What killed Jesus?
Had we man and woman of this generation lived in Jerusalem of Judea or in Galilee in the days of Jesus; we possibly would have also found it difficult to believe JESUS is the CHRIST, Son of God; as the Chief Priests and the Ruling Class of the Jews in their days did. No one can receive God in his own worth! The Religious Institution, the Synagogue, the Sanhedrin and the ruling upper Class in the Jewish Society did not receive Jesus but accepted Moses, because they did not fear immediate repercussion on the rejection of Jesus; the rejection of the commandments of Moses resulted in immediate punishment from God.
The disobedience to the commandment of Moses to collect Manna only for the day except for the Sabbath brought immediate result; Miriam, Sister of Moses opposed his leadership and immediately she got Leprous, Achan’s family was swallowed up by the cleaving of the earth under their Tenth; it was found out he took Gold and Silver from the their fallen Enemy in the battle Joshua had strictly forbidden.
The Chief Priests, the Pharisees and the Learned Scribes formed the Upper Ruling Class of the Jewish Society, they controlled the strings of Power in the Land, believed Moses but rejected Jesus; they took Jesus a commoner, not from any of the renowned families and his education not from any recognized Institutions.
On seeing the common grass root approval for Jesus, the Pharisees would have initially welcomed Jesus to their exclusive circle. Of all the people of the day initially, the Pharisees invited Jesus to Dinner the most often and one of them Nicodemus even came to Jesus by night to have personal private discussion. Nicodemus appeared a simple uncomplicated person, he acknowledged the Pharisees have admiration for Jesus as come from God, yet Nicodemus does not have the sterner stuff of Paul to differ or rebuke his closest friends when the matter comes to Truth and Reality. Nicodemus, as many good simple man do today, could not free himself from the rigid confining circle of the Pharisee group.
Jesus was independent, not temperamental, no respecter of the worldly Power, unwaveringly stood for the Truth, Love, Justice and Reality; he fitted nowhere in the superficial stereo-type life of the Pharisees. He spoke authoritatively non-sentimental from a higher plane than we Humans; the Ruling Class would not tolerate this. Humility and Lowliness that enable Man to discern the Spirit Truth and Reality was not the principle of the ruling Class.
The Chief Priest and the Pharisees were outraged when Jesus freely and openly preached the Crowd at the Jewish religious Feast in the Temple at Jerusalem. Jesus spoke in a new reality, not in the dry, gray repetitive Commandments of the Pharisees. The people took him for a great Prophet; common men were amazed at the graciousness and authoritative voice of Jesus. They were awed at his fearlessness and at his straight forward rebuke of the ruling Class publicly in their face.
Jesus called the Pharisees Serpents, white-washed Graves, Hypocrite, Self-righteous, Blind Teachers, not do what they preached and living a hollow superficial life mostly for show.
A Person, using the same words Jesus used for the religious leaders and teachers of his times, in the Church today on a Sunday morning Sermon, may find the Leaders and the Learned rejecting the Person as having gone out of his wits. When his brothers and sisters wanted to see him, he told the crowd whoever does the will of God are his brothers and sisters. Indeed Jesus was described as a person gone out of his Mind and working in tandem with Beelzebub.
During a Tour of the Holy Land, some hard strung Christians from India ran into an argument with the Jewish Tourist Guide on the question of Jewish rejection of the Jesus as the Messiah. Walking along, I was enjoying the debate and was struck by what the Israeli Guide remarked:
“Jesus is coming again but when he comes, he will not go to a Christian Church, he will go to a Synagogue”, she said.
Her view shudders me. It is quite possible in Nagaland.
The High Class Jews were united in their rejection and jealousy on Jesus. They did not like Jesus preaching to the crowd in the Temple Courtyard, they questioned him as to who gave him the Permission to preach in the Temple. Jesus answered them with absorbing Parables that revealed Spiritual Reality, obliquely referring to the hypocrisy and the hollowness of their lives.
The Leaders heard people amazingly talk of the miracles Jesus performed and the graciousness of his words and deeds he spoke and did. The Chief Priest, the Pharisees and the Leaders grew jealous of Jesus. They told their people:
“Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No, but this Mob that knows nothing of the Law, there is a curse on them”.
They asked Jesus to show miracles in their sight so that they would believe him. Jesus curtly told them there will be not showing of Miracles but said the Temple may be destroyed and he wild raise it in three days: Jesus spoke of the Spiritual temple of his life the Pharisees could not discern. It took 26 years, according to Josephus the Jewish Historian, to build the Temple at Jerusalem and when they heard Jesus would raise it up in 3 days, they mocked at him. They could discern tomorrow’s weather by looking at the horizon today but could not discern Spiritual Realities.
When Jesus told him for a new Spiritual birth, Nicodemus, one of the Pharisees said:
“How can a man be born when he is old: surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
The Holy Scriptures did not directly mention Jesus by name as the Messiah. All the prophetic utterances in the whole of the Scripture Books fitted exactly into the life of Jesus; the decision making Rulers and the learned did not discern Jesus fitting into the prophetic sayings of the Christ (Messiah) in the Scriptures. Their vain glorious attitude of themselves blinded them. As for Paul, the Pharisee, Anania of Damascus opened his eyes from blindness and Paul saw Jesus the Christ (Messiah) of the Jews.
Jesus delayed going to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Pass-Over and later decided to go by the short-cut through Samaria; the Samaritan Village did not give him the passage perhaps to show their rejection of the Jewish Feasts at Jerusalem because they found Jesus intent on going to Jerusalem.
Two of the Apostles brothers, sons of Zebedee –Jacob (James) and John- Boarnergers that is ‘Sons of Thunder’ as Jesus named them, asked permission from Jesus to “bid fire from heaven to burn the Village”.
Had Jesus allowed them and had the Samaritan Village burned like Sodom and Gomorrah at his word, the people would have been frightened and awed; then the Pharisees and the people would not have dared to oppose Jesus.
However, Jesus rebuked his two Apostle Brothers. The Kingdom of God will not be raised from the burned down site of a Village: it will come from the faith of Rahab for the true God; the Kingdom of God will rise from the fallen seed on the Ground. The Kingdom of Heaven is Salvation by Grace, above the commandment of Moses, for a woman caught in the very act of adultery and brought to Jesus condemned to be stoned to death.
Great crowds of people listened to Jesus in the Temple Courtyard at Jerusalem. Those who held the strings of Power in the Synagogue, in the religious Institutions and in the Sanhedrin would not like to tolerate their Power to be subjected under Jesus. They failed to discern the Spiritual Power of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The people forming the ruling Class in the corridors of Power feel the power in their Clan; they love their Circle and their Members and their Clan above others. Their Power lies in the cohesiveness of the coterie they form and the Members do not like to share it with others outside the circle.
The same weakness is seen often develop in the Church Circles in Nagaland. This cohesion of a Board necessarily works in the Corporate Bodies of the world, but in the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, the ruler serves the others. In the Church Organization of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Believers who are great serve others than are served.
Moses wrote the Five fundamental first Books of the Bible: Jesus did not write any book on his Teachings or on his Commandments. The religious Rulers and Teachers in the days of Jesus believed, revered and adored the Past and a Prophet was not honored in his own country and so does a wayward Society.
The religious Rulers and the Learned by and large rejected Jesus? The Reasons are plausible:
1. The Prophecies in the Scripture are in spiritual Codes not understood by the people. The Codes could not straightforward directly be interpreted for Jesus.
2. There is no mention in the Scripture directly connecting Jesus the son of Joseph to the Christ (Messiah) of the Jews. Jesus appeared like the son of Joseph and Mary of Nazareth.
3. It was unthinkable for the Son of a common Carpenter from a small village to produce a savior for the Jewish Race. Barring David; most of the great Persons in Israel’s Old Testament Times were mostly descendants of Kings or persons of great velour in battles: Jesus was not apparently descended so.
4. Today’s Books on Jesus and the Gospel give us unparalleled knowledge of Jesus, his Gospel and the Mind of God not dreamed any time two millenniums ago in Jesus Times. The whole of New Testament, the Gospel Books and the writings of the New Testament were not heard in the wildest dreams of the People of Jesus time.
5. The teachings of Jesus on Love, Justice and Reason and the Kingdom of God were marvelous but the deep Spiritual meanings were often unfathomably unaccustomed to most people of the day as do today in our land. People engulfed in and of the world miss the reality of the deep Spiritual question.
6. When Jesus healed the invalids on the Sabbath, he was accused of breaking the commandment of Moses. Jesus expounded the Sabbath was made for the good of Man and not vice versa and told them the Son of Man is even the Lord of the Sabbath also. The Pharisees took offence at his word and alleged Jesus made him above and predates the Sabbath. The humble Samaritan woman discerned and realized the Person who spoke to her is the Messiah, a realization too much for the haughty Chief Priests and the Pharisees in their self perceived lofty position. They totally rejected Jesus.
The World killed Jesus but it could not: He rose again!!!