Did Jesus deserve to die?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
In this season of Christian religious reflection, 2,000 years or so after the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ, many are still asking questions as to why it was necessary for this exemplary, non-violent man of the spiritual life to die so brutally in the desert of Judea?
The sentence of death by crucifixion seems unfair to many, seeing that he committed no crime. Others say that the penalty for the errors of mankind puts humans under a death sentence and so Jesus acted as a sacrificial lamb before God.
First, the civil reason for the crucifixion of the three men in the desert is as follows. Three zealots decided to stage a demonstration in November 32 AD to protest a Roman act of bloody-mindedness a few months earlier when Governor Pilate, a Scotsman, placed in that position by the Rome, ordered that soldiers don camouflage and join a peaceful demonstration by Jews against certain acts by Pilate, such as raiding the Temple treasury for funds to do civil works. The soldiers carried weapons beneath their disguise and then killed many demonstrators.
The November Jewish demonstration was to protest those killings. However, the three leaders, Simon Magus, Barabbas, and Judas Iscariot, lost control of the crowd and they broke out and killed some soldiers. The three men then fled into the Qumran desert where a monastery was located.
The Jewish temple hierarchy was aware of who led the November demonstrations and they promptly excommunicated the leader, Simon Magus, and sentenced him to spiritual death. This meant wrapping him in grave clothes and confining him in a mausoleum for three days.
If a priest did not raise him within that time, he would be left to starve to death.
Jesus, who was a friend of Magus, decided to perform the raising ceremony and free Magus, who had been also demoted to the status of a leper, that is a Lazarus. Missing parts of the gospels record the men talking before the ceremony.
JESUS A WANTED MAN
Thereafter, Jesus was also a wanted man. During the next 'supper', regularly held for villagers who brought food for the monks at the Qumran monastery, Judas tried to save himself and sneaked away from the proceedings to send a report to Pilate as to where the wanted men were. The Romans descended on the area and arrested all concerned.
At the trials, Simon Magus had no hope of escaping the penalty. Pilate tried to save Jesus, whom he had met in Scotland, but was thwarted by the Jerusalem priests. Judas was even disrespected by every Jew as an informer. Barabbas was old and regarded as harmless, plus a ransom was paid for his release. So Simon was on the centre cross, Judas was on the western cross and Jesus, the only innocent one, was on the eastern cross.
The world has much to thank Jesus for as, though severely pressed, he did not rail against his treatment at the hands of the sons of men and did not appeal for rescue to his father, Yahweh, who was no doubt appalled that one of his sons was so treated.