Not only was Jesus murdered, he was the target of premeditated first-degree murder. It is important that we realize that Jesus allowed himself to be the target of this murder. He could have resisted and in the garden of Gethsemane declared that, should he want to do so, he could call 10,000 angels to defend him. This was the fulfillment of prophecy and of God’s intent that Jesus would become the sacrificial lamb and the Savior for all who would believe on him.
There was a long-standing resentment toward Jesus by the leaders of the Jews. These were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes. They felt threatened for the positions they held among the people should they all follow Jesus. Initially they fought back against Jesus with accusations and denials. After Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead, they even sought to kill him. (John 12:10) From the beginning to the end of this murder plot Jesus did no wrong.
In a secret meeting this counsel debated how to respond to Jesus. It was at that meeting that they decided that Jesus should die so that the nation would not be changed to the rule of Jesus. In John 11:53 they decided to put Jesus to death. This is the beginning of their plot, was premeditated, and only needed the opportunity to make their plan a reality.
After the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and his cleansing of the temple, the chief priests and Pharisees tried to lay hands on Jesus, but they were afraid because of all the people. (Matthew 21:45, 46) Later, and after another verbal attack on Jesus, the Pharisees decided that there would be no more negotiating with him. (Matthew 22: 46)
As the plot to murder Jesus continued, they sought how they could make their plan, a reality. (Matthew 26:4) Eventually Jesus was arrested and underwent illegal trials during the nighttime. After false witnesses testified against him, the counsel declared that he was worthy of death. (Matthew 26: 66) it should be noted that when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane it was not by Roman soldiers but by temple guards. (Luke 22:52)
There was a continual effort to murder Jesus. On two occasions they wanted to stone him. . (John 8:59; 10: 39) Their main issue was Jesus’ popularity with the people and that the Roman law prevented them from performing their own death sentence. This is the reason why Pilate and the Roman soldiers became involved. Pilate tried to conduct a fair trial and found Jesus innocent. But the Jewish Council blackmailed Pilate saying they would report this incident to Caesar which would bring Pilate under suspect by Caesar. (John 19: 7, 12)
After Pilate consented to the murder on the cross, Roman soldiers took over the custody of Jesus. They mocked him and tortured him. The Roman style of execution was the cross. It took a long time for a person to die with this method of killing. The result is that, even though Pilate and the soldiers were complicit to the murder, they were pawns in the hands of the Council.
However, none of this could have happened without the consent of Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and to be resurrected as our Savior.
How remarkable it is that Jesus suffered for all of mankind to have the opportunity to be reunited to God as a child of the Almighty. Keeping this in mind, how could anyone turn away from Jesus?