Who Really Killed Jesus?

So many people are intrigued by the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. Documentaries, artifact digs and a plethora of research seem to surface every year, especially around Easter.

Maybe you, too, are captivated by Jesus Christ—His life, death, burial and resurrection—and are fascinated by the idea of a man so divine that He rose from the dead. Maybe you wonder who killed Him to begin with.

The answer is found in the Bible—and it’s an answer that can change your life forever.

You might have heard of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Israel who sentenced Jesus to death despite no evidence against Him (Matthew 27:22-26). There were also religious leaders who wanted Jesus killed because He claimed to be the Messiah—the Savior of the world—and didn’t adhere to their laws (John 5:18). Then there was Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus, handing Him over to the very people who wanted Him crucified (Luke 22:3-6).

But we can’t place the responsibility of Christ’s death on any one person or group. It was our sin—all the things we do that go against God—that made His sacrifice necessary. Ultimately, it was God’s divine plan for His Son Jesus to die on that cross—and it happened just as He intended.

Jesus was sent by God to live on earth among sinners like us so we would see our need for a Savior, someone to save us from our sins.

Jesus knew He would be killed. He even warned His disciples in advance, saying, “… The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again” (Matthew 20:18-19, NKJV).

Jesus willingly sacrificed His life. He stayed on the cross to prove God’s love for us. Then, showing God’s true power, He rose from the dead three days later to claim victory over death—just as He said He would.

God loves us, and He doesn’t want us to be poisoned by sin’s hold. It separates us from Him and leads to spiritual death, hell and judgment. That’s why He came from heaven in the person of Jesus Christ to bear all the sins of humanity with one act: dying on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, we can be freed from our sin and the death that it brings.

We don’t need to point fingers at those we think killed Jesus. Instead, fix your attention on the One who knew He would be killed and willingly allowed it to happen because of His love for us.

Jesus is alive today and loves you more than you know. Will you accept His love for you and ask Him into your life today?

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Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10). But here’s the problem:

Step 2 – People are sinful and separated from God.

We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). The good news?

Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!

Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives! “Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Did you pray this prayer?