The Guards Mock Jesus
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him.64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him.
Jesus Before Pilate and Herod
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”
Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
He replied, “You say that I am.”
71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
The night of Jesus’ arrest, He was brought before Annas, Caiaphas, and an assembly of religious leaders called the Sanhedrin (John 18:19-24; Matthew 26:57). After this He was taken before Pilate, the Roman Governor (John 18:28), sent off to Herod (Luke 23:7), and returned to Pilate (Luke 23:11-12), who finally sentenced Him to death.
There were six parts to Jesus’ trial: three stages in a religious court and three stages before a Roman court. Jesus was tried before Annas, the former high priest; Caiaphas, the current high priest; and the Sanhedrin. He was charged in these “ecclesiastical” trials with blasphemy, claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah.
The trials before Jewish authorities, the religious trials, showed the degree to which the Jewish leaders hated Him because they carelessly disregarded many of their own laws. There were several illegalities involved in these trials from the perspective of Jewish law:
(1) No trial was to be held during feast time.
(2) Each member of the court was to vote individually to convict or acquit, but Jesus was convicted by acclamation.
(3) If the death penalty was given, a night must pass before the sentence was carried out; however, only a few hours passed before Jesus was placed on the Cross.
(4) The Jews had no authority to execute anyone.
(5) No trial was to be held at night, but this trial was held before dawn.
(6) The accused was to be given counsel or representation, but Jesus had none.
(7) The accused was not to be asked self-incriminating questions, but Jesus was asked if He was the Christ.
The charges against Jesus:
- Caiaphas’ accusations:
- “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’
- I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days
- Tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “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. He has blasphemed Mt
- “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? “You have heard the blasphemy Mk
- Council of elder’s accusations:
- When it was day, the of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I ask a question, you will not answer. “But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” And they all said, “Are You the Son of God, then?” And He said to them, “Yes, I am.” Then they said, “What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”Luke 22:66-71
The trials before the Roman authorities started with Pilate (John 18:23) after Jesus was beaten. The charges brought against Him were very different from the charges in His religious trials. He was charged with inciting people to riot, forbidding the people to pay their taxes, and claiming to be King. Pilate found no reason to kill Jesus so he sent Him to Herod (Luke 23:7). Herod had Jesus ridiculed but, wanting to avoid the political liability, sent Jesus back to Pilate (Luke 23:11–12). This was the last trial as Pilate tried to appease the animosity of the Jews by having Jesus scourged. The Roman scourge was a terrible whipping designed to remove the flesh from the back of the one being punished. In a final effort to have Jesus released, Pilate offered the prisoner Barabbas to be crucified and Jesus released, but to no avail. The crowds called for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. Pilate granted their demand and surrendered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:25). The trials of Jesus represent the ultimate mockery of justice. Jesus, the most innocent man in the history of the world, was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to death by crucifixion.
- The six trials of Jesus were a total miscarriage of justice that involved Jewish envy, political pandering, evil and pure cowardice.
- Contrary to the popular view held by today’s Jewish community, it was the pagan Romans who found Jesus innocent and the chosen race of Jews who crucified him out of envy and hard-hearted evil.
- Pilate said as he washed his hands, “I am innocent of this man’s blood” the Jews actually responded, “His blood be upon us and our children”. So be it! And such is the gospel. We are all guilty of crucifying Jesus if we have committed even one sin which Jesus needed to shed his blood for to bring about forgiveness and the hope of eternal live in heaven!
- The seventh and final trial of Jesus takes place in your heart right here, right now! Do you think he was innocent or guilty of sin? He died for you. Do you still crucify him with your actions and inactions? Think about it?
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