Much is being said about the long held ideas brought to the surface by Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ. The popular movie has broken box office records for the first two weekends of its release, and again on Easter weekend it retook the number one spot. The key controversy of the film is centered on charges by a large segment of the Jewish community that it is anti-Semitic because it portrays the Jews as "Christ killers.'
According to the Bible, the Jews did have Jesus put to death. In John chapters 18 and 19, it is obvious that the Jews wanted Jesus dead. When Pilate tried to release Jesus, the Jews used careerist psychology on Pilate. They said, 'If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.'
This forced Pilate to appear as an enemy of Caesar if he released Jesus. Knowing this could not do his career any good, and could in fact be twisted to the point where he would be facing his own execution, he decided to do what the Jews were demanding and had Jesus crucified.
What many Christians forget is, based upon Christian dogma, if the Jews did not see to it that Jesus was put to death, the Christians would not be free of the Christian dogma, original sin. Then the Bible god's dalliance with Mary, during which he really filled her with the holy ghost, which resulted in the birth of Jesus, would all have been in vain. Based on Christian dogma, Satan would have been victorious if instead of Jews in Jerusalem , there were pacifistic Buddhists unwilling to arrange the death of Jesus. If this happened, the born-againers would not have been able to be born again. They would have been condemned to eternal hell, for Jesus would not have been able to use his blood to wash away their sins, along with their original sin. It appears that Christians everywhere owe a huge dept of gratitude to the Jews for killing their Christian savior.
Christians owe the Jews another debt. Jesus was from Nazareth , a city in Galilee . Galilee , it seems, was a place of Gentiles. In John 7:1, we read, 'After these things Jesus walked in Galilee : for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.'
Perhaps, the people in Galilee were racially Gentiles, but religiously they were Jews. Orthodox Jews believe being a Jew is a racial matter, as well as religious. Other Jewish sects don't have the racial qualification - they allow for conversion to Judaism. It could be that Judaism was spread in Galilee by this latter group of Jews. After all, Jesus practiced Judaism. The Last Supper, for example, was celebrating the Jewish slaughter of the first born of the Egyptians and their animals at the hand of the god of the Hebrew Bible, which is the Jewish holiday of Passover. (To learn about the bloodbath known as Passover, read the 19th Chapter of Exodus)
If this is the case, Christians owe the Jews for seeing to it that the Gentiles in Galilee accepted Judaism. Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism. Without Judaism, there would be no Christianity (or Islam). And without Christianity, there is no hope for salvation, so the story goes.
Realizing the Jewish roots of Christianity, it's difficult to understand how Christianity has been, and still could be, used for anti-Semitism. Don't Christians know that without the Jews, there's no Jesus, crucified or otherwise? And that without Jesus, there's no Christianity?