The word ‘chutzpah’ has entered the English language from Hebrew and Yiddish. It means ‘impudence’.
More commonly, we might say, “You’ve got a cheek”, but we could equally say, “That’s chutzpah.”
Jews illustrate the meaning of the term through the story of a boy who murdered his parents, and then asked to be pardoned because he was an orphan.
This may seem like a strange way to open the question of “Who killed Jesus?”, but do keep reading.
Various individuals, or groups of people, were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
The first, obviously, was Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Israel who sentenced Jesus to death, even though he knew that the evidence against Him was false ( Luke 23:4,13-15,22-23).
Next responsibility lies with the Roman soldiers who carried out the execution ( John 19:16-18).
The next, as a group, were the leaders and people of Israel. The gospel accounts, written by Jews, make this assertion ( Matt 27:25). Also, the apostle Peter, a Jew, accused his own people, as a nation, of condemning Jesus to death ( Acts 2:22-23 and Acts 4:10).
Having said all this, the Bible makes it clear that Jesus was not a “victim”. He willingly laid down His life ( John 10:14-18).
It is now important to make clear: I crucified Jesus. It was my sin that put Jesus on the cross. I am guilty, and Jesus was paying the price for my sin.
Finally, it was to pay the price for the sin of the whole world that Jesus died. Everyone has sinned ( Romans 3:23). Everyone is guilty.
That being true, I dare say that you killed Jesus too. Of course, if you do not see yourself as being a sinner, then you have no need of a Saviour ( 1 John 1:8-10).
One of the saddest facts of church history is that, at certain times, the Jews have been accused of being “Christ killers”. They are guilty – but no more so than everyone else. Staggering persecutions have fallen on Israel because hyper-religious Christians have said that the Jews are guilty of deicide – of killing God. Anyone who points that finger, without qualification, fails to recognise their own culpability. And that, I might say, is real chutzpah.
Jesus died on the cross. His death was a sacrifice for the sin of the world. The wonderful part of the story is that death could not hold Him down. He rose from the grave. And, praise God, there is forgiveness of sin, for Jew and Gentile, for everyone who turns to Him and who believes in Him and who calls on His name.