What happened to the people who crucified Jesus? Did Jesus ever send any of them to the lake of fire, to hell? What happened to them after the resurrection of Jesus? Did they continue believing that he wasn't the Son of God or did they accept it?
We answer your question in two sections: Who crucified Christ? and what happened to them? We need to remember who was involved in Jesus death and then we will answer your question.
Who Crucified Christ?
The gospels indicate that many people had some involvement in the death of Jesus Christ. They included Judas, who betrayed Him for thirty silver coins, the Jewish religious leaders who paid Judas and arranged for the solders who arrested Jesus, and the Roman military.
Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground. Therefore He again asked them, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am He . . . So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. John 18:3-13 (NASB)
Caiaphas, the high priest, was a member of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was a religious body composed of seventy religious leaders that included Pharisees, Sadducees, and others. The Sadducees, an upper-class and wealthy elite, dominated this organization which at times functioned as a judicial court.
After Jesus arrived, the Sanhedrin Council held court and declared that Jesus was guilty of blasphemy.
And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy; what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!” Matthew 26:63-66 (NASB)
They ignored His miracles and teachings. They simply wanted to know if He considered Himself to be God, that He was and is the Son of God. He agreed with their statement. He was God. In response they accused Him of blasphemy. They sent Him first to Pontius Pilate (John 18:28). After being questioned He was sent to Herod (Luke 23:6-7). After more questions, Herod returned Jesus to Pilate (Luke 23:11). Then Pilate asked the crowd if they wanted a robber named Barabbas or Jesus released. They chose Barabbas and shouted loudly that Jesus be crucified (Luke 23:15-21). Then Pilate ordered that He be scourged or beaten,
Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. John 19:1 (NASB)
Finally, the solders led Him away and crucified Him (John 19:2-42). Many people were responsible for Jesus’ death. In reality, all of us are responsible for Jesus’ death since He died for all of us.
What Happened To Them?
The New Testament does not directly tell us what happened to those who were responsible for Jesus’ death.
Acts 2 tells us that Peter preached a sermon on the day of Pentecost about Jesus (Acts 2:1-36). He told the crowd that Jesus had died for them according to God’s plan but had returned to life (Acts 2:22-24). Three thousand people responded in belief and asked what they must do. Peter told them to repent and demonstrate a commitment to Jesus by being baptized (Acts 2:38-41). This is a wonderful passage since it reveals that many people did believe after Jesus’ death and return to life.
But Acts 4 suggests to us that the Sanhedrin, who were responsible for Jesus’ death, continued to reject Jesus. They had crucified Him. The following passage also reveals that the religious leaders still did not believe that Jesus was God and Savior.
On the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. When they had placed them in the center, they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead– by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the STONE WHICH WAS REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” . . . And when they [the Jewish leaders] had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Acts 4:5-12, 18 (NASB)
Did some of them become Christians later? We do not know.We are told that many of the priests believed after Jesus’ return to heaven (Acts 6:7). That is, they become Christians. It has been assumed by some that the Apostle Paul might have been one of the religious leaders, but we do not know for certain. The Bible never tells us. The fact that the apostle Paul eventually believed in Jesus Christ (Acts 9:1-19) and later became an apostle strongly indicates that he had been watching and hearing Jesus teach from his baptism (Acts 1:21-22). It is possible that one of those calling for Jesus’ death did finally believe and submit himself.
We do not know if Pontius Pilate or Herod ever became Christians. Only God knows. The same is true for any of the religious leaders. Yet, an ancient archive reveals an amazing fact about Pontius Pilate. Here are several statements attributed to him by an ancient writer,
At His coming the lame will leap as a deer, and the stammering tongue will clearly speak: the blind will see, and the lepers will be healed; and the dead will rise, and walk. And that He did those things, you can learn from the Acts of Pontius Pilate. – Justin Martyr, First Apology 48
They pierced my hands and my feet, was used in reference to the nails of the cross which were driven into His hands and feet. And. . . they cast lots for His clothes, and after they crucified Him distributed it among them. And that these things did happen, you can ascertain from the Acts of Pontius Pilate. – Justin Martyr, First Apology 35
Did Pontius Pilate become a Christian?
Suggested Links:Voices From The Past
Should Christians celebrate Christmas and Easter? If so, why?
To The Glory of Christ
Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me . . . Jeremiah 9:23-24
Like The Master Ministries
P.O. Box 31976
Tucson, AZ 85751-1976
A non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation. Donations to this ministry are tax-deductible.