The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 03/28

Posted on | March 28, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 03/28

Scripture reading: Isaiah 53:3–10

Who Done It?

The son of man will be delivered up [paradidomi] to be crucified. (Matthew 26:2)

 

Who killed Jesus? Who’s to blame for his death? Let’s pretend to be detectives assigned to the case. Our job is to gather the evidence and examine the witnesses to determine who is ultimately responsible for the unjust death of an innocent man. Textually, our search will follow the path of the usage of the Greek word paradidomi. The term can be translated “to deliver up,” “to give over,” “to hand over,” and can have the sense of “to betray.” Tracing how this word is used in the New Testament will enable us to ascertain with certainty who exactly killed Jesus and why they did what they did. More than one suspect is involved in our case.

Then one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over [paradidomi] to you? And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. From that moment he sought an opportunity to betray [paradidomi] him. (Matthew 26:14–16)

Suspect #1. Judas did it. His motive was a mixture of greed and selfish ambition.

All the chief priests and the elders took counsel to put him to death. They bound him and led him away and delivered him over [paradidomi] to Pilate the governor. (Matthew 27:1–2)

Suspect #2. The Jewish leaders did it. Officially their motive was blasphemy because Jesus had claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God (Matthew 26:63–66). But others recognized that their real motivation was envy (Matthew 27:15–18).

Then Pilate released Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him [paradidomi] to be crucified. (Matthew 27:26)

Suspect #3. Pilate did it. Though he knew Jesus was innocent he turned him over to the executioners out of fear of displeasing the crowd and thus losing favor with Caesar.

[Peter is preaching in Jerusalem shortly after Pentecost] The God of our fathers glorified his servant Jesus, who you delivered over [paradidomi] and denied in the presence of Pilate . . . you killed the author of life . . . (Acts 3:13–15)

Suspect #4. You did it! Peter accuses the citizens of Jerusalem of being Christ-killers which means that he is holding all of humanity responsible, including you and me. Though most of us are ignorant of our complicity in the crime, this does not absolve us of guilt. Before we can fully understand that Christ died for us, we must grasp the fact that Christ died because of us!

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up [paradidomi] for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Suspect #5. God did it!!! Though many are complicit in Christ’s death on the cross, the one who is ultimately responsible is God himself. What would motivate the Father to do this to his one Son? Love for sinners like you and me. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (John 3:16).

 

Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us,

we have to see it as something done by us.—John Stott

 

point to ponder “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” (Negro spiritual)

prayer focus Those who are unaware of their complicity in the rejection and murder of Jesus.

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