Jesus did die for a sinner.  The sinner was the Zealot Barabbas.  He was released, if the gospels are to be believed, by Pilate and Jesus was the one executed as a Zealot.
The context of Jesus' condemnation to death shows there is an untold story.  The Jews accused Jesus of forbidding taxes and inciting the people to revolt against Rome to Pilate which they would not have done unless it were true. In the gospel of John, we read that the Jewish leadership decided Jesus would have to be destroyed to save the nation for his claims and activities were going to lead to Rome attacking the Jews. They needed then to distance themselves from him completely and getting rid.
Jesus marched into Jerusalem on a donkey in fulfilment of a prophecy that the king would come to take over and save Israel from its enemies by doing this very thing. The people hailed him as a political king for this reason. He must have wanted them to do that for he could have gone discreetly into Jerusalem that way if he wanted to be seen as a spiritual king. The Zealots would have flocked to him that day and that would have been enough to get him killed on the spot by the Romans. But we read that Jesus was still able to go about preaching after what he did. That would only have been tolerated if he were being watched to find out what the secret society of the Zealots might be planning. It seems more likely that the gospels are covering up the failure to take control of the city. for delaying was dangerous and it was easy enough for the Romans to be prepared for further attacks.
Jesus made sure his disciples were armed the night he was arrested and said that two swords were enough. This seems strange unless he planned to get his men together that night for an attack and was preparing his disciples beforehand. Perhaps they were expecting more men to join them. The fact that a cohort (page 76-77, The Messianic Legacy), a lot of men, was sent to arrest him proves that they knew what he was up to and expected an army to come to Jesus’ defence. Judas betrayed Jesus by telling the Jews where he was and what was going on so that they could take him quietly. They could and would have done that without Judas who they couldn’t trust unless they were looking for a time when Jesus could not call his army together which they could have researched by themselves.
The Gospels say the apostles ran away which is odd if the Jews wanted to keep the arrest low-key and nobody arrests the ringleader without his men as well. This may suggest that they faced Jesus’ army. Jesus was captured and the army ran off.
Some would say they let the apostles go in order to preserve the peace. There was no battle for Jesus for it was thought he was only going to jail or for trial. Not likely.

It is impossible to argue that when the Jewish leaders and priests went and told Pilate that Jesus was trying to organise a revolt and opposing taxes paid to Caesar (Luke 23:2) that they were lying. They were not going to be so obvious. Anyway it was enough that Jesus claimed to be Christ – they didn’t need to go any further than that. Would they lie when Jesus was about to be questioned by Pilate? They knew Pilate could execute the lot of them if he wanted for he was one of the worst blood-drinkers that ever graced Palestinian soil. In Luke, Pilate questions Jesus without even knowing he was a Galilean and when he finds out he sends him to Herod. This is impossible to believe. Pilate was not going to question criminals unless there was reason to believe they had done something seriously criminal and he was certainly going to know about the criminal and where he was from and how he behaved before he would question him. So why did Luke lie? Probably to give the impression that Jesus was so harmless that Pilate and the Romans had no interest in his activities. That this was a crude cover-up is made clear when Jesus processed into Jerusalem a few days before claiming to be the successor of King David.
The gospels never explain why the people turned against Jesus so ferociously after welcoming him to Jerusalem. It seems they bayed for his crucifixion a few days later. This proves that the gospels were hiding something. There had to be more to it than just the Romans killing Jesus to please the jealous Jews. The people could have been adherents to the Sadducee sect which collaborated with Rome and they would have hated this zealot for disturbing the peace.
Jesus approved of the evil Jewish Law and even tried to go back to the original understanding of it so he would have agreed that holy murder was lawful and even a duty.
Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that if you were well liked you were doing something wrong and were not living as you should. He was supposed to have been well-liked for a long time which would suggest that the people liked his politics and that he let them sense that he was going to do something about the Romans.

Jesus said legions from heaven could be sent for at his request to liquidate his attackers when he was arrested.  He would expect his friends to lift swords to in unison with them.  He did not ask for the legions then but what if he intended to do so on the cross? Was that why he called out that he was abandoned on the cross by God?

Jesus was clearly up to something.  Whatever it was, the poor and lepers and other bystanders were the ones to suffer.


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