Question: Our pastor preached on Sunday that God crucified Jesus. Does the Bible state this?
Response: The Lord Jesus was sent to earth by the will of the Father. In Revelation:13:8 we learn that Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Before the world was formed, God knew that the redemption of sinful man would require the death of the Son.
On the Day of Pentecost, Peter, speaking of Jesus, declared, “Delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain....”
Peter was pointing out that the Lord had known exactly what sinful man would do and that it fulfilled the predetermined counsel of God. Yet, it was by the “wicked hands” of man that Jesus was “crucified and slain.” Some anti-Semites have stated that it was the Jews who killed Jesus, but the Roman government (and consequently humanity) must share the guilt. Rome was the only judicial authority granted the power to exercise capital punishment. The representatives of Rome that day in Jerusalem set aside justice to satisfy an angry mob. They executed an innocent man, of whom Pilate, the Roman Governor of Galilee, declared, “I find no fault in this man” (Lk 23:4).
In the Garden, as He faced the Cross, Jesus declared, “Not my will but thine be done.” Long before the Cross, however, Jesus (remember—He had a choice) had already willed Himself to go. He set His face like a flint (Is 50:7), and “he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Lk 9:51). He didn’t drag His heels on the way to the cross. At any time He could have called for help: “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?” (Mt 26:52). He “willingly” went to suffer the death of the cross. Jesus had said to His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me....Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mt 16:24-25). Therefore, in Jesus’s willingness we see Him freely choose to go to the Cross. Yes, the Father sent Him, and the Father didn’t stop the execution to which the Son submitted Himself. Nevertheless, it was humanity who put our Lord to death.