Who’s Responsible for Jesus’ Death?

HomeChristianity and the BibleWho’s Responsible for Jesus’ Death?

Christianity, especially the American sort, has its own language. Many people don’t speak a word of this curious language…so, as a web designer specializing in working with churches and non-profits, I have to remind a lot of folks to avoid using jargon to communicate.

“Christianese” is a pet peeve…but there’s another part of Christian communication that’s worse: platitudes. I absolutely HATE platitudes.

A platitude is a trite, meaningless, or prosaic statement that is presented as if it were significant and original.


Here’s the platitude I’m railing against today: “it was my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross“. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

That’s the nature of a platitude: it sounds good, so it’s believable…but it’s simply wrong. Meaningless. Songs have been written about it, and lots of people believe it. Let’s look at some Bible verses to see how this platitude doesn’t work.

First: Jesus’ death wasn’t a reaction to our sin.

In Revelation 13:8 we read that …the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. It was God’s plan all along!

Second: Some people talk like Jesus was murdered. He wasn’t.

Jesus Himself pointed that out in John 10 when He said that 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. Jesus wasn’t a victim. His death was pre-planned and purposeful.

Finally: Jesus taught that His death was part of an important process.

We read in Mark 14 that, at the last supper, Jesus said this: This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. His death was one component of a big picture that runs from Genesis through Revelation. Every bit of the Bible contributes, in some way, to our understanding of God’s love as it was displayed in Jesus’ death.

I understand the sentiment involved, and am not putting down sincere statements about our own sinfulness. My point is that nobody is served when we think up, repeat, and believe silly platitudes. If you’re going to say something, why not say something that sounds good and has real meaning?

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4 responses to “Who’s Responsible for Jesus’ Death?”

  1. pinbaddict says:

    So God was responsible 4 Jesus’s death?

    • Tony says:


      Of course God was responsible for Jesus’ death. It was the plan all along, and Jesus – who is God – laid down His life of His own accord.

  2. Freddy says:

    There is a lot of confusion when we refer to Jesus as God and at the same time accept him as the son of God. Jedus posess the attribute of God. He himself said that he is the exact representation of God. I think we should accept Him as the son of God that He is and avoid the translational semantic of John 1:1.

    • Tony says:


      With respect, there is no ‘translational semantic’ of John 1:1. It’s the clear witness of Scripture that Jesus is God. That’s what John said, no matter how many times Jehovah’s Witnesses (and a few others) try to say otherwise. For those who want the technical details, is not “a” but “the.” It’s a nominative singular masculine definite article.

      Jesus directly claimed to be God. This is beyond dispute. You can see some of the Scriptural evidence in my article, Did Jesus Claim to Be God?.

      In the languages of the ancient near east, being a son meant being the same as your father. When Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, those around Him knew that He was claiming to BE God. That’s what happened in John 5:18: For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

      The Jews understood that Jesus claimed to be God In John 10, we find this: We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.

      Any claim that Jesus is not God Himself contradicts Jesus’ own words, the words of those who denied Him, and the clear witness of Scripture.

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