Crucify Him!: Who Said It?

Jesus was from Galilee. Each tribe had an area where they camped near Jerusalem for feasts. The Galileans always camped on the southern end of the Mount of Olives. The Bible does not say this but historical records attest to it. These were rural people who detested the Romans and had nothing to lose by opposing them.

When Jesus left Bethany/Bethphage (Luke 19: 29) to go to Jerusalem He would have had to travel across the southern end of the Mount of Olives and through these people who knew Him. His home town, Nazareth, was in Galilee. He spent much of His ministry among them.

As He moved through them they celebrated His presence with great delight (Luke 19:37). At this time Jesus was not in Jerusalem. He was still on the Mount of Olives.

These are the people referred to on another occasion as “the common people (who) heard Him gladly” (Mark 12:37).

Across the Kedron Valley (less that 1/4 mile) that separated the Mount of Olives from Jerusalem the folks in Jerusalem heard all the shouting and went out to see what was happening.

In the Gospel of John the expression “the Jews” was used to refer to the religious leaders. They were the wealthy people in Jerusalem. They lived in luxury like people in Rome. They had much to lose so they placated the Romans and sought to please them.

It was this group in Jerusalem who incited the crowd within the city to cry “Crucify Him.” Note in John 19: 6 “the chief priest and officers cried out, saying crucify Him.” In John 19: 14 Pilate said “to the Jews….”

This reference to the Jews is addressed to “the chief priest and officers” of verse 6. It was they in John 19: 15 who are represented as having “… cried out, ‘Crucify Him!'”