They All Condemned Him to be Deserving of Death


Who deserves to be condemned to death? According to the Death Penalty Information Center, one who deserves to be condemned to death in Georgia are Murder with aggravating circumstances; kidnapping with bodily injury or ransom when the victim dies; aircraft hijacking; treason. The New York Times reported that Dylann S. Roof, the unrepentant and inscrutable white supremacist who killed nine African-American churchgoers in a brazen racial rampage almost 19 months ago, an outburst of extremist violence that shocked the nation, was condemned to death by a federal jury on Tuesday.

Typically, we lean toward those who have committed crimes that are deemed as violent and heinous as ones who deserve death, but we all are aware that some people condemned to death were not guilty. Mounting evidence shows that innocent people have been sentenced to death and that serious legal errors infect the administration of capital punishment: 156 people have been exonerated and released from death row. For every nine people executed in this country, one innocent person on death row has been identified and exonerated (eji). Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.

As Mr. Stevenson has shown, innocent people have been deemed deserving of death. Jesus is the epitome of unjust declarations of death. The text in Mark 14 tells us that They All Condemned Him to be Deserving of Death despite the mounting evidence that He was not guilty or deserving of death.

Mark 14

55 Now the chief priests and all the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. 56 For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.

57 Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, 58 “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’” 59 But not even then did their testimony agree.

60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 61 But He kept silent and answered nothing.

Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”

And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

65 Then some began to spit on Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers struck Him with the palms of their hands. (NKJV)

Why did others and Jesus receive death sentences that they did not deserve? I am not sure about the others, but the bible tells us why the chief priest, elders and teachers of the law condemned Him to death.

John 11:47-54

47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. (NKJV)

They All Condemned Him to be Deserving of Death. Essentially, Jesus was condemned to death because of envy or selfishness. Verse 48 says, “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” Verse 53 tells us “Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.” Likewise, we too condemn Jesus in our own lives by our selfishness or idolatry, so we, like the chief priest, elders and teachers of the law, are guilty of condemning Jesus. The irony of it all is that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Jesus never has been deserving of death, but He assumed our penalty, so we could know God.

Who deserves to be condemned to death? Romans 1 tells us that is man. Listen to what that text tells us. “29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Despite that, They All Condemned Him to be Deserving of Death.

Mark 1:15 tell us that “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
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