We all have questions! We are glad that you have asked “why was Jesus crucified?”. If you don’t yet know Jesus, we invite you to watch the GREAT NEWS FOR YOU video on this page. We are here of you. You can connect with someone who can help you by clicking here. Let’s start by talking about who Jesus is. Read Who is Jesus here.
Who is Jesus?
“Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst…this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power (Acts 2:22-24).”
God Sent Jesus to Die for Us
God wasn’t surprised that Jesus was crucified. That was part of His plan from the beginning. He initiated the cure for our sinful condition, giving us the first hint of Jesus’ future saving work when He responded after Adam’s sin:
“And I will put enmity, Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel (Genesis 3:15).”
Adam, as our federal head, passed sin on to all humanity:
“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned (Romans 5:12).”
Jesus’s Death was Prophesied
God’s first hint of future salvation, made to Adam and Eve, was at least 4,000 years before Jesus was born. Centuries later, Isaiah made these prophecies about Jesus 700 years before Jesus was born. Jesus’ future suffering on our behalf gets clearer:
“But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
“As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities (Isaiah 53:10-11).”
Why Was Jesus Rejected?
Let’s move up about seven centuries and see why the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus:
“The Jews picked up stones again to stone Him. Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God (John 10:31-33).”
They knew Jesus claimed equality with God. They didn’t deny that Jesus did the good works from the Father. But they denied a human could also be God.
Before Jesus was crucified, He presented Himself as the Messiah during His triumphal entry. Before He left Jerusalem that evening to spend the night in nearby Bethany, Jesus visited the Jewish temple.
“He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL THE NATIONS’? But you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching (Mark 11:15-18).
As the Messiah, He drove out the merchants in the temple as predicted in Zechariah 14:21, “And there will no longer be a Canaanite (could also be translated merchant) in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day.”
One of Jesus’ own disciples betrayed Him. The Gospel of Mark tells us Judas betrayed Jesus for money:
Betrayed by Judas Iscariot
“Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time (Mark 14:10-11).”
When Judas betrayed Jesus, the soldiers arrested Him and brought Him to trial before the high priest. Again, they’ll accuse Jesus of blasphemy:
“Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? “You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death. (Mark 14:61-64) .”
The Jews condemned Jesus in their court, but they couldn’t conduct a death sentence against a prisoner. So, they brought Jesus before the Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate.
“The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God (John 19:7).”
Pilate wasn’t interested in mediating a Jewish religious squabble. But he didn’t want the Jews to accuse him of disloyalty to Caesar:
“As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar (John 19:12).”
Why was Jesus Crucified?
So, why Jesus was crucified is complex. But these are some of the reasons:
- By the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God
- For our salvation because He bore our iniquities
- Because the Jewish leaders were afraid of Him and accused Him of blasphemy
- By Judas for money
- By Pilate, so the Jews wouldn’t say he is disloyal to Caesar