September 28, 2020

Spiritually Speaking

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Did Christ commit suicide?

If Christ hadn’t died the way he did would there be Christianity? Christ was never a Christian. He was a Jew and died a Jew. He had been given enough ‘outs’ to being crucified and according to Matthew’s gospel, Jesus himself told his disciples that he had to “suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (16:21). So if he knew it was going to happen did he then make it happen?

Jesus certainly died. And he died quickly. John notes that “So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.” (John 19:32-33) This indicates that the soldiers expected Him to still be alive, just like the ones he was crucified alongside. Crucifixion should have taken longer to kill Him.

Suicide is morally wrong and is therefore sinful. Jesus was sinless, so he couldn’t have committed suicide.

John 10:17-18 indicates that no one takes Jesus’ life away, but that He lays it down of His own accord. This corroborates John 19:30 where Jesus gives up His spirit. Furthermore, Jesus is the Life; is there any force in the universe that could take His life away from the very incarnation of Life?

So that means Jesus committed suicide. He lay down his life – it wasn’t taken from him. He gave up his spirit.

Is suicide always a sin? Is it actually prohibited? How do you punish someone who has committed suicide. Almost all suicides are done from wrong motives, and thus are sinful, But, if one were to sacrifice oneself to save others, that seems to me to be moral, not sinful. And, of course, this is what Jesus did in His death.

There is a thought that Jesus must have died the most painful of any deaths in payment for our sins. I have looked everywhere in the Bible for that but cannot find any reference to it. So that is a reason given for saying He did not commit suicide.

Genesis says human life is made in God’s image, so God is the only one who has rightful authority over a life being taken. But Jesus is the Son of God. And Jesus isn’t dead because he was raised up on the third day and He is still with us. So if He is still with us he couldn’t have committed suicide. But He was put to death.

So, maybe the answer is Both?

Judas handed Jesus over to the priests, the priests handing Jesus over to the Romans, Jesus handing himself over for us, and God handing Jesus over for the sake of our salvation. Jesus was killed by others who were morally responsible for what they did and Jesus willingly submitted to be killed by people who were foreordained by God to put him to death. Perhaps its all in the definition of Suicide?

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