“He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy.” (Matthew 26: 65)
Why Was Yeshua Crucified?
Most Christians believe Yeshua was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah, but that’s not correct. Many so-called “messiahs” came before and after Him, but none of them were abused the way He was. Yeshua was crucified for simply saying “Yahweh”. According to Jewish religious law in effect at the time, that was considered blasphemy.
Violating the ban against saying “Yahweh” was a capital offense—i.e., it was punishable by death, and the prescribed manner of death for people committing “blasphemy” was a combination of stoning and being hung on a tree. (Sanhedrin 7: 5) According to the Mishnah, “The blasphemer is not considered culpable unless he exactly pronounces the Name.” (Sanhedrin 7: 5) That’s why Yeshua’s claim to be Yahweh was not enough to execute Him. He had to actually say “Yahweh” precisely in the presence of witnesses who were willing to testify against Him to be convicted for committing “blasphemy.”
This information sheds a revealing light on Yeshua’s trial before the high priest, Caiaphas. In Matthew chapter 26, the priests were seeking “false testimony” (Matthew 26: 59) against Him, but they were unable to find the corroborating witnesses required by the Law. Eventually, they questioned a man who had heard Yeshua say, “I am able to destroy the Temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.” (Matthew 26: 61)
Yeshua could not have said “the Temple of God.” He must have said “the Temple of Yahweh,” and that set in motion the series of events that led to His crucifixion. Caiaphas stood up immediately when he heard the man’s testimony and demanded an explanation from Yeshua, but He offered none. (Matthew 26: 63) Then Caiaphas ordered Yeshua to tell them plainly if He was “the Messiah, the Son of God.” (Matthew 26: 63)
According to Matthew, Yeshua said, “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.” (Matthew 26: 64)
According to Luke, Yeshua said, “But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” (Luke 22: 69)
Luke goes on to say that the priests continued to press Yeshua for an answer and that eventually He responded by saying, “Yes, I am.” (Luke 23: 70) All of them understood His point, but according to the Mishnah Yeshua still had not committed a capital offense because He didn’t say “Yahweh”.
Ancient New Testament manuscripts indicate that Yeshua actually told Caiaphas that he would see Him “at the right hand of the Power of God.” (Clover, R. The Sacred Name Volume I Third Edition, Qadesh La Yahweh Press, Garden Grove, California, 2002, p. 158) Furthermore, we know for a fact that those ancient manuscripts routinely substitute the title “God” for the Name “Yahweh.” You can see examples of this in almost every modern English Bible translation on the market today including the KJV, the NIV, and the NAS. When Old Testament quotes containing the Name “Yahweh” appear in the New Testament, the titles “God,” “the Lord,” “the LORD,” or “the Lord GOD” are substituted for the Name “Yahweh.”
From Caiaphas’ response to Yeshua’s statement, it’s obvious that He told the priests they would see Him “at the right hand of the Power of Yahweh.” Look at your Bible and see for yourself. Caiaphas lunged out of his chair, tore his robes, and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy.” (Matthew 26: 65)
This is Caiaphas’ house in Jerusalem. It was built over the spot where his original house was. Yeshua’s trial before the Sanhedrin took place here.
These are the original steps leading up to Caiaphas’ house. Yeshua walked up these very steps on His way to His trial before the Sanhedrin.
This is the courtyard at Caiaphas’ house where Peter denied knowing the Messiah.
The Mishnah’s definition of blasphemy was very precise, and there was no other definition in effect. The Torah’s definition of blasphemy did not apply at all because it was superseded by Jewish religious law. Therefore, the only logical explanation for Caiaphas’ response to Yeshua’s statement is that He said the Name “Yahweh.” No other explanation makes any sense, and all those present at the trial said He deserved to die. (Matthew 26: 66)
The irony should be obvious. Obeying Yahweh’s Law by declaring His Name made Yeshua guilty of a capital offense according to Jewish religious law which was nothing more than tradition. Since Jewish religious law called for stoning Him, the people who lined the streets probably threw rocks at Yeshua as He struggled to carry His crossbar to the crucifixion site. That helps to explain why He needed help carrying it.
The Mishnah states unequivocally that Yeshua was hung on a tree and stoned (Sanhedrin 10: 11, J. Sanhedrin 7: 16 [25c, d], and B. Sanhedrin 43a and 67a ) because “he had practiced magic and deceived and led astray Israel.” (B. Sanhedrin 43a and 107b ) “Practicing magic” was not a problem for the priests. They claimed to have the ability to perform magic as well, and according to Bible scholar R. Travers Herford, “Miracles, whether done by Jews or Christians, were ascribed to magic, and were not on that account despised.” (Herford, R. Travers. Christianity in Talmud and Midrash. Reference Book Publishers, Inc., New Jersey, 1966, p. 55)
The priests were irate because Yeshua used Yahweh’s Name when He healed people—i.e., “practiced magic.” They used Yahweh’s Name as well when they prayed for healing, but they believed they were authorized to use it and that Yeshua was not. Since the priests had not given Yeshua permission to use Yahweh’s Name, His so-called “magic” was considered “blasphemy.”
In John 10: 25, Yeshua actually said that He used Yahweh’s Name when He healed people. At the time, He was engaged in a discussion with the priests in the Temple, and they asked Him to tell them plainly if He was the Messiah. Yeshua said, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do (i.e., the miracles He performed) in My Father’s Name, these testify of Me.” (John 10: 25)
Clearly, restoring the use of Yahweh’s Name was a critical part of Yeshua’s mission on earth. It was no coincidence that the Romans had invented a form of capital punishment (i.e., crucifixion) that fit perfectly with Yahweh’s description of the Messiah’s death via His prophets, and they hung Him on a tree.
For a complete explanation, go to His Name is Yahweh and download the manuscript titled His Name is Yahweh. It’s free.
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