Who Is Jesus? The question who is to blame for Jesus’ death is a good one and deserves serious attention. The Sanhedrin put him in front of the Roman governor and the Roman governor washed his hands and handed the decision over to a boisterous rabble in the courtyard. In the end it was ordinary people who were responsible. But why would right thinking individuals who had presumably heard of Jesus’ wonderful ministry, helping people just like them, want him dead?
Jesus had done nothing to offend those who condemned him to the cross. Pontius Pilate could find no evidence of a crime and the Sanhedrin could not fault his theology. Jesus was placed at the mercy of the mob, and mob behavior can be unpredictable at the best of times. The only explanation was that Jesus became the victim of that most heinous of all crimes, malicious gossip.
I have always thought that gossip, chat with no foundation in truth, is one of the best weapons Satan has in his armoury. How was Eve tempted if not by the lying whispers of the serpent? Rabble rousing is one of the things that Satan is very good at, and mob psychology shows how a sort of blood lust grows when there are enough people doing the goading. The fact that the crowd must have been predominantly Jewish is irrelevant. What is important is that they were normal everyday folk, susceptible to the wiles of the fallen one.
My theory is simple. Satan, faced with the opportunity of seeing the son of God tortured and killed, found the moment too sweet to resist and filled the mob’s mind with lies. Perhaps he was too stupid or too vain to see that he was doing God’s will all along. He did not envisage that letting Jesus go to his death would signal the end of his unchallenged dominion over Man. But even if he had been clever enough to see the consequences of his actions, he would not have been able to prevent himself. The main difference between Jesus and Satan (it was then and still is now!) was that Jesus could resist temptation, and Satan could not.