Letters for Saturday, April 15, 2017

• Jews and the crucifixion of Jesus • Sacrificial love necessary for freedom

Jews and the crucifixion of Jesus

A Jewish neighbor once lamented to me about Jews being called “Christ-killers.” I found out that many Christians over the centuries have been anti-Semitic against Jews. I believe this came from the secular Roman influences on Christianity after the Roman takeover of Christianity in the fourth century. Prior to that, a large percent of Christians were of Jewish background, after millions of Jews became followers of Jesus in the first few centuries A.D.

Jesus had supernatural powers to avoid being killed. He agreed to be killed because his death would pay for the sins of the world and result in salvation available for all people. For these reasons, it is nonsense for any Christian to blame Jews for Jesus’ death.

As a matter of history, it was Jewish leaders who were jealous of Jesus’ popularity and convinced the Romans to crucify him. However, at that time, there were various sects among the Jews: Sadducees, Shammai Pharisees, and Hillel Pharisees. Jesus’ criticisms were primarily of the Sadducees and the Shammai Pharisees. The Sadducees were the ones who had Jesus killed.

The Hillel Pharisees were led by Hillel’s grandson, Gamaliel. In Acts 5, the Bible records that Gamaliel spoke up and convinced the other Jewish leaders not to kill the early Christian leaders.

Modern Jews are religious descendants of Hillel Pharisees, who were not the ones wanting Jesus’ death. They were, in fact, defenders of the early Christians against persecution.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

Sacrificial love necessary for freedom

After centuries of human sacrifices, imagine the Hawaiians’ delight to learn that Jesus, who is fully God and fully man, out of His great love, willingly laid down His life as a sacrifice for the sins of the entire world.

Jesus demonstrated the model necessary for freedom. Love for God and each other. Democracy without sacrificial love is tyranny disguised as freedom.

Believing the Bible’s authority was evident in Hawaii’s constitution: “We are aware that God must be our aid, for it is His province alone to give perfect protection and prosperity… All laws of the Islands shall be in consistency with the general spirit of God’s law… All men of every religion shall be protected in worshiping Jehovah, and serving Him, according to their own understanding, but no man shall ever be punished for neglect of God unless he injures his neighbor.”

Jesus came to conquer death. Mission accomplished! He offers eternal life to those who believe in Him for salvation.

Jesus will return to judge the nations. Will Americans be found “exercising rights” instead of doing what is right? The United States may want to rethink the misapplication of “separation of church and state.”

“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Michele Lincoln, Lahaina

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