They were not pagans, infidels or barbarians who killed the Christ. Even the despised Samaritans were innocent of His blood. No. It was His own people who rejected Him (John 1:11). “Holy” and “righteous” men presided over His death. “Holy” and “righteous” men broke their own laws by secretly trying Him in the night. “Holy” and “righteous” men pronounced him guilty and rushed Him off to be crucified. When Pilate would have released Him these “holy” and “righteous” men led the crowd in shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
Why did they hate Christ so much?
Nearly everything Jesus said and did threatened the very existence of Judaism. “What are we to do?”, reasoned the chief priests and the Pharisees, “For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation” (see John 11:47-48).
In spite of their declarations of holiness and righteousness and their soring rhetoric about “drawing close to God” and “obeying God,” they would kill God’s only Son in order to save their place and nation. Christ was a fundamental threat to Judaism and He remains a threat to religion today.