What would had happened to Jesus if the Jews would have Accepted Him?
December 13, 2011 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

Thank you for your ministry.  I gathered much good info from this week’s lesson.  However, there is one point in the mp3 that I must ask you regarding the death of Jesus.  The question was asked by one of your students “What would have happened had the Jews accepted Jesus as the Messiah?”

  I am one of those who ascribes to the idea that somehow, Jesus would have to be sacrificed.  Now I agree with you that it certainly did not need to be a violent death.  That is satan’s doing.  But I also understand the “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin” Heb 9:22.  So because we have the typical sanctuary service, would it not be logical to assume that the Antitypical Lamb also had to be slain?

I am a learner and still have heaps to learn, so if I have it all wrong, please explain this to me.


Thanks for being part of our online class and for sending your question. My understanding is that once mankind sinned, it would not have been possible for humanity to be saved without Christ becoming human, developing a perfect character, dying and rising again. The question many debate is why. I understand His purpose was to restoring mankind back to God’s original design, destroy Satan, and destroy death. In other words, reverse all that sin had done to mankind. This required He blend His divinity with our fallen humanity and destroy the infection of sinfulness within the humanity He assumed, so that He might purify humanity in His own person.

He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son, who came with a nature like sinful human nature, to do away with sin. Romans 8:3 GNT.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor 5:21 NIV.

In order to do this, it required He “be tempted in very way just like we are,” (Heb 2:14), and by the exercise of His human brain overcome each temptation with perfect love. Sin at its root is “lawlessness” or being outside the law of love, which is selfishness (1John 3:4). Christ, partook of our humanity and experienced temptation just like we do, and was tempted with powerful human emotions to act in self-interest (see Bible texts which describe His experience in Gethsemane). In order to destroy this “nature” or biological predisposition toward selfishness we all inherit (Ps 51:5), Jesus had to willingly give His life or die.

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. Luke 17:33 NIV.

The only way to destroy the infection of selfishness, the “survival-of-the-fittest” drive that infects humanity was to become human, live a perfect life, and when tempted to act to “save self” instead give His life freely.

No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. Jn 10:18 GNT

Thus He rose again with a cleansed and purified humanity and “became the source of salvation for all who obey him.” (Heb 5:9).

So, His death was an absolute necessity. The question you are asking is, how would He have died, if the Jews accepted Him as Messiah? Whatever we suggest is pure speculation as history did not occur that way and we will not know for sure. But, my understanding comes from the Biblical record of Christ’s experience in Gethsemane. Christ would have died in Gethsemane had not an angel from heaven strengthened His humanity in order to endure what human beings were yet going to due to Him (Luke 22:43).

Why would He have died in Gethsemane? Because it was in Gethsemane that He experienced the full weight of what unremedied sin does – separation from His Father. It was in Gethsemane that He experienced overwhelming grief and mental anguish, which was crushing out His life, without one human hand yet laid upon Him. Nor was any fire rained down from heaven, as some like to believe. It was sin, as the Bible says, which was crushing Him (Rom 6:23, James 1:15).

Why didn’t He die in Gethsemane? Because the Jews didn’t accept Him and there was more to be revealed, which require Him to go through the Cross.

One Christian writer puts it this way:

In this awful crisis, when everything was at stake, when the mysterious cup trembled in the hand of the sufferer, the heavens opened, a light shone forth amid the stormy darkness of the crisis hour, and the mighty angel who stands in God’s presence, occupying the position from which Satan fell, came to the side of Christ. The angel came not to take the cup from Christ’s hand, but to strengthen Him to drink it, with the assurance of the Father’s love. He came to give power to the divine-human suppliant. He pointed Him to the open heavens, telling Him of the souls that would be saved as the result of His sufferings. He assured Him that His Father is greater and more powerful than Satan, that His death would result in the utter discomfiture of Satan, and that the kingdom of this world would be given to the saints of the Most High. He told Him that He would see of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, for He would see a multitude of the human race saved, eternally saved.  {Desire of Ages 693.3} 

            Christ’s agony did not cease, but His depression and discouragement left Him. The storm had in nowise abated, but He who was its object was strengthened to meet its fury. He came forth calm and serene. A heavenly peace rested upon His bloodstained face. He had borne that which no human being could ever bear; for He had tasted the sufferings of death for every man.  {Desire of Ages 694.1} 

So whatever “might” have happened is pure speculation, while interesting to think about, it should not derail us from celebrating what actually did happen. Christ Jesus overcame sinfulness in humanity, perfectly restored God’s law of love into humanity, and destroyed sinfulness, death and the devils work (2Tim 1:9,10, 1John 3:8)! Because of Jesus we can now experience a new heart, right spirit, and live free from the domination of fear and selfishness, looking forward to the day all is made new!

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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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