If God killed Jesus, why then would he contradict himself by raising him from the dead?
There is a story you might have heard before but probably need to hear again. Jesus told it to some pastors and they were incensed because they recognised it as a veiled attack on them.
The story has since been distorted and given a completely different slant. Perhaps you should hear it again directly from Jesus.
Jesus’ version of his crucifixion
Jesus says: “There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.
Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another.
Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them. Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’
So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him” (Matthew 21:33-39).
God did not kill Jesus
In Jesus’ true-to-life story, the landowner is God. The servants of the landowner are the prophets. His son is Jesus himself. The vinedressers are the priests and the pastors.
This is a straightforward story about greedy vinedressers who kill the landowner’s son in a bid to expropriate his vineyard. Simply translated, it means pastors killed Jesus in order to claim the church of God as their own inheritance.
So how come some Christians nevertheless insist God sacrificed Jesus for our sins? It shows they reject the testimony of Jesus. If God killed Jesus, why then would he contradict himself by raising him from the dead?
What kind of fathers sacrificed their children in the bible? Without exception, they were pagan and evil. It is a travesty to lump God with such fathers. God abhors child sacrifice. He declares through Jeremiah: “They have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into my heart” (Jeremiah 7:31).
In short, God would never sacrifice his own children. The very idea would not even come into his mind.
Moses warned the Israelites against this evil practice: “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods” (Deuteronomy 12:31).
The plot to kill Jesus came from Caiaphas; the Rome-appointed high priest. He and his colleagues were threatened by Jesus’ criticisms of the religious hierachy. The more Jesus preached; the more he exposed the deceit of priests to the rank-and-file. The more he preached, the less regard the people had for pastors. The more stupendous his miracles, the more the priests feared he would provoke a Jewish revolt against Rome; thereby jeopardising their privileged positions.
The last straw came when Jesus disrupted the sacrificial system in the temple. This is tantamount to preaching against the payment of tithes today, which automatically provokes the wrath of mercenary pastors. Sacrifices were good business for priests. They controlled the market for sacrificial animals. They also monopolised the foreign-exchange bureaus in the temple because all transactions had to be conducted in the local currency. Moreover, they ate the choice cuts of the sacrifices.
Therefore, the priests arrested Jesus and sentenced him to death. But since they lacked the power to kill him, they handed him over to Pilate, the Roman Governor, who crucified him for sedition: the fact that he claimed to be “King of the Jews.”
End of sacrifices
Contrary to what Christians have been led to believe, Jesus’ crucifixion did not bring an end to animal sacrifices, even among his disciples. Even Paul, who claimed Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4), offered blood-sacrifices after Jesus’ death (Acts 21:26; Numbers 6:13-18). Sacrifices only stopped with the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70.
Jesus warned his disciples: “Be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time” (Mark 13:23).
True Christian faith must be based on the word of Jesus and not on its contradiction by Paul and others. Jesus never said beforehand he would die as a sacrifice for sins. Instead, he said to those who put their faith in sacrifices: “Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice?’” (Matthew 9:13).