“The Jews answered him, ‘It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.’ ” John 10:33 (ESV)

This verse, among others, is something that liberal theology has a real problem with. Why is this? It explains the charge for which Jesus was crucified: His adamant claim to Deity. Truly, it is impossible to account for the charge of His crucifixion apart from this bold claim. After all, it was made by His opponents, and John had no reason to fabricate why these religious leaders hated Jesus so much. Why then do critics have such a problem with this and thus try to marginalize, hide, and/or eradicate this claim from history?

It flies in the face of the Jesus they are trying to create.

Modern/postmodern critics don’t want Jesus to be relegated to the status of a madman claiming He was God because they ‘like’ Jesus and many of His teachings. However, in light of such claims, that would be the only option left in an evolutionary based universe, of which they are enraptured with. The answer then is to deny His claims as being fabricated by His followers.

The problem with this approach is that He would never have been crucified without His claim to Deity in the first place, something that never led to bizarre or abnormal behavior I might add. His detractors despised His claim to Deity, but they could not label Him as a crazy man or even deny His miracles, something liberals marginalize and bury 100 miles deep because of its obvious implications.

The Jewish leaders hated Jesus Christ because His claim to Deity was a direct threat to their power. For this reason, they trumped up charges of blasphemy and had Him crucified. So what did the pagan rulers think? Modern liberal scholarship makes them out to be the villains because these ‘scholars’ claim that such men feared Jesus as an insurrectionist, but that flies in the face of history. How so? The pagan rulers thought the trial was a charade all along, but they went along with it because they were were fearful of the Jewish leaders’ power and influence. They feared man and not God. Pilate even went so far as to wash his hands in public to show that he was not responsible for all of this madness (Matthew 27:24).

Not much has changed in 2,000 years. How so? Like the hypocritical Jewish leadership that hated the Son of the Living God then, Christ calls His critics to absolute submission, which is likewise a threat to their authoritative superstructure today. Ironically, they tend to invoke His name when they need to borrow some of His more ‘palatable’ teachings, of which are often ripped from their context and distorted beyond their authorialĀ  intent. How then do they accomplish this?

In some odd way, they like Jesus. After all, people like to see hypocrisy exposed, unless it’s their own of course. Furthermore, a couple millenia helps to ‘soften’ and ‘call into question’ such provocative claims that don’t bode well politically. In the passage of time, He has been fabricated into the image of His enemies so that these men are not seen as rejecting Him (something that comes across as rude and even outlandish to the Western world) but rather as lifting up the ‘real’ Jesus. If they strip Him of His Deity and then twist His words to push a leftist agenda, they can hypothetically cleanse Him of His baggage and so be used to gain ground socially and politically because we still live in a society that is fascinated with Jesus, albeit a manufactured Jesus mixed with select Biblical passages that fit their agenda.

There is still one problem with this ‘massage’ of history. He claimed Deity, His followers claimed His Deity, and His contemporary enemies charged Him with blasphemy because He claimed Deity and had Him crucified!

Ultimately, I do find it fascinating to such see a multitude of critics write so many publications trying to deny the only legitimate explanation to Christ’s crucifixion. The tidal wave of so many writings is incomprehensible and beyond any one’s man absorption, yet no amount of falsehood can eradicate and subdue the truth. For this reason, in denying the truth, such charlatans only expose their hatred for the Lord and the necessity of their repentance before a Holy God. These claims against His Deity are not ‘viable’ and ‘possible’ alternatives; rather, they are a shady cloak used to shroud and exalt the ‘illusion of uncertainty’ that is exposed by the Holy Spirit as He mightily presses the truth of God in Christ upon their consciences.

Repent, therefore, and cling the Lord of lords and King of kings ye enemies of the Living God, lest you face a terrible judgment that you know is coming. Denying it doesn’t make it any less real, so smash your idols, and flee from your futility. Lay hold of Christ, and behold His glory for all eternity. All else is vain and striving after the wind.

Soli Deo Gloria!