John 19:6-7 – “When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, ‘Crucify him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.’”
Jesus is the most significant person in the history of the world. The most significant statement Jesus ever made was that He alone is God.
By declaring His deity, Jesus set Himself at odds with the religious and political leadership in His day. The religious leaders considered Jesus a liar guilty of blasphemy and deserving death. The political leaders considered Jesus a threat because He set Himself over Caesar as the one and only real Lord. So, the religious and political leaders conspired together to kill Christ in an unholy alliance against a common enemy.
The religious leaders typically stoned people to death for declaring themselves to be God. This was virtually never necessary since no one dared call themselves God. In fact, no other major world religion has its’ founder declaring themselves to be God other than Christianity. Jesus’ claim is without precedent or peer in history.
Cults that claim to be Christian all deny that Jesus alone is God. Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus claimed to be God. Mormons say Jesus was the polygamist half-brother of Lucifer and a man who became god just like we can become gods. Unitarians say Jesus was a good teacher of peace, love, and justice but not God. And, Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy said, “Jesus Christ is not God.”
World Religions also deny that Jesus is God. Bahá’ís say Jesus is a manifestation of God and a prophet but inferior to Muhammad Bahá’u’lláh. Buddhism says Jesus was not God but rather an enlightened man like the Buddha. Hinduism has many views of Jesus but does not see Him as the only God but either a prophet or one of pantheon of gods. Islam says Jesus was a mere man, prophet, and inferior to Muhammad. And, the New Age says Jesus was just a guru and not God
To cause Jesus the greatest pain and shame, the religious leaders wanted Him crucified. But, they did not have the legal authority to crucify someone and so they needed the Roman government to play the role of executioner for them. After examining the facts no less than seven times in the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) does Pilate the Roman leader declare Jesus to be a good and innocent man – one he will kill nonetheless to spare himself grief.
In all of this, we see the evil that can happen when someone knows the Bible but does not know Jesus. They sought to kill Jesus for violating Leviticus 24:16 which says, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him.” First, Jesus is God, so He is not guilty of blasphemy. Second, the verse they quote commanded them to put a blasphemer to death by stoning, but they are demanding crucifixion, meaning they are not obeying the verse in Scripture they quote to condemn Jesus.
Is there any part of the Bible that you are consciously not obeying?