Anti-Semitism and “Who killed Jesus?”

This is a rerun from 2006.  Long time readers: Try to look surprised.

cross3.jpgIn light of Mel Gibson’s alcohol-fueled anti-semitic comments as well as an article in the Houston Chronical religion section that referred to stupid things Christians sometimes say to Jewish people, I thought it would be worth posting this from my Christian FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page.

Q. What does the Bible teach about how Christians should act towards Jewish people? There has been so much hostility towards them over the centuries.

A. Many Christians are very kind to Jewish people and are Israel’s staunchest defenders. However, throughout history, some unthinking Christians (or at least people who have called themselves Christians) have blamed the Jewish people for killing Jesus. If anyone blames “the Jews” for killing Jesus or is unkind to Jewish people, they should consider the following:

  • Jesus was Jewish.
  • The apostles were Jewish.
  • Nearly every author of the Bible was Jewish.
  • The Israelites were chosen by God to be His people, and they received the first covenant. God still feels fondly towards them.
  • Only some Jewish people wanted Jesus killed. Blaming all Jewish people for Jesus’ death is as illogical as blaming all males, since only males (Jewish and Roman) are recorded as having been involved with his death.
  • The Apostle Paul cared so much for the Jews that he would have given up his own salvation if it meant that more Jews would follow Christ.
  • The New Testament clearly states that Jesus came first for the Jews, then for the gentiles.
  • Jesus was the Messiah predicted by over 100 prophecies in the Old Testament.
  • Jesus would not condone hurting others in His name.
  • Since Jesus died for our sins, we all killed Jesus as surely as we put the nails in His hands and feet. If we weren’t sinners, He wouldn’t have had to die in our place.
  • Would they like to be held accountable for any acts their ancestors committed?
  • Would they prefer that Jesus hadn’t died for their sins? Speaking for myself, I would be in big trouble if Jesus hadn’t taken my punishment and bridged the gap between God the Father and me.
  • Jesus forgave his killers, saying as He was dying, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
  • Most importantly, Jesus let himself be killed. John 10:17-18 “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life, only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. “
  • If you can think of anything to add to the list, leave a comment.

    P.S. Things we can learn from Mel:

    1) Alcohol can cause serious problems.

    2) One stupid act can undo a lot of good work.

    3) Think first, then speak (or type).

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