REASON WITH JESUS?
Try to reason with Jesus who said, “If I had not come and spoken to them (us), they (we) would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they (we) have no excuse for their (our) sin” (John 15:22).
First, if we do not know what we are doing, then our chance to be forgiven is likely. However, we must admit that what we did was wrong. The soldiers that did the crucifying were forgiven and so was the thief that acknowledged his guilt (Luke 23:32-43). Jesus did not even blame Pilate for being forced to sentence Him. Jesus blamed the leaders who bore the greater guilt (John 19:11). Pilate was only doing what Heaven dictated, but the Jewish leaders were protecting their selfish interests (John 12:19). It would have been better they were never born (Matthew 26:24).
Secondly, the opposite of acting in ignorance is to persist in it. We know what we are doing is wrong, but we keep at it. For instance, the Jewish leaders were committed on killing Jesus and Jesus described their actions as deliberate sin that originated with the devil (John 8:44). Sin has only one objective and that is to destroy and to kill (I Corinthians 15:56). Sin leads us to believe that we are disposing of those that stand in our way when in reality it is killing us. The payment for our sinful actions is death (Romans 6:23). The leaders that were against Jesus used sinful means and because of what they were doing they would die in their sins (John 8:21). Thirty-five years later, sin had devoured the leaders, Judah, and Jerusalem.
Finally, were the people that followed these leaders exempt from being guilty? Woe to those that mislead the people (Mattthew 23). But also woe to those people that know they follow the wrong leader and refuse to admit it. If we know what we are doing is wrong then it is sin, it shall slowly, but surely eat us up like cancer does a healthy body (James 1:15; 4:17). It does not just end in death instantly but it can turn into a lingering hell (Matthew 23:15, 33). Hell can also be on earth! And I did escape from hell twice, in my childhood and in my youth. There were times and more to come when human beings shall long for death to avoid hell on earth (Revelation 9:6). Jesus offers the only way out (John 14:6).