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Hated Without Cause

Stories of the Cross  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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looking at the cross from the viewpoint of the Jews who hated Jesus

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We will continue our special series on the Stories of the Cross. We are looking at the same story from five very different viewpoints – each representing a being or group of people – that seeks to demonstrate how people can view Jesus with very different emotions. Last time we talked about the fulfillment of prophecy in the crucifixion, which shows the active role of the Father. Today we examine the hatred of the Jews towards Jesus.

I) Hatred fulfilled prophecy

We saw this last time – ; ; – but it more than simply a fulfillment of God’s prophecy
Psalm 35:19 ESV
Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause.
Psalm 69:4 ESV
More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore?
John 15:25 ESV
But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
This phrase is a two-pronged indictment of the Jews (who represent mainstream Christianity) who first hated, and then second did so without reason

II) Hatred of the Jews

They did not start out hating Jesus – – but came to that point very quickly –
Luke 4:22 ESV
And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
Luke 4:28–29 ESV
When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.
It was not that Jesus spoke harshly that caused the hate –
Luke 3:7–14 ESV
He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
What did cause the hate was Jesus challenging their traditions and the status quo – ;
Luke 5:21 ESV
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Luke 6:11 ESV
But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Hatred caused them to treat Jesus cruelly, with slaps – – spitting and slapping His face – – mocking His claim to be a prophet (and much more) from God – – ridicule – – and scoffing at Him – ;
John 18:22 ESV
When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”
Mark 14:65 ESV
And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Mark 14:65 ESV
And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Luke 23:11–12 ESV
And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
Luke 23:35 ESV
And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”
Matthew 27:39–43 ESV
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
People generally dislike change, especially when another person causes us to change in ways we did not expect or desire
Cruel behavior (often not leading to death) will spring from that challenge to long-established ideas, as in the Crusades up to the political/religious debates that happen in our time; even among our brothers/sisters in Christ –
Matthew 5:21–22 ESV
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

III) Without cause

It may be the simplest of concepts, but Jesus did nothing wrong
Jews certainly thought they had ample justification for their hatred, but they did not –
John 11:47–53 ESV
So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
The only standard for condemnation of another is the Bible itself – ;
John 12:47–48 ESV
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
John 7:21–24 ESV
Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well? Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
If we want to oppose someone else (and there are times when we should – ), we must do so with Bible in hand, for what we oppose and how
Galatians 2:11–13 ESV
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy.
Concl: The Jews are the interesting participants in the crucifixion of Jesus, representing those least likely to kill Jesus, yet the most invested.
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