Why Was Jesus Crucified?

This post covers the topic of Jesus' crucifixion and explores the political and religious reasons for its occurrence.

By Alice Bassett
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published February 28, 2022.

Most people know the story of the crucifixion very well. We know that Jesus was publically humiliated by being made to carry his own cross and was then nailed to that cross, adorned with a crown of thorns. But few actually know why this happened. What were the political motives, and, more importantly, why did this happen from a religious standpoint?

Did the Romans Crucify Jesus?

The Romans crucified Jesus, as that was their way of executing the lowest class of criminals and those who were not Roman. The reason for their judgment came down to politics and not much else. Jesus was seen as a rebel inciting rebellion in others. He broke laws set in place by Romans and claimed to be the living son of God.

He came before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, for his trial. It was not believed that he was the son of God, and so the masses decided that He should be executed. Note here that the decision was spurred by the crowd, as they took up cries of "Let Him be crucified" (Matthew 27:22, NKJV). This uproar is ultimately what influenced Pilate's decision.

Why Did God Crucify His Son?

The simple reason is so that people could see that He was, in fact, the son of God. The miracle of Jesus' resurrection—and all that occurred after—could not have happened if he didn't die. God had a plan, and Jesus knew of this plan, thus went along with His crucifixion without a fight—even drinking sour wine to better experience his suffering.

The crucifixion of Jesus was done as atonement for the sins of man. A sacrifice was made to secure a place in heaven for followers of Christ. The cumulative sins of the world were so great that only a sacrifice as great as Jesus Christ would suffice.