Friday, January 7, 2011

Eyes to See, Ears to Hear.


 It surprises me how I can read portions of the Bible, and miss things over and over again. Has that ever happened to you?

It is common knowledge to some that the Jews killed Christ. Isn't that what we hear being preached from some podiums? Isn't that one of the reasons the Jews have had such a tumultuous history? Wasn't that Hitler's (and others') peeve with the Jews?

Yes, the Jewish leaders of that day wanted Christ dead and enticed the people to ask for his death. That is true.

However, it was not by their hand that he died.

The usual punishment of that day for Jews, was death by stoning. For Romans, it was death by crucifixion.

I came across this Scripture today that I've read time and again. This time something stood out.

From the words of Christ (AMP)

Luke 18:31-33

Then taking the Twelve aside, He said to them, Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written about the Son of Man through and by the prophets will be fulfilled. (Isa. 53:1-12)

For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be made sport of and scoffed and jeered at and insulted and spit upon. (Isa. 50:6)

They will flog Him and kill Him; and on the third day He will rise again. (Ps. 16:10)

This may not be news to you, and it wasn't really news to me. I know how the story unfolds.

However, I had still believed the common teaching that the Jews killed Christ.

In fact,  it was a combined effort! The Roman leader Pontius Pilate, with the co-operation of some Jewish leaders in Jerusalem brought about the death of Jesus.

Even the saying in Matthew 27:25 ("His blood be upon us and upon our children") is best taken as referring to the crowd manipulated by the leaders, and to the destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70 ("our children")~ not to the whole Jewish people for all ages.

As Christians, we need to be sensitive to the tendency to blame only the Jewish people, when clearly the Romans played a direct role.

Most of the Gospels give the impression that the Jewish leaders manipulated Pilate and that they turned Jesus over to him for execution. The Gospel of John even seems to imply that all Jesus' opponents were Jews.  You have to remember that at this time Jerusalem had been destroyed and Christians were still adjusting to life within the Roman Empire. When taken out of context, these texts can contribute to, and seemingly justify anti-semitism.

We know Jesus was killed. We know it was a terrible injustice that should never have happened. At this point in His story, what's more important is what His death and His life brought us. Simply stated; through His life, He gave us an example of how we ought to live; through His death He provided an entry into eternal life for all those who would repent of their sins, believe in Him and obey His commands.

" They have eyes but do not see, they have ears but do not hear."
Jeremiah 5:21; Ezekiel 12:2; Mark 8:18; Acts 28:26,27

Therefore, the aim of this post is to encourage you to read your Bibles prayerfully, with your eyes and hearts open to understand what is written.

Thank you for visiting and have a good weekend!

Carmen