I sat in the High Court in Port Harcourt and watched the proceedings with amusement. A middle-aged man, very simply dressed, had taken the stand. He was from some village, and was probably a poor farmer. But he was suing the multinational oil company, Shell Petroleum. He claimed Shell dug a trench in his village and failed to fill it back. His young son fell into the trench and died. He was suing Shell for compensation.
Instead of just paying him (whatever he was asking for could not have amounted to much from Shell’s point of view), Shell hired a highfalutin lawyer to defend its case. I wondered: “How could this man possibly win against almighty Shell? If necessary, Shell could buy the judge and buy the case.”
But out of the blue, the Lord spoke to me. “Femi,” he said, “Shell has a lot of resources. But I am on the side of the weak.”
Imagine my surprise when I then found this in the bible: “Suppose someone digs or uncovers a pit and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it. The owner of the pit must pay full compensation to the owner of the animal, but then he gets to keep the dead animal.” (Exodus 21:33-34).
Under the Law of Moses, a landowner is responsible for what happens on his land. If he digs a pit and doesn’t cover it and a neighbour’s animal falls into it and dies, the landowner is legally liable. If you build a house with a roof and don’t put up a railing and someone falls off and dies, you are responsible for the fall. (Deuteronomy 22:8). You must flee to a city of refuge to avoid avengers of his death.
Jesus is responsible
These Mosaic principles make Jesus responsible for the sins of the world because he was the one who created the world: “By (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16).
Jesus created the world. Therefore, it is up to him to take away the sins of the world. Jesus says: “I created the waster to destroy.” (Isaiah 54:16). Therefore, he is responsible for all the havoc the devil brings. Jesus is “the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:10). He created the “ogbanje spirit;” the spirit of infirmity; the antichrist; murderers; rapists; thieves; and suicide bombers. Jesus created everybody. Therefore he is responsible for the sins of everybody.
Jesus says: “I make peace, and create evil.” (Isaiah 45:7). Therefore he is responsible for the effects of evil. Jesus is responsible for the effects of earthquakes, floods and natural disasters. He is responsible for murder, rape and torture. He is responsible for wars and weapons of war. He is to blame for AIDS, cancer, tumours and madness. (Deuteronomy 28:27-28).
Jesus created the handicapped, the paraplegic, the insane and the blind. He says: “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? (Exodus 4:11). Jesus created the godly: “The LORD has set apart for himself him who is godly.” (Psalm 4:3). He also created the ungodly: “The LORD has made all for himself, yes, even the wicked for the day of doom.” (Proverbs 16:4).
Guilty as charged
Jesus was born under the law. (Galatians 4:4). Therefore, let us try Jesus by the Law of Moses.
The law says: “If an ox gores a man or a woman to death, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be acquitted. But if the ox tended to thrust with its horn in times past, and it has been made known to his owner, and he has not kept it confined, so that it has killed a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death.” (Exodus 21:28).
As the creator of the universe, Jesus must abide by his own laws. Jesus created Adam, placed him in a place where he could be deceived by a serpent which he also created. Adam and his offspring fell into the pit and died. According to Mosaic Law, Jesus the Creator is responsible for Adam’s death.
Jesus could have prevented Adam from sinning, but he did not. However, he prevented Abimelech from committing adultery with Sarah. (Genesis 20:6). He did not allow Laban to hurt Jacob. (Genesis 31:7). However, he did not prevent Israel from sinning against God. (Isaiah 63:17). He delivered Peter from temptation. (Luke 22:31-32). But he led Judas to temptation. (John 13:27). Therefore, Jesus is guilty as charged.
Moreover, Jesus created Satan. Satan has deceived mankind time and again. Nevertheless, Jesus has not kept him confined. Satan continues to kill, steal and destroy. Therefore, Satan must die according to the law. But since Jesus says he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it (Matthew 5:17), then Jesus must also die.
However, under the law, if a ransom price has been placed upon the owner of a murderous animal, he may be redeemed: “If there is imposed on him a sum of money, then he shall pay to redeem his life, whatever is imposed on him. Whether it has gored a son or gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him. If the ox gores a male or female servant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. (Exodus 21:28-32).
Significantly, this is precisely the amount paid to Judas for betraying Jesus: “They counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.” (Matthew 26:15). In effect, Jesus the creator of all, died for allowing Satan to kill Adam and his offspring. However, Jesus himself was redeemed with Judas’ thirty pieces of silver.
“They weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’- that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.” (Zechariah 11:12-13).
The thirty pieces of silver was used to purchase the Potter’s field, which became known as the “Field of Blood.” This field became a burial place for foreigners and strangers in Israel. It was located in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, known as “Gehenna” to the Greeks and better known as “hell” in many Bible translations. In short, through this process, sinful man was redeemed from the grave.
King of righteousness
In effect, Jesus created the world, so it was his responsibility to repair all the damage in his creation. By the same token, Jesus maintains he is responsible for all the righteousness that will come into the world:
“You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it.” (Isaiah 45:8).