The Arrest & Trial of Jesus
How the Jewish leaders could tell Nicodemus to go back and search the scriptures whilst their own heats were so blind to the truth.
As Nicodemus was also a teacher of the law, they continue to tell him to go back and check the scriptures.
If only they knew that Nicodemus had spoken personally with Jesus and had secretly become one of His followers.
Many today, have called Nicodemus many names for not standing firmly on what he has come to believe. Why he didn’t confess at that moment that he had met personally with Jesus and talked with Him and that Jesus was the Son of God, I would ask all those who are casting the first stones to put themselves in his position. Nicodemus had only a short time before had become a follower of Jesus, to be in front of so many elders and leaders of Israel at that time could have made him keep quiet about his beliefs, his life could have ended at that moment should he have spoken up. He would have been stoned to death for blasphemy.
The elders and Jewish leaders of the Sanhedrin sat for two days, possibly making a list of people who would accept payment for giving false testimony against Jesus, this work of seeking out false witnesses would have been carried out by the slaves of the Jewish leaders with the instructions of what each witness had to say.
Whatever they had been told to say, whether each person added or took away some of the testimonies that they had been told to say, none of the false witnesses agreed with their stories which led to more confusion at the trial of Jesus.
An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. Proverbs 16:27
The only account that they seem to agree on was when two witnesses came forward and their testimonies agreed with each other and was about the temple being destroyed and that Jesus had said that He would raise it up on the third day, but once again the leaders misunderstood what was being said by Jesus at that time as Jesus was talking, not of a temple built by human hands, Jesus was speaking about the Temple of His body.
Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Verse 63-64: As we saw earlier in this study that Jesus kept silent all through His trial except when these words were spoken by the High Priest, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us”. Apparently, they had no regard for the living God and took the name of our Lord God in vain.
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Matthew 26:64
In the Gospel of Mark Jesus’ reply was, I am, Mark 14:62, Jesus seldom expressed Himself to be the Christ, the Son of the living God; the Old Testament prophets spoke of Him the miracles proved it of Him and now He confesses that He is the Christ, the Son of God.
Verses 65-68: Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? See, you have now heard the blasphemy; 66 what do you think?” They answered, “He deserves death!”
67 Then they spit in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”
Please Take Note!
That after every witness had been heard during the trial, none of the witnesses could agree on the false evidence that they were giving against Jesus; Jesus continued to remain silent until the High Priest stood up, said to Him, “I place You under oath by the living God, to tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus had no alternative now but to reply to the question that was asked by the High Priest.
The crime that our Lord was finally charged with, remembering that on His arrest no formal charges had been made. They had so many false witnesses that trial was more like a fishing expedition than a fair trial. The charges were finally made against Jesus: Blasphemy.
Our Lord who was made Sin for us, was found guilty of blasphemy for telling the truth.
Truth is very important in our daily walk with Christ and Jesus has set us an example to follow, because others may not like the truth, we are called to be perfect witnesses for our Lord and Saviour, no matter what the cost may be.
The evidence that they had found Him Guilty; You have heard the Blasphemy; why should we trouble ourselves to examine witnesses any further?
Could you imagine attending a court as a witness for the defence, only to be sent home part way through the trial because the judge had already made up his own mind that the defendant was guilty, especially if the death sentence was to be passed; but this is exactly what was happening at the trial of Jesus.
The High Priest triumphs at the snare that he had just laid, like a hunter waiting for an unsuspecting animal to fall or get caught in his trap. To make it look as though the High Priest was shaken to the core, he rent his garments. The act of hate and aggression by the high priest, (which is exactly what it was,) the high priest probably at that time was never even thinking about God’s laws, as the violent aggression spread like a disease among the people present at the unlawful trial of Jesus.
Have you ever heard of a court case, when the judge takes over from the prosecution and defence lawyers, asking every question that was so unbalanced and weighted on one side, using false witnesses, not inviting any witnesses for the defence, disregarding all truths and in an act of total madness and against God’s law which the High Priest is supposed to serve in total honesty rips his robe, shouting that the person on trial deserves the death sentence; after which the judge would then turn to the jury and ask them what they think.
Hiding his malice so cunningly under the Robe of Justice, the death sentence had already been passed, unfortunately only Caiaphas knew this.
Like all jury’s there is a procedure of voting if the defendant is guilty or innocent and the Sanhedrin had their own way voting. The votes would be taken one person at a time starting with the youngest and finishing with the High Priest, all this process of law was completely ignored.
Well! That is exactly what happened at the trial of Jesus.
Caiaphas now turns to the bench as though he is asking also there advise
Trying to hide his own hypocrisy and prejudice he now looks to the bench for advice on the sentence that should be passed, although Caiaphas had already passed the sentence of death in his own heart, but the authority that Caiaphas had as the high priest would be easy enough to sway the rest of those on the bench and that they would therefore declare his judgement.
The High Priest now presumes that they are all of one mind in passing the death sentence with regard to Christ.
They answered, “He deserves death!”
Their concurrence with him; they said that He is guilty of death, we do know that Joseph of Arimathea would not have voted for Christ to be put to death; Luke 23:51 (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God— Nicodemus would have also stood by Joseph of Arimathea but it is a probability that those of the Sanhedrin that quietly supported Jesus was never invited to attend the trial of Jesus.
The court of the Sanhedrin had no power under Jewish law to put any man to death but by their judgement had made Jesus an outlaw within His own people which now exposed Him to the fury of the Jewish people.
The King of kings and the Lord of lord was not only condemned by a kangaroo court of the Sanhedrin but also being made an outlaw to the Jewish people, Hr would be found guilty by public condemnation.
Thus was the Lord of life condemned to die, that through Him there may be no condemnation for us.
When facing the process of a court trial, it is very important that every law that has been laid down not only protects the innocent but also protects those who are on trial for whatever they have been charged with.
In law, a person is innocent until proven guilty, that is the law, and without the law there will always be anarchy.
There must not be on the bench a judge who is a relative, a friend or an enemy of the accused or the accuser.
That also implies to anyone serving as a juror.
“Nor must there be on the judicial bench either a relation, or a particular friend, or an enemy of either the accused, or of the accuser,” writes Samuel Mendelsohn (Criminal Jurisprudence, p. 108).
This of course, applies to our court systems today, but what about the trial of Jesus? The laws that were set out were given to Moses by God Himself and should have been obeyed to the letter of the law that was set out in the Torah, but law after law was ignored and broken by the high priest and the court of the Sanhedrin.
Verses 27-28: Then they spit in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?”
This is one verse in the bible that really hurts my heart, that they should physically abuse the Son of God in that way.
In the Western world we are taught by our parents that spitting is a filthy habit and should we have been caught by our parents spitting, we would have been punished. We would not have dared spit at anyone, especially in their face. This also is against the law and could be classed as assault but we are taking a trip back in time and looking at the Jewish custom.
What does spitting mean in Jewish culture?
Spit Three Times After seeing, hearing, or learning of something horrible, it's customary to spit three times to ward off the evil eye. Jews also spit and say “pu pu pu” after receiving good news. This ensures that the evil eye also doesn't spoil the good news. Very superstitious
Spitting at someone
What does it mean to spit on someone?
Spitting upon another person, especially onto the face, is a global sign of anger, hatred, disrespect or contempt. It can represent a "symbolical regurgitation" or an act of intentional contamination.
Thus the Scriptures were fulfilled:
I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pull out My beard;
I did not hide My face from insults and spitting. Isaiah 50:6
Let him give his cheek to the one who is going to strike him; Let him be filled with shame. Lamentations 3:30
“Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us;
With a rod they will strike the judge of Israel on the cheek. Micah 5:1
Prophecies given by the Old Testament Prophets which were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ for the Glory of God the Father.
They blindfolded our Lord and slapped Him, challenging Him to prophecy who struck Him, (Thou should not put the Lord your God to the test; Deuteronomy 6:16)
They made sport of Him as the Philistines did with Samson to their own demise and destruction.
Next: The Crucifixion & Resurrection of our Lord