Today’s Scripture: What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; Romans 3:9
When I was a teenager, I found myself sitting next to a Jewish man on an airplane. As it turns out, he was a well-known neurosurgeon. I explained to him that Jesus had fulfilled all the laws and the prophecies concerning the Messiah. As I began talking about the death of Jesus, I made a big mistake – I said that the Jews put Jesus to death. Little did I know how sensitive he and all Jewish people are to that inflaming statement. He immediately became on the defensive, and the conversation was all but over.
I want to make two points from the above illustration. First, when witnessing to Jewish people, don’t make the same mistake I did. The Jews have faced all sorts of persecution because they have been labeled “Christ Killers.” This is an almost certain way to get nowhere when presenting the gospel. When we are giving the gospel, we must be especially sensitive. Learning to avoid certain words and phrases will go a long way to having your Jewish friends listen to you as you witness for Jesus.
Secondly, the Jews are not responsible for the death of Jesus. In all technicality, the Romans crucified Him, but it would be wrong for us to blame them for Jesus’ death. The reality is I am responsible for Christ’s death. You are responsible for Christ’s death. He is God; no creation of His could possibly kill Him. He gave His life for our sins. He stayed on the cross for my sins and the sins of the entire world.
We need to realize that our sin is what separated us from God, and God reunited us to Him by dying in our place. We are just as guilty of Christ’s death as anyone who has ever lived. If you’re looking for someone to blame for Christ’s death, look to yourself.
Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.