top of page


An historical investigation of the various motivations behind Jesus' execution


In this Easter sermon, we start a new series on the various motivations for Jesus’ death. Later messages will explore the motivations of the Jewish leaders and of Pontius Pilate, but this message looks at how Jesus interpreted the significance of his own death. Jesus said his death would function as a “ransom” for many. But it is only in light of his resurrection that this prophecy makes any sense.


The Pharisees and priests play an important role in Jesus’ movement to the cross. What exactly motivated them to want to see Jesus dead? In this message, we talk about the explosive message of Jesus and why the Pharisees believed Jesus was leading Israel astray.


Pilate was a real historical figure who governed Judea in the early first century. He was not well liked by the people he governed, and he did not care for them either. So when the Jewish authorities brought him Jesus on charges of sedition, and when Pilate was unconvinced that this Jesus posed a threat, he wants to snub the Jews by releasing Jesus. So why would he wind up having Jesus crucified? It seems he caves to the crowd in order to preserve order, keep his job, and keep his own head.


After spending three weeks looking at the motivations contributing to Jesus’ execution, we now turn our attention to the church’s reflections on the cross. How the did the church make sense of Jesus’ death in the years and decades after his resurrection? What we find over and over was that Jesus died “for us,” and not only that, but he died for us so that we might die with him, live for him, and rise like him.

bottom of page