From these selected passages in Luke, can you identify who is responsible for Jesus’s death?
(Last week, we considered passages from Acts. You can find that article here.)
“Simeon took [the child Jesus] up in his arms, praised God, and said,
Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised.
For my eyes have seen your salvation.
You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel.
His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and told his mother Mary, “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed”” (Luke 2:28-35).
“But [Jesus] strictly warned and instructed [his disciples] to tell [about who he really was] to no one, saying, “It is necessary that the Son of Man suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day”” (9:21-22).
“While everyone was amazed at all the things he was doing, [Jesus] told his disciples, “Let these words sink in: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men”” (9:43b-44).
“When the days were coming to a close for him to be taken up, he determined to journey to Jerusalem” (9:51).
““[Jesus said,] Woe to you [experts in the law]! You build tombs for the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Therefore, you are witnesses that you approve the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their monuments”” (11:47).
“When [Jesus] left [the Pharisee’s house], the scribes and the Pharisees began to oppose him fiercely and to cross-examine him about many things; they were lying in wait for him to trap him in something he said” (11:53-54).
“At that time some Pharisees came and told him, “Go, get out of here. Herod wants to kill you.”
He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘Look, I’m driving out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work.’ Yet it is necessary that I travel today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it is not possible for a prophet to perish outside of Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing”” (13:31-34)!
“Then he told the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you won’t see it. They will say to you, ‘See there!’ or ‘See here!’ Don’t follow or run after them. For as the lightning flashes from horizon to horizon and lights up the sky, so the Son of Man will be in his day. But first it is necessary that he suffer many things and be rejected by this generation” (17:22-25).
“Then he took the Twelve aside and told them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. Everything that is written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and he will be mocked, insulted, spit on; and after they flog him, they will kill him, and he will rise on the third day”” (18:31-33).
“Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people were looking for a way to kill him, but they could not find a way to do it, because all the people were captivated by what they heard” (19:47-48).
“Then the scribes and the chief priests looked for a way to get their hands on him that very hour, because they knew he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. They watched closely and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, so that they could catch him in what he said, to hand him over to the governor’s rule and authority” (20:19-20).
“The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put him to death, because they were afraid of the people.
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, who was numbered among the Twelve. He went away and discussed with the chief priests and temple police how he could hand him over to them. They were glad and agreed to give him silver. So he accepted the offer and started looking for a good opportunity to betray him to them when the crowd was not present…
In the same way he also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. But look, the hand of the one betraying me is at the table with me. For the Son of Man will go away as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed”” (22:1-5, 20-22)!
“While he was still speaking, suddenly a mob came, and one of the Twelve named Judas was leading them. He came near Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a criminal? Every day while I was with you in the temple, you never laid a hand on me. But this is your hour —and the dominion of darkness. They seized him, led him away, and brought him into the high priest’s house…
When daylight came, the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the scribes, convened and brought him before their Sanhedrin” (22:47-48, 52-54, 66).
“Then their whole assembly rose up and brought him before Pilate…
Finding that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see him because he had heard about him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by him. So he kept asking him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated him with contempt, mocked him, dressed him in bright clothing, and sent him back to Pilate.
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate addressed them again, but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify him!”
But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that he be crucified, and their voices won out. So Pilate decided to grant their demand and released the one they were asking for, who had been thrown into prison for rebellion and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will”(23:1, 7-11, 20-21, 23-25).
“When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left” (23:33).
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” Saying this, he breathed his last” (23:44-46).
““Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’”” (24:5b-7)?
“The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked them.
So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him…
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures” (24:18-20, 25-27).
“He told [his disciples], “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (24:44-45).
Here’s what I see:
God, by the mouth of Moses, the prophets, and the psalmists (and, later, Simeon) predicted the suffering of the Messiah.
During Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees, chief priests, scribes, and leaders of the people all looked for opportunities to trap Jesus in what he said and for a way to kill him.
In the course of time, Jesus presented himself in Jerusalem. While there, Satan entered Judas. Then, Judas betrayed Jesus, leading a mob to where Jesus was praying. The mob (which included the high priest’s servant, the chief priests, temple police, and the elders) arrested Jesus, taking him to the high priest’s house. The Sanhedrin (convened by the chief priests and the scribes) condemned Jesus. The Jews (including the leaders and those in “that generation”) delivered Jesus over to the Gentiles.
Pilate passed Jesus off to Herod and Herod mocked him and sent him back. Then, Pilate handed Jesus over to the will of the Jews, ordering his crucifixion. The governor’s soldiers crucified Jesus.
While on the cross, Jesus entrusted his spirit into the hands of the Father and breathed his last.
You can find last week’s related article here.