"You have taken Him, who was handed over to you by the ordained counsel and foreknowledge of God, and by lawless hands have crucified and killed Him." Acts 2:23
Who killed Jesus? Who is responsible for His crucifixion and death? Was it the chief priests and scribes who plotted Jesus' arrest and handed Him over, demanding He be crucified? Was it Judas who betrayed Jesus? Was it Peter and the disciples who denied and forsook Him? Was it Pontius Pilate and the Roman soldiers who condemned Jesus and carried out His execution on the cross?
The Scriptures tell us: "You have taken Him, who was handed over to you by the ordained counsel and foreknowledge of God, and by lawless hands have crucified and killed Him."
And so, who killed Jesus? Was it the men of Israel addressed by Peter in his Pentecost sermon? Many lay the blame on the Jews even yet to this day for rejecting their Messiah and having Him crucified.
But the Scriptures make it clear who killed Jesus. It was you! It was me! You and I are the cause of the condemnation of this just and righteous man. He was holy and without sin. Yet, we caused His condemnation and death with our sin!
As the Scriptures say, Jesus was "handed over to you by the ordained counsel and foreknowledge of God." We read in Isaiah 53:5-6: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way, but the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
The hymn verse from "Jesus, I will Ponder Now" expresses it so well: "Ah! I also and my sin wrought Thy deep affliction; this indeed the cause hath been of Thy crucifixion."
Yes, you and I killed Jesus! He died not because of any fault of His own. He went to the cross and died to atone for your sins and for mine -- for the sins of all (cf. 1 John 2:1-2)!
But the beautiful part in it all is that He paid in full for all our sins and rose victorious! Because He took our punishment and bore our condemnation, we have pardon and forgiveness from God when we repent of our sinful ways and look to Jesus in faith; and, in Jesus, we have the certain hope of life everlasting!
Dear Lord Jesus, I am guilty. It was my sin that brought about Your agony on the cross, Your condemnation, Your death. In love, You willingly bore my sin and suffered my punishment that I might be pardoned, forgiven and have life everlasting through faith in Your name. Grant that I turn from my sins to You in faith and receive the blessings You won for me and all by Your innocent sufferings and death. Amen.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.]