Hello everyone. We’re going to continue our look into the doctrine of the Trinity today as we’re going through the Bible seeing what it says about the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and especially in the gospels looking at the self-understanding of the Son. Now some might think we might not find as much in Acts, the epistles, and Revelation. That would be incorrect. We’re going to find a lot in them. Right now, we’re entering into the crucifixion account and we’re going to skip anything that has been covered in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. Tonight, we’re going to be seeing what the gospel of John says about the charge that was brought against Jesus. The text is John 19:4-7.
4Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
7The Jews insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
I have included the earlier verses in order to give some context. Of course, anyone who wants to can go and look at the chapter as a whole or at least the section if they want to make sure I’m being faithful to the text. If you ever think I’m not, do let me know. Feedback is always good to have.
The Jews were wanting to crucify Jesus, but a religious charge would not have been enough to do it. As the case in Acts 18 shows, Roman rulers weren’t really interested in getting involved in Jewish affairs. Now in Jerusalem, they had to, but when it was abroad, they tended to let the Jews manage their own law.
Later on in this chapter, they will tell Pilate that if he lets Jesus go, then he is no friend of Caesar, which is what seals the deal as it were. However, at this point, they are telling the true reason. Jesus proclaimed himself to be the Son of God.
Blasphemy? Well lets look at other ways the term is used.
It is used in Luke 3 to refer to Adam. However, if Jesus was claiming to be a man like Adam, chances are the Jews would not really care.
It is used in Job to refer to angels. If Jesus was claiming to be an angel, the Jews might have thought he could be a little bit crazy, but they wouldn’t have paid him as much heed. Some could have believed that miraculous powers could be working in an angel giving a new message, but they knew an angel would not make the claims Jesus made.
The Genesis 6 passage is the trickiest one. Some say it refers to angels. Some say it refers to the godly line of Seth. Some say it refers to the rulers on the Earth at the time. Either one of these would not meet the reaction that Jesus needed to be crucified.
Well then, is there any that does?
Could it be the orthodox position? Jesus was crucified for blasphemy. What was his blasphemy? Claiming to be equal to God. I don’t say “Claiming to be God” simply because I’m wanting to be more fully Trinitarian in my terminology and not give the impression that Jesus is claiming to be the Father or the Trinity. He is claiming instead to have the exact nature as the Father does.
It has to be granted that that would be a blasphemous thing to do with one exception.
It would not be blasphemy if it was true.
Again, it comes down to what happens in the end. Either Jesus was a wicked blasphemer as the Jews said and the crucifixion put to death the most wicked man who ever lived and was an incredibly righteous act, or the Jews were wrong and Jesus was right and the crucifixion put to death the most righteous man who ever lived and is thus the most wicked act ever done.
The choice is yours.