“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” — Adolf Hitler
Nothing thus far in Rabbi Boteach’s Kosher Jesus has disturbed me so deeply as did this week’s reading. Not because we differed, I expected that. What has grieved me to the core is the truth about the lies.
In John 8:44 Jesus says,
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
In this passage, Jesus was talking to Jews. But more precisely, he was speaking directly to individuals — not a nation. He called out a small group of men in a crowd for their murderous thoughts and intent. He was judging their hearts.
The “father of lies” has twisted Jesus’ words in the minds of religious leaders, which in turn warped their theology. Boteach quotes both respected Catholics and Protestants that, through the ages, have spewed and perpetuated the lie that the Jews murdered Jesus.
Impossible I say.
Jesus stated very clearly that no one had power over him, unless it was given from above. Men with corrupted hearts may have wanted him dead, but the Roman government had to be given the power to kill him.
If either of our faiths, Jewish or Christian, are true — then the charge that Jews killed Jesus must be false.
The Creator of the universe cannot be defeated by man. Christ came to a fallen world because evil reigns in the hearts of men. If Jesus died for our sins, as his followers believe, then he was sacrificed for us by God himself. No man could have done this.
As he hung on that cross, he asked the father for forgiveness for them. That meant Romans and Jews alike, including the individuals casting lots for his clothes and mocking him. Not just those weeping at his feet — most likely all Jews.
If the God of Abraham is indeed the one true God — and I believe He is — and if the Old Testament is true — which I believe it is — then He is a good God that loves His creation. So much so, He spoke directly to Moses, and made a way of atonement. If that be so, wouldn’t He also make a way for the rest of us pagans to know our Creator? Would He command Adam and Eve to populate the earth and yet leave so many in the darkness of their own sin with no way of atonement, separated from Him for eternity?
No. I don’t believe He would. That’s where He sent us Christ Jesus, because He IS a loving God — and there is a price for sin, separation from Him.
If you believe that the Jews murdered Jesus you must also say there is no God. Then you have joined the men Jesus was speaking to when he said,
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
Check out the previous installments in Rhonda Robinson’s ongoing blogging series exploring Kosher Jesus:
1. July 7: Restoring Our Judeo-Christian Culture
2. July 21: Jesus a Pharisee?
3. July 28: Dietary Laws: Did Jesus Model or Dismiss Them?