Jesus was not killed for claiming to be the Messiah, for messiah claimants were often approved by the Jewish religion

It’s often assumed that Jesus was killed for declaring himself the Messiah, because such a declaration was “illegal” in Jewish religion. But this is certainly not the case.

There are at least twenty examples where human beings in the ancient Jewish context, before and after Jesus, that were called the Messiah, and none were killed by the Jewish religious leaders (while many were indeed killed by political rulers scared of an usurper taking their kingdom).

A few of these Messiahs were even affirmed by the masses or important Hebrew religious leaders.

a. One example is from the famous Cyrus prophecy of Isaiah 45 which refers to the Persian king Cyrus the Great at the Lords Anointed (messiah). Cyrus is called the messiah by Isaiah for he liberates the Jews in exile and returns them to their home.

b. A second example is Judas Maccabeus who led a successful revolt against the Greek Seleucid empire that occupied Jerusalem. Many Jews considered Maccabeus to be the Messiah and the “Prince of princes” alluded to in the book of Daniel.

c. A third example is Simon bar Kokhba a Messiah claimant who was born a few decades after Jesus. His surname, “Bar Kokhba” meant “Son of the Star” in Aramaic, from the Star Prophecy verse in Numbers 24:17- “There shall come a star out of Jacob.” And he was thought to be the Messiah by at least a leading Jewish leader, Rabbi Akiva

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2 comments

  1. Wasn’t Jesus condemned under Caesar? Crucifixion was the Roman method of execution, the Jews used stoning. It’s true, from what I can understand, that the Pharisees sect of Judaism did believe in the afterlife ANC the coming of the Messiah. They just didn’t understand (or want to understand), that Jesus was the One that the Prophecies all pointed to.

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  2. Jesus’ offense was claiming to be God and claiming prerogatives belonging exclusively to God, e.g. claiming the ability to forgive sins. See e.g. Jn. 7:25-30, Jn. 10:29-39; Mk 14:61-65.

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