Who is to blame for the death of Jesus? In some ways the case seems open and shut. The Jewish religious leaders of that time conspired with the Romans overseeing Jerusalem to have Jesus arrested and then tried in the Jewish religious courts and then in front of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor. Who else could we blame?
This simple answer overlooks an important detail. Jesus knowingly and willfully walked into the trap. His death was not something that caught Him off guard, was not an interruption of His plans or a defeat of His strategy. His death was the plan, it was the strategy. Knowing in advance what lay ahead of Him Jesus spoke these words to His disciples- “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.” John 10:17-18
The gospel writer of Luke described Jesus heart and intentions as the end of His life approached- “and it came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem” Luke 9:51-52
He resolutely set His face. With purpose and intent he turned toward the city where death awaited Him. Knowing this, He chose to go anyway. He chose to die. He chose to die not because He had a death wish for Himself but because He had a life wish for us. The writer of Hebrews described what His death accomplished for His people “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.” Hebrews 7:27
So who killed Jesus? He offered Himself. He offered Himself for the sins of all men. The Jews and Romans were the instruments by which His death was accomplished but the reason His death was necessary is because of what all men have done. We all are guilty.