The ‘Legal’ Murder of Christ
“Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now we have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death” – (Mt.26:65,66).
“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, his blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified” – (Mt.27:24-26).
Today TV cameras are being allowed into courtrooms to show us the justice system at work, or sometimes the injustice. Well, in the Bible, God brings His camera into the courtroom, as it were, to allow man to see and hear the greatest travesty of justice, and human injustice in world history: the legal murder of the Son of God. Human courts constantly turn justice completely on its head. The wicked rich go free and the righteous poor suffer in prison.
Nowhere is that seen more graphically than in the arrest, trial and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. No victim of injustice was ever more innocent than the sinless Son of God. And yet no one ever suffered more agony than He did. He was cruelly executed by men who openly acknowledged His faultlessness. Yet at the same time Barabbas, a murderous, thieving insurrectionist, was set free. It was the greatest travesty of justice the world had ever seen.
Christ had both a Jewish religious trial and a Roman government trial. It showed the corruption of both religion and government and each had three episodes. In the religious court, He had the preliminary trial before Annas the high priest, then His trial before Caiphas the high priest and the Sanhedron, and then the final action of His religious trial after an all night session. In His civil trial, He first stood before Pilate the governor, and then tried again before Herod, and then back again a final time before Pilate.
Christ was taken prisoner and led away bound like a criminal in the garden of Gethsemane. He was led away captive and dragged before the high priest’s bar where His trial was nothing more than a horrible farce. Our Savior was tried before those who ought to have been the holiest judges on earth, but was condemned by the worst perversion of justice in history. The Just one was treated with no justice at all. The Judge of all the earth was treated with scorn and injustice. The Holy One was condemned as a blasphemer for an excuse to murder Him. Liars and False witnesses were sought to bear false witness against Him who is the truth. At the last came two false witnesses, the minimum number required by God, just as wicked Jezebel obtained two false witnesses to testify against Naboth so she could murder him and steal his vineyard – (I Kin.21 and Mt.21:33-40).
Jesus prophesied before time to His apostles exactly what would happen – “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death. And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again” – (Mt.20:18,19). Christ died for sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, therefore Divine wisdom saw to it that both Jews and gentiles should have a direct hand in His murder. The Jews brought Jesus to Pilate because it was not lawful for them to put any man to death. They pressed upon Pilate to pass the sentence of death upon Him and crucify Him. They forced Pilate to kill Him for them and it was legal murder. They perverted the laws of God and man to legally murder God’s beloved Son.
Pilate was assured of Christ’s innocence, acknowledging 7 times “I find no fault in him” and wanted to release Him. Pilate was also urged by his wife not to sentence Him, saying Christ was a just man and to have nothing to do with him. So Pilate sent Him to Herod who also found nothing worthy of death in Christ. And so Christ was sent back again to Pilate who, along with the Jewish leaders, sentenced Him to horrible crucifixion. Jesus Christ was the only sinless person who ever lived – the most innocent, virtuous man of all time.“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” – (I Pet.2:22). He was “…holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” – (Heb.2:26). And yet he suffered a heinous death and shed His precious blood so we, both Jew and Gentile, would have atonement for sins. He bore the full weight of our sin debt and yet He was guilty of nothing. It was the worst miscarriage of human justice in the history of the world; an evil act perpetrated by the hands of Jews and Gentiles, religion and government authority. “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed” – (Ps.2:2). They used the law to commit legal murder.
Christ’s crucifixion was a legal, evil act, perpetrated by the hands of wicked powerful leaders. But that is not the full story: it was also the greatest act of divine justice ever carried out. It was done with “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” – (Acts 2:23), and was done for the highest of purposes. The bloody death of Christ was God’s plan to atone for sin without compromising His own perfect, holy standard, and secured the salvation of untold numbers of people. Christ was no mere victim of unjust men when He hung on the cross. Christ died willingly, the just for the unjust, even for the murderers who killed Him. It was the greatest, supreme sacrifice ever made: the purest act of love ever, and an infinitely higher act of divine justice than all the human injustice it represented. It showed the world that the best of religious and civil laws are useless in the hands of sinful men who execute the laws.
Christ was not merely a victim of human injustice, a martyr who suffered tragically and unnecessarily. But the truth is that His death was God’s plan. It was the key to eternal redemption. Far from being an unnecessary tragedy, the death of Christ resulted in the glorious victory for sinners – the resurrection of Christ three days later. The death and resurrection of Christ, God’s beloved Son, was the most gracious and wonderful act of divine benevolence ever rendered on behalf of sinners. It is the consummate expression of God’s love for us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – (Jn.3:16).
On the cross we see the wrath of God against sin. It was the outpouring of divine judgment upon the sacrifice of Christ, a perfect, human sacrifice – not because He deserved that judgment, but because He willingly took the punishment of sin on behalf of those He would redeem. He was the fulfillment of the thousands of birds and animals who were sacrificed in the O.T. for sins. He was the meek and blemishless Lamb of God who died on the Day of Passover, so that when His Father sees His precious blood wash all our sins away, when we repent of sins and believe in Christ in our heart by faith, God’s wrath of the second death will pass over us. That’s what the burnt offering sacrifice showed us – if we receive the sacrifice for our sins, the fiery wrath of God will fall on the sacrifice instead of on us. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” – (Rev.20:14,15).
Christ is God’s atoning sacrifice whose blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat in the temple of God in heaven. He is our high priest after the order of Melchizedek, who offered up himself as the human sacrifice for sin. Instead of once a year, He offered himself once – “…but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” – (Heb.9:26). All the blood of the innocent animals sacrificed in the O.T. for sin were fulfilled by Christ on the cross. These animals were also killed, the just for the unjust. The Just One was murdered without justice so that sinners could be justified with God. “…being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” – (Rom.5:9).
The martyr Steven said before the High Priest and the council – “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which shewed before the coming of the Just One: of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers” – (Acts 7:52). And then they murdered Steven also. Peter told them – “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus: whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of Life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses” – (Acts 3:13-15). The Jews desired the murderer Barabbas, and murdered the Lifegiver, the Lord Jesus Christ. Such is the utter depravity of unregenerate man. And so the Jews are guilty of the blood of the most innocent man who ever lived, the Lord Jesus. Pilate said – “…I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children’ – (Mt.27:24,25). Yes, the legal murder of Jesus.
The chief priests went after Jesus like a predator after prey. It is a known fact that all through this dispensation the most cruel, relentless, and blood-thirsty of God’s saints have been the religious leaders called priests, the roman Catholic Priests, bishops, and cardinal and the high priest Pope. The Catholic priests have shed the blood of many thousands of God’s saints after having unholy alliances with the civil powers. They also ‘legally murdered’ true Christians like the Jewish priests murdered Christ and Christians. One look at Catholic priests wearing their garments shows you the same O.T. priestcraft of the Jews which has been done away with. And the time is coming soon when the high priest pope, the false prophet, will have another unholy alliance with the Antichrist emperor, and murder the saints of God again.
The civil superpower, Antichrist, will make an alliance with the religious superpower, the Pope, and will work together to legally murder the true Christians during the Great Tribulation, as Pilate and the Jewish priests murdered Jesus. The pope is the idol shepherd who is High Priest over one billion Catholic idolators, will deceive the world into committing the monstrous idolatry of worshipping the Beast and his image.
This legal murder of Christians is soon to come from two beastly men with the will to murder.
Pastor Mike Storti
5000 N. LaCholla- Lot 76
Tucson, AZ 85705
Would love to hear from you!