Skip to comments.Did the Jews kill Christ (or was Jesus a Victim of Identity Theft)?
Posted on 03/28/2005 5:03:23 AM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
Consider the facts:
It seems to me that the folks who confuse these matters misunderstand the real character and true identity of Jesus. Actually, many people reinterpret the life and purpose of Jesus to fit their own agendas. They recreate Jesus to fit a pattern they prefer. Perhaps that is what happened in Mr. Gibsons film.
The producers substituted bread for matzah in the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Whether intentional or not, this error moved Jesus to a place outside the flow of Judaism. It is well known that Jews were forbidden to eat leavened bread during the time of Passover. To ignore this lowest common denominator that Jesus shared with the Jews of His community is to ignore that He was a faithful member of the Jewish community. If He can be extricated from His situation in life as a Jewish man in the first century, He can be recreated and recast in anyway that anyone chooses. In essence, He could be molded to fit the need anyone wished for Jesus to fill. But Jesus does not change at our insistence; we change at His. God does not change; He is perfect. We must change because we are imperfect. This may seem like an abstract philosophical concern, but it is not. It is a fundamental truth and we must let Jesus be Jesus. If we are permitted to modify Him to suit our fancy then we become God and He becomes our servant. That is why I refuse to ignore that the Last Supper was a traditional Jewish Passover. To make it less is to rob Jesus of His heritage on this earth. Of course that is the pattern for many Christian traditions. Leonardo Da Vinci had the same problem when he was commissioned to create The Last Supper for the Convent of Dominican friars at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. If one looks carefully at this most famous religious painting, the traditional Gentile dinner rolls will become evident.
Jesus was born into the line of Jewish kings. Christians believe He is King eternal. Had He been born into a non-Jewish home, He would have been discredited from inheriting this throne. The prophetic mantle would have remained unfulfilled. Had He sinned in His dietary regimen eating food not kosher for Passover, He would have been disqualified as a perfect sacrifice and the Cross would have been pointless in the Fathers plan of salvation. If we ignore the small details of the food Jesus ate at His final Pesach seder, it becomes easier to ignore other details, such as the clothing Jesus wore.
Consider what the poor woman with the issue of blood would have done if the wardrobe designer from Mr. Gibsons film had outfitted our Savior? She touched the hem of His garment and was healed according to Matthew 9:20. To the uninitiated reader, it might seem that Jesus wore Levi Docker slacks and the woman grabbed the neatly turned, starched hem of His pleated trousers gently draping over His penny loafers. Of course that would be quite ludicrous to suggest because everyone knows Jesus did not wear slacks. Would dressing Jesus in slacks be anymore foolish than presuming He disobeyed the commands of Numbers 15:38 and disregarded wearing His tallith with the proper long tsithithfringes in the corners? According to Jewish practice and the best scholarship, it is these fringes that the women touched. It was not the hem of His trousers, it was the borders (corners or wings) where the tsithith hung.1
If we can quietly allow Mr. Gibson to separate Jesus from His Jewish food and His Jewish dress, we can begin to disentangle Him from His other Jewish characteristics. That is why the subtitle of this book asks the question, Did the Jews Kill Christ or Has Someone Stolen His Identity? The Jews are not to blame for His death. I believe He lives! There is no body. The accusation of murder is a moot point in light of the Resurrection. The crime is in how Jesus is usually represented. Many groups have stolen His identity.
That is how the founder of The Great Passion Play of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, promoted Jesus. He presented images of a blond-haired, blue-eyed, WASP Savior. Jesus was the victim of identity theft. He stole the true identity of Jesus and created a fairy tale Christ invented in his vain imagination. The Bible commands us not to worship false gods, yet that is what happens when we worship an idea of God that is a fabrication. This can happen quite easily if we become distracted from worshipping the God of the Bible and begin to serve an illusion about God presented by false teachers.
WILL THE REAL JESUS PLEASE STAND UP?
If a heretic can separate Jesus from His own people, he becomes capable of casting Jesus as a member of any people. Yasser Arafat declared that Jesus was a Palestinian. It served Arafats political purposes. If no one points out the lunacy of such errant claims, the alleged Palestinian Jesus serves Arafat obediently. The very thought is sacrilegious at numerous levels.
My wife and I recently visited a huge outdoor flea market. One seller had a plethora of Christian art. My favorite was the Black Last Supper where an African-American Jesus was surrounded by African-American disciples. Though this odd vision drifted further than Mr. Gibsons, I was at least pleased to see there was no pork identified on the table. I did comment to my wife that the dinner rolls were a nice touch. They were attractive in the spirit of DaVinci. Embracing Jesus as one of their own apparently serves the African-American community. It is always wiser to serve Jesus as He is than to expect Him to serve us as we are.
Jesus was neither Aryan, nor a Nazi sympathizer. Yet that is how He was portrayed in the 1934 presentation of the most famous passion play of Europe. It was a crime of identity theft that permitted the Oberammergau Passion Play to insure that all of the main characters were Aryans during the Nazi era. Hitler loved it and insisted it be preserved forever to show the world the menacing story of the Jews. The show still goes on. Jesus served Hitler in that presentation, but Hitler never served Jesus.
Neo-Nazis and Christian Identity adherents declare Jesus was not Jewish. The heretical proponents of British-Israelism shift the heritage of Jesus and the promises of God from the Jewish people of Israel to the Anglo-Saxon people in Great Britain. They dont want to be confronted by a Jewish Jesus. Of course, neither did the Catholic leaders of the Cathedral of Florence, when they commissioned Michelangelo to create the larger-than-life statue of King David (23 feet tall on pedestal). If you dare to peek, David was cast as an uncircumcised Gentile. In a truly classic faux pax, the 1988 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia described Michelangelos artistry as best known for his treatment of the human body . . . but is never false or artificial. See the picture of his statue of David with the David article.2 How could they not notice? Apparently, the Church could not tolerate a Jewish hero. In their view, it was wise to recreate David as one like themselves, instead of one like their enemies. That could have been an embarrassment.
The gay community desires to paint Jesus as a homosexual. The womens liberation movement prefers goddesses to God and they have cast Jesus as a woman. The truth is that once Jesus is removed from the pages of the Bible, there is no anchor to hold people to truth and Jesus to His birthright.
Jesus was a poor, itinerant, Jewish rabbi teaching in the Galilee region of ancient Israel. Yet modern prosperity preachers would have us believe that Jesus was a well-to-do, name-it-and-claim-it faith preacher in an Armani robe, Gucci sandals and a Rolex sundial. If you listen to some prosperity-preaching charlatans with nice hair and big churches, youd think God had dumped the poor people to shower all His blessings on the fat cats and major donors.
Perhaps youve heard that some are asking, WWJDWhat would Jesus drive? Well, Jesus didnt tool into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday driving a donkey named Mercedes.
Like a famous American general, Jesus is coming back. But the Second Coming of Jesus will bring eternity. He is Lord of peace and Lord of the judgment.
This work is intended to be taken seriously so it is inappropriate to contain too much sarcasm. Yet there is a great irony that many seem to miss. Jesus does not need us to make Him more appealing to those who reject Him. We need Jesus to make us more appealing to those who reject Him because of us. Jesus is sufficiently winsome and wonderful that anyone who considers the true nature of Christ can easily identify the virtue that dwells in Him. It is only when we betray His love by representing Him reprehensibly that He seems unloving. It is only when we rob Him of His glorious character by infusing our own lack into His being that His worth is diminished and His value depreciated by our flawed transmission of His message.
I am here to declare that a crime has been committed. Jesus is the victim of identity theft. Every cause and each group has adopted Jesus as their own. They have created Jesus in their own image. It is one of the greatest crimes of history. Even the new improved mellow Saint Mel of the Passion recreated Jesus to suit his view.
Jesus loved women but not as sex objects. Although He may as well have, if you believe the disgusting, immoral, promiscuous, portrayals of some pre-Mel Hollywood representations of Jesus. The Last Temptation of Christ depicted Jesus fantasizing having sex with Mary Magdalene.
Jesus loved His mother but He wasnt a mommas boy. Jesus was a strong, bold, male role model. Nevertheless, when viewing the film, one nagging question refused to fade from my mind.
Surviving the Beating in the Passion?
The beating endured by Jesus in the film was so intense that it seemed impossible for a man, even a strong, bold man, to have lived through the preliminary stages of His torture. Perhaps that is why so much criticism has been leveled against the film from those who believed it to be too violent. The same critics were probably not offended by the violence in other films that included Mel Gibson. Yet some critics skewered his film of the Passion due to the graphic violence. Was the film too violent? No, I do not agree with that assessment. The violence contained in the film was certainly not gratuitous. It was a purposeful fair representation of what Jesus endured. There was a reason for the suffering of Jesus to be shown in the film. It was part and parcel of the Gospel story. In fact, some have posited that the film was not violent enough. That analysis is not unfounded based on the condition described in the Bible. One could still recognize the character playing Jesus on the Cross. The Scripture details that He was beaten beyond recognition.
Why did Jesus keep getting up? Why didnt He just stay down and symbolically cry Uncle? The Cross would not have been escaped. Only the added suffering would have been bypassed. What possessed Him to continue?
Could a normal human being have lived through the beating? I found it perplexing to watch Jesus continue to carry the Cross after being beaten with such severity. It was quite telling to see a strong, healthy man struggle with the same Cross. Simon the Cyrenian was drafted by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus. Simon could barely manhandle the Cross in their two-man team. It was too much for him. Jesus had lost so much blood and had so many unbearable wounds. It seemed impossible for Him to be able to move under His own power, let alone drag a heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem. Could a normal man have endured? Could a normal man have trudged up the slope to the site of His execution? I guess the answer is dependent on the mans passion. It may have been impossible for a normal man. But Jesus was not normal. You see, Jesus was on a mission. His will to live exceeded His desire to avoid pain. His will to live exceeded the murderous intent of His enemies. But His will to live was limited to His need to live until He could die the death for which He was destined.
Jesus was divine. But this is not what separated Jesus from other men. I do not ascribe super-human strength to the Son of God. Rather, it was super-human love. Jesus would not quit because He would not fail. Jesus would not stop short of Calvary because He knew all about our need for His death. He knew that our salvation was at stake. Many men and women have been known to accomplish feats of strength beyond their natural ability when called upon in desperate conditions. Some people simply refuse to die until they accomplish their goals. Then they quietly pass on. I chose to attribute His ability to survive the beating and His choice to endure sub-human treatment to the unstoppable love He exhibited. Yet I could not remove the nagging doubt about a humans ability to endure that much physical torture. Then a country preacher cleared it all up for me.
Pastor Kerry McDaniel put the human ability of Jesus into focus on this subject. He reminded me that Jesus had no sin. Sin is what brought death to mankind. When he stated that, I had a revelation about the character of Jesus in Mr. Gibsons film. Could any man have endured such a beating and lived? The answer became clear. Yes! Any man who had no sin, because it is sin that brings death. The Jews did not kill Jesus. The Romans did not kill Jesus. I think those nasty soldiers could have beat Jesus until their arms turned into rigatoni. The beating would not kill Jesus. Not even the Crucifixion killed Jesus. He was fully human. But Jesus was without sin. Jesus died on the Cross, but not before He was ready. It was not before His mission was accomplished. My revelation was that it was just as the Bible had detailed the event. In Johns Gospel it is written that He said, It is finished and he bowed his head and he gave up the ghost (John 19:30). Jesus knew when His work was complete. He knew when He had completed the task of taking our sins away. He would not die until this task was completed. And then no man took His life. He willingly gave it as an offering for sin that we might have life eternal. Jesus could have endured all of the pain inflicted in the film and more. His love was greater than any suffering this world could inflict. His love and His life are eternal. The pain was only temporary.
The only way to make things right is to put Jesus back into the context in which He lived, died, and rose again. As I say in every radio or TV program I produce, Jesus is Lord . . . and He vuz such a nice Jewish boy. To that, I will simply add, Thank you!
Copyright 2004 by Randy Weiss, PH.D.
The perpetuation of "the Jews killed Christ" dogma is nothing more than thinly-veiled rationalization for anti-Semitism.
Everyone who sins had a hand in it...myself included.
Newsflash: you weren't born yet.
This is much too complicated a matter to answer in a few words, but the best and only direct historical evidence we have is the gospels.
They suggest that the Jewish Temple leadership wanted Christ's death for blasphemy: that is, for claiming to be the promised Messiah. The Jews had no power to execute anyone, so they turned him over to the Romans with the suggestion that He was seditious and wanted to be king. Pontius Pilate found Him innocent, but ordered Him crucified in order to avoid a riot and consequent loss of his job.
So Jesus was killed by Jews (not THE Jews) and by Romans. He himself and all the early disciples were Jewish.
The traditional Christian view is that Jesus died to atone for the sins of ALL MEN (and for you feminists, that includes women & children). Therefore all of us are responsible for His death.
Why do people like you always feel compelled to "pull the monkey off the backs" of the Jews?
Clearly, Christ, a Jew, was betrayed by a Jew, to the Jewish temple aristocracy. Clearly the Jews demanded his death. Who nailed him to the cross is only incidental here.
You should elucidate your compulsion to post things like this so we can better understand your motives.
Are you a Jew? Do you have ties to the author? Explain your motivation.
Jesus was a Jew, did you know?
We all killed Jesus.
It's just that the Jewish leaders acted as our voices and the Romans acted as our hands. But they are in no sense more responsible than the rest of us.
What a cynical, mean sarcastic thing to say to Sender. You know exactly what was meant by that very humble and gracious comment--that Christ died for the sins of world, past, present, and future.
If that comment is indictitive your personality, I would not like meeting you.
How does this have any impact on the world today?
Are we talking predestination here, and or you saying it would not have made any difference where he was born into mankind the result would have been the same.
I don't understand how you came to this conclusion.
Jesus ate food and drank wine (he even turned water to wine at a wedding where everyone had already emptied the skins that were brought).. He hung around prostitutes and other sinners. He also broke the Sabbath day which is the Law of Moses.
It does not. Look for a similar theme around Xmas 2005.
I'll try to remember.
And there it is.
All the banter about who killed Jesus is pointless. If you don't understand that, then you don't understand anything about why he was here or what he took with him when he left.
And many continue to this day.....