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Whilst giving a sermon in the temple, Peter said to people:

Acts 3:17 NASB

“And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also."

Why did the Jews act in ignorance in having Jesus excecuted?

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The Jews did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah / Christ sent by God out of ignorance because they were convinced (just like the disciples of Jesus at first) that the Messiah had to be a military conqueror that would suppress the Romans with military power, like a true King. The Jews did not recognize that the Messiah is not only a king and son of God in the OT, but also the suffering servant as in Isaiah 53.

( for a scholarly treated that the Messiah would die and rise again, although not evident from the OT, review the following monograph : https://www.lexhampress.com/products/6078/the-resurrected-servant-in-isaiah )

Now, look at the following additional passages that should be answering your question more directly:

Acts 13.27-28:

27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they* did not recognize this one, and the voices of the prophets that are read on every Sabbath, fulfilled them* by* condemning him.* 28 And although they* found no charge worthy of death, they asked Pilate that he be executed.

Luke 23.34:

⟦But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”⟧ And they cast lots to divide his clothes.

1 Cor. 2.8:

which none of the rulers of this age knew. For if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

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I would have a slightly different interpretation. "Woe to him who sins, but woe to him to whom the sin comes" (Matt 18:7 and Eze ch. 18 and Eze 18:20 specifically), is how I would interpret this scripture. Basically the people were like sheep who did whatever the priests and scribes said (Luke 23:10). Pilate would have let Jesus go, because he could not see that he was inciting anyone, but the people were actually incited by the priest and scribes into a frenzy (Luke 23:4,23:20,23:22) This means that the Pharisees knew exactly what they were doing (Matt 14:12,26:47,26:59) plotting (which means premeditately deciding) how to kill Jesus. The people were just a bunch of plebs doing what they were told. Note that the mob really consists of the priests and elders in the garden but then grew as they travelled to Pilate.

  • Good answer but it could be greatly improved by adding the references from which you quote and building your argument. – Mac's Musings Mar 6 at 10:59

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