Who Killed Jesus? (All Together Podcast)

Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics, religion and spiritual practice is informing our personal lives, our communities and our world. ALL TOGETHER is hosted by Paul Raushenbush, executive editor of HuffPost Religion. You can download All Together on iTunes, or Stitcher.

On one Friday every spring, Christians around the world stop and reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilgrims in Jerusalem follow the steps of Jesus on the Via Dolorosa (the way of suffering), churches hold reflections on the seven last words uttered by Jesus on the cross, and in some places around the world, penitents even place themselves on the cross to experience for themselves some of Jesus’ suffering.

There is a mystery in this solemn Friday that precedes Easter. Questions about the exact theological and spiritual meaning of what happened on the cross have been debated for the last 2,000 years. Throughout the year, Christians intone that Jesus died for the sins of humanity, but what exactly does that mean? What spiritual truth is revealed on what Christians call ‘Good Friday’, and what political significance did the crucifixion have for those living 2,000 years ago and today. The answer to these questions hinges on one not-so-simple question: Who killed Jesus, and why?

Last year Raushenbush wrote a piece called "The Thing I Never Want to hear on Good Friday Again" about scripture that is read in church on that day that blames the Jews for the death of Jesus and which has lead to horrific anti-Semitic violence over the years. This is just one example of how important the question of the death of Jesus is.

On today's All Together Raushenbush speaks with Tony Jones who has just released a new book provocatively called: Did God Kill Jesus?

Raushenbush is then joined by Lisa Anderson and Amichai Lau-Lavie who are helping to organize a large interfaith gathering happening this week in New York called Freedom's Feast. Lisa Anderson is a Senior Director of engagement at Auburn Theolgoical Seminary and a Ph.D. candidate at Union Theological Seminary and Amichai Lau-Lavie is the founding director of Storahtelling Inc, the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul, and a Rabinical student at Jewish Theological Seminary.

Podcast produced by Katelyn Bogucki and edited by Jorge Corona.

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