Why did they put Jesus to death?


Good Friday

Good Friday service at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Penang

Christians believe Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified and died for our sins.

But that doesn’t answer the question – if he was a good man, even a prophet or claiming to be divine, preaching love, compassion and forgiveness, why did the authorities at that time put him to death – and that too, not any kind of death, but the harshest punishment possible under the Roman Empire: scourged, stripped naked and nailed to a cross in a public space as an example to everyone.

Crucifixion was reserved for those who rebelled against the Roman Empire or for slaves who defied their masters. Both were considered a serious threat to public order.

Jesus’ passion for the kingdom of God that would raise up the oppressed and the downtrodden inevitably brought him on a collision course with the Empire. His passion for distributive justice led to his Passion through punitive justice meted out by the local rulers. All the values he stood for were diametrically opposed to the values of Empire – violence, greed, selfishness, domination and exploitation. Moreover, he preached the kingdom of God at a time when Roman imperial theology regarded Caesar as a “son of God”.

He was passionate about the kingdom of God based on love, justice and peace. He empowered peasants and the dispossessed. Not only that, he led his new followers in a movement for radical change into the heart of local power, Jerusalem, in the run-up to a major religious festival.

He was sharply critical of the elite in Jerusalem who were collaborating with Roman imperial rulers in the domination system of the time. The local people were groaning under the weight of taxation and oppressive rule. Their local leaders even had to pay tribute to Rome. It was a national humiliation.

His presence in Jerusalem did not go unnoticed. And his passion for the kingdom of God led to His Passion – his suffering and death – as we know it.

(Ideas from Borg, Marcus “The Last Week”)

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23 Apr 2011 2.49pm

The facts is Jesus was NOT the one on the wooden cross. He was taken by GOD to the sky. the one on the wooden cross was the man who betrayed him and as a traitor. The man;s face was changed by GOD look like him (Jesus). GOD is AL-MIGHTY and CREATOR of the UNIVERSE. Common sense will tell you how come Humankind can tortured God as claimed. Thinks wisely.

13 Apr 2009 9.16am

Other than the reasons you have written here, Jesus had to die because that was the purposeful redemptive plans of our Lord in Heaven in order that we can be renewed of our sins and reconciled back to the Creator.

13 Apr 2009 1.57am

Why did they put jesus to death ..?
Absolutely you could get the answer by watching ” Passion Of CHrist ” directed by Mel Gibson .

Patrick Vin
Patrick Vin
24 Mar 2008 9.24pm

God had loved the world that he gave his only son Jesus to die for our sins. If we look at the normal human thinking none of what Jesus did was logic or deemed possible but looking at the way that the almighty Syaitan was doing his works God had no other choice at all. If it was not for Jesus we all could be doomed in hell for good. if Jesus did not go through all the said pain in the bible than we human could have never accepted him as our saviour.Thank you lord

Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Samuel Goh Kim Eng
22 Mar 2008 12.34am

He paid the ultimate price
That we may have eternal life
With sins forgiven more than thrice
That we may live freely free from rife

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Sat. 22nd March 2008.

22 Mar 2008 1.27am

Jesus had to die so that man kind can be saved. It was God’s plan for Him to be crucified on the cross for the sins of all man. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

22 Mar 2008 1.17am

Blessed Good Friday & Easter, brother.

Keep up the good work.

My post on Good Friday:

22 Mar 2008 1.09am

of course, the other profound truth is the fact that Someone actually needed to die for our sin and in our stead. the road to faith starts here i think

Chee Ng
Chee Ng
22 Mar 2008 4.06am

[If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away our both our place and our nation.]John 11:48

[So from that day on they plotted to take his life.]John 11:53

John 11 verses 48 and 53 tell us that the chief priests and the Pharisees saw Jesus as a threat to their positions, so they plotted to kill Him. In other words, it was job security that killed Jesus.

22 Mar 2008 2.20am

Jesus Christ did not come so that we can have another religion to choose from so many that are available in the world. He came exactly according to the Old Testament prophets that a Messiah will come and He will fulfill all the prophecies made(more than 300 direct prophecies)about Him. One of the prophecy tests is that the Messiah will be put to death.This is the sad part like what you have posted. Jesus died on a Friday being hanged on a cross at Calvary hill for the sins of the whole world. Fancy why people called it GOOD Friday?… Read more »

22 Mar 2008 5.10pm
23 Mar 2008 5.26pm

Hi, Anil.

Alleluia ! A Blessed & Victorious Easter to you & loved ones.

23 Mar 2008 3.46pm

If you’re not A Christian, you could still honor Easter. Many people have died for their beliefs. There are others who survived and live on to pursue theirs. Jesus died for his, too. And so did many others before his time. Socratis was forced to drink poison for the rulers’ fear he had poisoned the minds of youth. Christians believed Jesus died for mankind and thereby he offers redemption. In post modern age, what we understand is that there will always be the few people who will get killed for their beliefs. If they give up their beliefs and therefore… Read more »

23 Mar 2008 6.47am

Dear Anil Yes, I read your article as to why they put the Christ to death. It is a searching question. Although I am a muslim and learnt Al-Quran as a child I have not been able to follow the religious practices religiously due to poverty. I have not been able to pursue religious studies but from what I understand all religions preach, peach and to live in harmony with one another – but what in reality happens is different. Read our Federal Constition – Articl 11 clearly states that Islam is the religion of the Federation but other faiths… Read more »

Tommy Peters
Tommy Peters
22 Mar 2008 7.49am

I penned this comment on August 24th 2007 on the Makkal Osai affair and offered it to the letters’ columns of the mainstream but it was not published. It may digress from this post but I hope this blog gives it some traction. The Catholic Archbishop Datuk Murphy Pakiam and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, publicly expressed consternation over a disparaging image of Jesus Christ depicted in the Makkal Osai, a Tamil daily. The Archbishop said “It is very sacred to Catholics. As such, this caricature of Jesus is a desecration and therefore hurtful to the religious sentiments… Read more »

Chris Anthony
25 Mar 2008 10.34pm

Dear Anil, Let me share some of my views of the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus. Why was Jesus crucified?What crime did he commit that deserved to be punished in that most inhumane way? It was for proclaiming the TRUTH. Yes, Jesus was tortured, humiliated and killed for telling the truth, the truth which caused so much fear among those in positions of power and comfort. He had to be eliminated at costs so that they can continue to live in power and comfort. Throughout the journey of his passion, what was astonishing was the way Jesus humbly accepted his… Read more »