Thursday, July 23, 2009

Taking the Life of Christ

How do we reconcile the fact that Jesus states that no man taketh his life from him (cf. Jn 10:17-18) with him being killed on the cross by the Romans?

The word "take" usually has the connotation of removing something from the possession of a person against that person's will, as opposed to "receive," which is an open acceptance of what someone else possesses, or "retrieve," which has a connotation of finding something and possessing it once you find it.

So, when Jesus says that no one "takes" his life from Him, he means that no one kills him without him first willing it. If he did not will to die, then there was nothing that anyone could have done to kill him. Remember Jesus words to Peter, who had tried to keep the priests and their soldiers from seizing Jesus: "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?" (Mt 26:53-54).

As a side note, I must point out that the Romans are not the only ones to blame for the death of Jesus. There was also the chief priests and the elders (cf. Mt 26:3-4), Pontius Pilate (cf. Mt 27:2), Judas (cf. Mt 26:14-16,47-49), Herod and the gentiles (cf. Acts 4:27-28), and the Jews who demanded his crucifixion (cf. Mk 15:13-14).

Pax Christi,

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