QUESTION: Two friends of mine stated to me that they knew why the Jews were persecuted during the reign of Hitler and through the years. They said that according to Matthew 27:25, they were asking for their future persecution. When they said that I didn’t quite know how to react, and it has really grieved me. I would really appreciate your view of that verse.

ANSWER: Your friends need to know three things. First of all, their statement to you involves a fallacy in logic known as a non-sequitur. When a person calls down a blessing or a curse on someone else, it does not mean that God automatically will agree to do that thing.

Second, the persecution of the Jewish people is the result of sin in human hearts stemming from fleshly desires and goaded on by the evil one. Scripture teaches that The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). And “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). Throughout history sinful people have sought to bring death to the Jews, but God desires the preservation of the Jews as a people, as well as their salvation. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Romans 10:1). And indeed, according to God’s Word, the day will come when “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26).

Third, and most important, your friends need to know that the death of Christ was not a mishap of history, but something deliberately planned from all eternity in order to save from their sins all who would believe (I Peter 1:20). No individual or group is “responsible” for the Crucifixion. Jesus said, “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself” John 10:17-18). In a sense, we are all guilty of the blood of Christ, inasmuch as he died for all sinners. God does not hold anyone accountable for Jesus’ death, but he will hold everyone accountable for not accepting the remedy for sin which Jesus’ death purchased.