Q. I have always wondered about the anti-Semitic epithet of “Christ Killers.” I think awareness of God’s purpose is that the Jews were fulfilling His will by “crucifying the Lord of Glory” whose primary purpose in coming to earth was to die in their place for the sins of mankind, but in effect, for the sins of believers. While it does not mitigate their guilt, the “Christ Killers,” were doing the will of God by fulfilling prophecy. That understanding requires a degree of abstraction many are unable to achieve.
A. When you realize that just because God knows what’s going to happen doesn’t mean He makes everything happen, or even desires for it to happen, most of the abstraction disappears. Man is sovereign and is responsible for his own choices.
Over and over again God sent prophets to tell the Jews their Messiah was coming. Hundreds of prophecies described His life in detail. God sent the Maji to announce His birth and John the Baptist to announce the beginning of His adult ministry. After performing miracles that conspicuously fulfilled Messianic prophecies, Jesus Himself allowed them to hail Him as their King and warned that the the price of rejecting Him would be the loss of their kingdom. Although God knew from the start that they were going to reject Him and had already planned to use His death to save the Gentiles, His will was for them to accept Him and be reconciled. I believe the reason Jesus lingered on Earth for 40 days after His resurrection was to give them one last opportunity to accept Him, although He knew they wouldn’t. 10 days later the Church was born and the door was opened to the Gentiles.
God had no desire to punish the Jews. They fell into a trap of their own making when they turned their religion into a system of works in which God had become incidental to their lives. (Isaiah 29:13) Because of this they were completely ignorant of the signs of the times in which they lived, and rejected the King they had been waiting over 2000 years for. Sadly, much of the “church” has made the same mistake and for the most part is just as ignorant of the signs of our times. The results will be just as devastating.