Jesus Christ came as the Messiah to his brother Jews. However, “He (Jesus) came unto his own, and his own received him not,” John 1:11. Some, who rejected Him as Savior, decided at all costs to find a reason to kill Him. “…the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him,” Mark 14:1. In order to feel blameless, these leaders decided to hide behind the Law and demanded that the Romans sentence Jesus to death. “…It is not lawful for us to put any man to death,” (John. 18:31). How then did God punish the Romans for the crucifixion of Jesus? The Bible says nothing about any specific penalty.

Consider John 19:11, “Jesus answered, ‘You (Pilate) would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.’ ”  Although this verse speaks about fault, it does not mention hell, or any other punishment. So did God punish Romans or Jews for this act by sending them to hell? 

In the Bible, “hell” is actually the translation of four Hebrew and Greek words: Sheol, Hades, Gehenna and Qeber. The word Sheol (Strong’s H7585) is translated as grave (31x), hell (3x), pit (3x). Hades (Strong’s  G86) means “unseen, or the state of departed souls.” Gehenna (Strong’s G1067) refers to the “valley of Hinnom; ge-henna,” a literal garbage dump in Jerusalem. And Qeber (Strong’s H6913) is a grave, or tomb. This brief analysis of the words allows us to conclude that hell does not mean anything other than the grave or condition of death. This is the final resting place of all mankind. 

Death and the grave are the results of Adam’s and Eve’s sin in paradise. Additionally, all people have inherited sin and death from them: “For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23;  “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,” 1 Corinthians 15:22. 

Did the Romans, therefore, go to a hell of eternal torment? No, because no such place exists. Did they go to the Biblical hell, meaning the grave, the state of death? Yes. Was it a punishment for the crucifixion of Jesus? No. (This was a consequence of sin in paradise as reported above). 

There is no record of Scripture to suggest any particular punishment for Rome for this action. Roman soldiers were the persons carrying out the orders of Pilate; they had no awareness of whom Jesus really was. When the resurrection comes (1 Corinthians 15:22), then those Romans will have full knowledge of that case. They will bear responsibility for their actions and be able to repent of that horrible deed, recognizing Jesus as the Giver of life.