been God's determined purpose to save the world.

But back to the Jewish response to being accused of killing Yeshua. What the church has done to Jews because they saw them as "Christ killers" over these past 2000 years has been far from what Jesus Himself would ever have done or ever considered doing. It would never have entered His mind. It's been said that one cannot get a clear picture of first century history from the New Testament. With regard to this discussion, that is certainly true. To ask the above question may mean that the questioner does indeed believe that the Jews were responsible for Yeshua's death. No doubt he didn't come to that himself but was taught that somewhere along the way.  Such error has existed about this for a very long time. But error that is old error is still error. 

Jews have died because of that error. It is my firm belief that those who have killed Jews or anyone else for not believing in Jesus could not have really known Jesus. They could not be born again and filled with His Spirit. "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 Jn 4:8). There are people who are sure they are entirely in the right and that others who do not believe as they do are entirely in the wrong, and have often felt the "infidels" were worthy of death if they do not "convert". There is a long history of Jews being forced to convert or die.  (And today the Palestinian intention is to bring the world under Islam, whatever the cost.) None of this is Yahweh's doing.

I feel confident in saying that those who are able to even consider taking another person's life or justifying someone else doing it in the name of the Lord, are serving a different Lord than Yeshua!  It is not Yeshua they are representing. They do not know what spirit they are of. While there certainly have been many Christians who have befriended the Jewish people, for whom I thank the Lord, there have been great episodes in history that have been appalling in the treatment of the Jews. So when the church raises its head in an attempt to demand the Jews agree to their way of thinking by demanding they believe in (a misrepresentation of) Jesus and/or accusing them of killing Jesus, Jews begin to smell blood, their own blood being in danger of being shed. It's not His atoning blood to bring them salvation they become aware of in the accusations, but their own blood they fear will flow. And then they become either afraid or angry. Or both. Even saved Jews can feel this same way when such questions come up. 

If only the church in particular times past had known that "mercy triumphs over judgment" (Js 2:13). Or had heard God's heart in these words: "Do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you [them] to repentance?" not torture and rejection (Romans 2:4). Millions of Jews and their children would not have died unnecessarily or so cruelly. For all the suffering that has taken place, I wonder if it is not God Himself who has suffered the most when He means only good and we presume to take matters in our own hands to settle His accounts for Him and bring harm to one another in the process, and ultimately to ourselves. If judgment is to be meted out, it is He who is to do it, not us. We don't know what's in people's hearts, only God does, so only He can respond with true justice. His goal is always to be redemptive. It's restoration, not destruction. And we are to be instruments of God's love to reach the world for Him. It's that love that will bring Israel and the Jewish people to know that Yeshua is FOR them, not against them. 

My interpretation of Isaiah's statement, "His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men" (52:14), is that Messiah Yeshua has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and misrepresented more than any man in history!  As I stated above, anyone who brings suffering upon others, even if they use the name of Jesus Christ, is NOT representing Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah of Israel, the Son of God. If the perpetrators of evil don't find that out in this life, when they stand before Yahweh one day, they will come to know it then. And it will be too late to repent and rectify the situation. I believe this may be a prophetic warning to some.

Whether Jews get angry or fearful at being called a "Christ killer," whichever their response, they are not being made to feel jealous of the Christians that they know the God of Israel better than the Jews do. In fact, I suspect a good many Gentiles don't really relate to Yeshua as the "King of Israel," except to sing the words occasionally but not really take them seriously to consider how He feels about them as their King. Surely the political world isn't taking that into consideration.

Thus far, all these centuries, with rare exceptions, the church making Israel jealous because of their relationship with Yahweh through Yeshua has yet to happen. And needless to say, accusing them of killing Yeshua doesn't help the matter any. 

But today, the miracle of One New Man which God is now bringing to pass may accomplish that godly jealousy. "...Salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them [the Jews] jealous" (Rom 11:11). In this is the hope of One New Man. Yes, it's true that Yeshua said to the Jewish people around Him, "You will not see me again until you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord"  (Matt 23:39). To come in the name of the Lord who "did not come to judge the world but to save the world" (Jn 12:47), we must come in the same "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:11 & 18) that He did, not one of judgments and accusations. To force someone to convert, or to bring accusations or  condemnation against them with some contorted idea that it will bring them to repentance, is to present them with an idea of God that is inconsistent with Who God is!  Should anyone be wondering, conviction of sin is of God and brings hope of release and newness of life; condemnation and accusation bring hopelessness and is not of God.

 "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal 5:22,23).  Read these out loud, please. Don't they bring a sense of peace? Now think of words like hatred and judgment. They don't go together, do they? They're of two different natures.  What is not of the Spirit will never bear fruit of the Spirit. But thank God, His mercies are new every morning and we are all learning to be more like Yeshua all the time. And whatever has happened in the past and will yet happen, God will have His way and His Word will be brought to pass and we who are truly His will be "one" in Yeshua. May it be soon. And all God's people said.....(All together now!)  ...Amen!   

 
  

Lonnie Lane

For Lonnie's other articles, check out our Exclusive Articles and Resources, especially the section on One New Man.

Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships, one in Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked” and numerous articles on this website. She has been the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click Here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked."

Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif.  All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

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