By Jon Kauffman
The soldiers who killed Jesus were men like us, trying to make it in the world. Likely many had families. Quite possibly they had been taught, when they were young children that it is good and patriotic to be a soldier and fight for the state. Perhaps their parents encouraged them to be soldiers to take advantage of the career and leadership opportunities available to soldiers. Perhaps they were told stories of how Jewish “terrorists” such as the Maccabees had killed many Romans.
As soldiers, they were told that the people they killed on the cross were enemies of the state and a threat to their families. Many of those killed in Jerusalem at that time were insurrectionists, rebelling against unjust Roman rule.
If I had grown up in Rome and become a soldier would I be different? If I had been commanded to nail the hands of Jesus to the cross would I have refused if I thought that he deserved that death because the state told me he deserved it? How would I know that Jesus was innocent? How would I know Jesus was the Son of God? What if I refused to obey my orders? Would I be willing to be court marshaled or executed on the cross myself for refusing to obey orders? Could I follow a just war ethic?
Copyright © 2021 by Jon Kauffman. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted when used to further the Kingdom of God. Permission is gladly given to re-blog this post.