V RaptureChrist Newsletter
May 1, 2004

Who Killed Jesus?  Continued

:In our previous newsletter we explained how Pilate gave way to the desires of the Pharisees and allowed Jesus to be crucified.  We want here to explain further that would not have happened except for the reason that the leaders of the Pharisees wanted to kill Jesus.

Yeshua our Lord in that fateful night was arrested by officers of the Jews and accused of committing blasphemy:

John 18:12
So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him, 

John 11:57
Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.

That night the high priest and the Sanhedrin sentenced Jesus to death.

Matthew 26:65
Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. 

Mark 14:64
You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?" They all condemned him to be worthy of death. 

This is not the first time that Christ had been accused of blasphemy.  Because Christ said that he was the son of God.

John 10:31
Therefore Jews took up stones again to stone him. 

John 10:32
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of those works do you stone me?" 

John 10:33
The Jews answered him, "We don't stone you for a good work, but for blasphemy: because you, being a man, make yourself God." 

The Pharisees claimed that it was unlawful for them to kill a man.

John 18:31
Pilate therefore said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death," 

However, on more than one occasion, the Pharisees  had tried to stone Jesus.

John 8:59
They took up stones therefore to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

John 10:31
Therefore Jews took up stones again to stone him.

John 11:8
The disciples told him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?" 

Christ did not dispute their right to stone people. When a woman was caught in adultery Jesus said:

John 8:7
But when they continued asking him, he lifted himself up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." 

The Pharisees hated Jesus they had a different outlook on life - a worldly outlook.

Luke 11:39

The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness. 

Matthew 12:14
But the Pharisees went out, and took counsel against him, how they might destroy him. 

The Pharisees were involved in the arrest of Christ:

John 18:3
Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

When Pilate asked if he should release Jesus, it was the chief priests that moved the people to asked for Barabas, a murderer. Instead of the our Lord, the people chose a murderer.

Mark 15:9
Pilate answered them saying "Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?" 

Mark 15:10
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

Mark 15:11
But the chief priests moved the people that he should rather release Barabas unto them.

After having been instrumental in the death of Christ, the chief priests went as far as lying about the resurrection of Jesus.

Matthew 28:11
Now while they were going, behold, some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all the things that had happened. 

Matthew 28:12
When they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave a large amount of silver to the soldiers, 

Matthew 28:13
saying, "Say that his disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. 

Matthew 28:14
If this comes to the governor's ears, we will persuade him and make you free of worry." 

Matthew 28:15
So they took the money and did as they were told. This saying was spread abroad among the Jews, and continues until this day. 

Iraqi Prison Abuses

Disturbing news has emerged from Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. It seems that atrocities were committed by US troops against Iraqi civilians detained there.

We will not post any pictures on this website due to the graphic nature of the tortures committed on prisoners. The situation is so serious that several US Senators ( ) have called on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign.

On Friday, May 2004 Donald Rumsfeld was forced to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Senator McCain asked Donald Rumsfeld specifically what orders had been sent to military police. An internal Army report stated that prison guards were instructed to ''soften up'' Iraqi detainees so that these prisoners might be more "cooperative" when questioned.

The photos of sexual and physical abuse have created a firestorm of controversy and drawn worldwide condemnation, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense stated ''a lot more photographs and videos that haven't yet been seen. If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse.''
According to Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-South Carolina)''The American public needs to understand we're talking about rape and murder here. We're not just talking about giving people a humiliating experience.''

''We were dealing here with a broad pattern, not individual acts. There was a pattern and a system,'' said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

To give you an idea of the type of abuses taking place I submit this report from ITV News in London from May 8, 2004. 

The US military has said it will investigate claims by a former inmate of Abu Ghraib prison that a girl as young as 12 was stripped and beaten by military personnel.

Suhaib al-Baz, a journalist for the al-Jazeera television network, claims to have been tortured at the prison, based west of Baghdad, while held there for 54 days.

Mr al-Baz was arrested when reporting clashes between insurgents and coalition forces in November.

He said: "They brought a 12-year-old girl into our cellblock late at night. Her brother was a prisoner in the other cells.

She was naked and screaming and calling out to him as they beat her. Her brother was helpless and could only hear her cries. This affected all of us because she was just a child."

The allegations cannot be verified independently but Mr al-Baz maintains psychological and physical violence were commonplace in the jail.

He also claims that a father and his 15-year-old son were tortured in front of his cell.

He said: "They made the son carry two jerry cans full of water. An American soldier had a stick and when he stopped, he would beat him.

He collapsed so they stripped him and poured cold water over him. They brought a man who was wearing a hood. They pulled it off. The son was shocked to see it was his father and collapsed.

When he recovered, he now saw his father dressed in women's underwear and the Americans laughing at him."

Mr al-Baz claims the guards at the prison were keen to take photographs of the abuse and turned it into a competition.

"They were enjoying taking photographs of the torture. There was a daily competition to see who could take the most gruesome picture.

The winner's photo would be stuck on a wall and also put on their laptop computers as a screensaver.

I had a good opinion of the Americans but since my time in prison, I've changed my mind. In Iraq we still have no freedom or democracy. They are so cruel to us."

The International Committee of the Red Cross stated that Iraqis detained by US forces were have been mistreated systematically with degrading treatment, sometimes bordering on torture, which might have been condoned by military authorities.

Red Cross visits to military prisons detention in Iraq between March and November 2003 had turned up numerous violations of international treaties on prisoners of war.

The Red Cross whose reports on prison visits are confidential, went public with some of its findings after parts of the 24-page report on violations were posted on the Wall Street Journal.

This scandal of Abu Ghraib prision finally broke worldwide when digital photographs showing the sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners were posted all over the internet.

What has been the US reply?

Donald Rumsfeld became angry at the distribution of said images: "We're functioning with peacetime constraints, with legal requirements, in a wartime situation in the Information Age, where people are running around with digital cameras and taking these unbelievable photographs and then passing them off, against the law, to the media, to our surprise."

"Certainly one of the issues that might be looked into is the use of digital cameras and whether or not any policy might be desirable," says US Central Command's Lt Cdr Balice.

"But if there's some kind of thought that we might introduce a policy because we fear that wrongdoing might be exposed, then that is incorrect. In any case, the photographing of detainees is prohibited."

The problem is not in preventing the spreading of images of abuse, the problem is in stopping the abuse. There might be a different technology in the future, and the problem will not be in the new technology, but in the moral conduct of the ones using it.

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