Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Trials of Jesus

After all the time of Jesus claiming to be king of Jerusalem and of his work to show himself worthy as king, it is finally time.  Now he will be shown before the current leaders of Jerusalem.  If they decide they like what he says, he will be given more time to prove his case.  But if they reject him, he will be killed.  God has already determined that these hard-hearted, rebellious rulers will oppose God and kill his Son.  But if they do that, it will mean their end.

The Sanhedrin is the ruling council of the Judeans.  It is led by the High Priest, and all the significant laws and decisions about the Jewish nation is made here.  Jesus is taken to them at night, where many await to accuse him.  Some of them say, “We heard him say that he would destroy the temple!”  But the witnesses contradicted each other.  The High Priest went to Jesus and said, “Don’t you hear what these witnesses say against you?  Why don’t you answer?”  But Jesus remained silent. 

Finally, the High Priest, angry that Jesus would say nothing, demanded, “I command you by the Most High God—are you or are you not the Messiah, the Son of God?”  Jesus replied, “I am.  And you will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds at the right hand of power.”  The leader of all the Jews was infuriated that Jesus would claim to be beside God.  He tore his clothes in disgust and cried out, “Blasphemy!  He cannot claim to have God’s authority in heaven!  What do you say?”  And all of the Sanhedrin agreed that he should be put to death.  They released Jesus to the temple guards to be beaten and sent away.

Peter, meanwhile, was sitting outside the High Priest’s house, waiting for a verdict.  One of the girls recognized Peter and said, “Are you with that Galileean?”  Peter didn’t want to be caught, so he answered quickly, “No.”  Another said, “Surely you are—you can’t hide your Galillean accent.”  Peter replied, “No, I’m not.”  A soldier nearby said, “I think I saw you with him.”  Peter cursed and said, “I don’t know him!”  Then he heard a cock crow, and Peter realized that Jesus had predicted the denials Peter had just spoke.  And he ran away and wept.

The Sanhedrin could not kill Jesus legally without Roman agreement.  At that time, Judea was under the power of the Romans, who allowed the council to create laws, but demanded that a governor rule the province.  The most recent governor was Pilate, who was known to dislike Judeans, and not understand many of their customs.  The High Priest and others of the Sanhedrin brought Jesus before Pilate and accused, “This man has called himself a king and has been stirring up trouble in Jerusalem and Galilee.”  Pilate didn’t want to try him so he said, “Oh, is he from Galilee.  Fine, Herod is in town, and Galilee is Herod’s province.  Let Herod deal with him.”

They brought him to Herod, who had killed John the Baptist.  Herod had heard of Jesus and wanted to hear Jesus or to see him perform a miracle.  However, Jesus said nothing and did nothing before Herod.  Herod was enraged and sent Jesus back to Pilate to be killed.

The Sanhedrin accused Jesus of many evils before Pilate and the crowd that was forming.  Jesus said nothing.  Pilate looked at Jesus and asked, “So, are you a king?”  Jesus replied, “I have a kingdom, but it is not of this world.  If my kingdom was a worldly kingdom, my disciples would be fighting right now.  But it isn’t.”  Pilate said to the Sanhedrin and the crowd, “I find no guilt in him.”  The priests were encouraging the crowds to cry, “Crucify him!” 

Pilate said, “Look, I usually release one prisoner at Passover time.  I haven’t done that yet.  I have in my prison a man named Barabbas.  He is a rebel against the proper authorities and he has murdered a man.  Who would you rather me release, the murderer or this so-called ‘king’?”  The priests encouraged the crowd to cry out, “Barabbas!”  Pilate was shocked, but he released the murderer.

Then he decided to have Jesus whipped thirty nine times, so he could look weak.  Jesus was whipped bloody, and then brought out before the crowd.  Pilate cried, “Look at him!  See how pathetic he is!  He won’t harm anyone.  I am going to release him.”  The crowd shouted out, “Crucify him!  If you release this king, you are no friend of Caesar’s!  Crucify him!”  Pilate didn’t want any bad word to get to Caesar at this point, or his life could be at stake.  So he washed his hands and said, “I have nothing to do with this.  Take him away.”

And so Jesus was sent to be crucified.

Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "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."  (Mark 14:61-62)

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm."  (John 19:36)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please no spam, ads or inappropriate language.