The answer is relatively simple: Yes. That is to say, both are true.
For example, we read in Acts 2:23, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death.” This is from St. Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost, and he accuses his hearers of having taken Jesus by lawless hands, having crucified him and having put him to death. Clearly he holds them accountable for their sin of murder. So also we read in Matthew 26:3–4, “Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill him.” So also we read in 1 Thessalonians 2:14–15, “For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men.” In all these verses it is clear that those who murdered Jesus were held responsible for their actions.
And yet, we read in John 10:17–18, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” Jesus clearly laid down his life of his own volition, and was not forced to do so. But this does not excuse those who murdered our Savior, because they knew what they were doing, and they wanted to do it.
Brother, I’m not sure I’ve completely answered your question, but perhaps it’s a start. There is, of course, much more that can be said, so, if you would like more, you may contact me directly, or through opc.org.
May the Lord bless you in his grace, now and forever.
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