The Death of Jesus The same event, different perspectives
The Jews Judea--powerful kingdom in ancient times Jews—own language, culture, religion Monotheistic God’s chosen people Society dominated by religion: leaders, laws Promised a Messiah (savior)sent by God to restore the old kingdom, No one knew when or who Conquered by Rome in 63 BCE—sometimes leaders cooperated with Rome, sometimes not When Jesus starts teaching—some think he is the Messiah who will overthrow Rome and set up a new kingdom
Jewish Religion • Strict laws all Jews should follow • What/when to eat • When to work/rest • What to wear • Taxes and offerings to Religious leaders • Strict punishments for dis-obedience • Why? Ways to show faithfulness to God
Jesus travels and preaches Jewish—learns traditions and beliefs 30-33 years old Uses stories and parables Has 12 disciples that follow and work with him Performs Miracles Draws larger and larger crowds Message: Love your enemies Treat all people with compassion Forgiveness for sins by believing in Jesus eternal life of happiness and peace God cares about people, not rituals
Stop and Discuss • What was appealing about Jesus’ message? What kind of people would have liked his message? • Who would NOT have liked Jesus’ message?
Jesus’ Popularity Enemies Enemy #1: Jewish Leaders
Law and Punishment Jewish Law and Tradition (Deuteronomy 21: 18-21) When a man has a son who is disobedient and out of control, and will not obey his father or his mother, or pay attention when they punish him, then his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of the town, at the town gate. They shall say to the elders of the town, "This son of ours is disobedient and out of control; he will not obey us, he is a wastrel and a drunkard." Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death Jesus: Parable of the Lost Son (Luke 15: 21-24) • “The (disobedient) son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ • “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Sacrifices and Offerings Jewish Tradition: • Jews bought and sacrificed offerings in the temple. Roman and Jewish leaders got a cut of the profits. Jesus • And he (Jesus) entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves…He was teaching and saying, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers. (Mark 11: 15-17)
Stop and Discuss • Why would Jewish leaders have considered Jesus an enemy?
Why did Jewish Leaders dislike Jesus? • Undermining Jewish traditions and laws • Threat to their wealth and power • Good relationship with Rome depended on things staying calm
Jewish Perceptions of Jesus • Some like Jesus and his message Some hope he is the Messiah to save them from Rome • Some fear his growing popularity
Enemy #2 The Romans
Sayings of Jesus • “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near.” (Mark 1:15) • “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power”(Mark 9:1) • “…Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. (Matthew 27:11)
Stop and Discuss • Why might the Romans dislike Jesus?
Why do the Romans dislike Jesus? • Preaching a ‘new’ kingdom • Encouraging people who were looking for a Messiah • Potential Political Threat
What Happens? • Jewish leaders arrest Jesus and bring him to the Roman governor for trial. • He is beaten and crucified
Interpretations of Jesus and his death • Romans: A trouble-maker who was publically executed for plotting against Roman rule • Jews: A false messiah, a threat to Jewish religion and security, a criminal deserving death • Followers of Jesus/Christians: The Son of God who death was part of God’s plan to save believers
Was this typical Roman Behavior? • Coming up… How did the Romans treat other religions in their empire?