Was the Crucifixion which Christians celebrate on Good Friday murder, or a legally-promulgated death (at least according to the norms of the time)?
First, the question here posed (originally posted elsewhere) is specious, by presenting us with only two choices. This would be like a police interrogation, without a lawyer (or the required objection), “Did you kill the victim, or murder him?” It need not have been a false dichotomy to have been an un unacceptable mode of questioning by an authority figure, but this is what we were given on another web site. In fairness, a similar theme was dealt with almost a year ago on another WordPress site. (It was not read prior to writing this article, to prevent cross-contamination of ideas.)
Let´s go back to Abraham, when he is asked to sacrifice his son. What would Isaac’s father have been guilty of, if his hand had not been stayed?
We could thus say, according to Christian theology, that the trial, persecution, and crucifixion of Jesus were all part of preparations for a sacrifice, of which the participants were not aware. Yet, in Christ asking for these perpetrators of his death to be forgiven, an argument for murder could be made. It could not have been a judicially-approved killing in the modern sense of the word, as much as the state may believe that it has that prerogative – as the state has no right to obliterate the Light.
Another complication arises if we consider the Resurrection. As of Easter Sunday, there was no corpus delicti. Yes, I’m stretching the facts, but only until the moment the Christ reappears. Christians believe in His death, but for the authorities of Christ’s time, how could anyone be charged with murder, if the Man was walking around, even if prudently?
For the most part, especially in the nanny-state, the watchword is, “Thou shalt not sacrifice!” This goes both ways: on the one hand, we must neither sacrifice animals to be served up as food, nor human life beyond the parameters established by highway or gun laws. And with the exception of the brave who join the military, or donations of money in certain extreme cases, we must not make any sacrifices beyond that of obeying the Leviathan. This is why in case of fire or crime, we must call the appropriate authority to suffocate the problem. During the Mississippi Delta flooding of March, 2016, there was some question as to how much private persons could legally do to help.
In conclusion, the Crucifixion was an apparent murder, but the disciples could hardly have brought a case against the authorities. Unless the Resurrection were to remain a secret, it would have been fatuous to do so. On the contrary, it would have been worse than Peter’s denying that he was one of the apostles. Calling it a God-permitted sacrifice unwittingly brought about by human actors, would be a better answer to the artificially-constructed conundrum that someone suggested.
April 2, 2018
© 2018, Paul Karl Moeller