The Way that Refused to Go Away (3)
15 37And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.
Soon after Jesus “breathed his last,” both Pilate and the Sanhedrin would breath sighs of relief that this latest troublemaking messiah had been dispatched. For Pilate the relief was that no civic unrest had broken out that would have made him vulnerable to imperial criticism. For the Sanhedrin, this upstart religious usurper and threat to the civil peace had been dealt with in such a manner that no imitator would likely come forward for many years.
They had played the world’s power game perfectly, and, now could reap the rewards. This ragged band of Jesus-followers would now disband and dissolve back into the faceless mass of nobodies from which they have been drawn. The peace required for taxes to be collected, power relationships to be maintained and consciences to be free from challenge would return to a stable equilibrium.
Or, so they imagined.
 Nothing in this blog is intended to allow for the great sin of anti-Semitism to be supported. It is an undeniable matter of fact that Jewish religious leaders (e.g., the Sanhedrin) played a central role in Christ’s Passion. It is an equally undeniable fact that Christianity was born from the Jewish faith, that its earliest followers were virtually all Jewish, that the New Testament teaches that the Jewish Nation still has a special role to play in God’s plan for salvation, and that we Christians share the Old Testament in common with our Jewish brothers and sisters. Even if none of the above were true, Christianity is a faith that values and loves the human being and the soul that is encased within. Our calling is not to cast blame and hate but rather to seek and to save in the powerful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. But if anyone were to demand an answer for who is to blame for Christ’s crucifixion, the answer is only as far as the nearest mirror.
Beyond crucifixion I will discuss the Jewish religious leadership’s opposition to the Jesus movement. These actions by specific individuals and my comments are in no way to be interpreted as a general condemnation of the Jewish people. It is a sad state of affairs to have to so carefully deal with this issue. But the reality is that, in spite of Christ’s clear embrace of the “Old Testament” and the Apostle Paul’s clear teaching that the Jewish people are still beloved by God and hold a special place in His plan, some would seek to distort discussion of these controversies into paths that lead to anger and hate rather than love and understanding for our brothers and sisters who are in the Jewish faith.