This Week's Reading: Easter
Come Follow Me Insight #1 (One Loooong Insight This Week)
The Jews were living under the ruling thumb of Imperial Rome. They had no power to actually put a man to death– but they could convene their own court of law and then bring a person to the Roman leadership saying that this person SHOULD be put to death.
This is what happened to Jesus. After he was taken from the Garden of Gethsemane He was subjected to a totally illegal “court” proceeding. This trial was rushed overnight in order to present Jesus to the Roman governor Pilate the next morning for death.
Let’s look at 10 reasons Jesus’ trial was illegal.
- He was first taken to Annas who had been deposed as high priest more than 20 years before. Annas had absolutely no legal right to be part of Jesus’ trial.
- Jesus was then taken to the palace of the current high priest, Caiaphas, where his trial was held in the middle of the night. This was illegal as any capital charges had to be heard in an official Sanhedrin courtroom– which Caiaphas’ palace was not.
- Jesus was then questioned– either by Caiaphas or Annas– illegally as well. Hebrew law stated that those accused of a crime were to be protected from testify against themselves.
- Jesus then pointed out another part of the trial that was illegal– his accusers were not present.
- The scriptures then tell us that the chiefs and high priests counseled together to find a way they could put Jesus to death. Holding such a counsel with any of the Sanhedrin on the Sabbath, on the eve of a feast day, or on a feast day was also illegal.
- The two false witnesses brought forward by the Sanhedrin didn’t even agree with each other. Jewish law required that two witnesses ratify each other’s statements or else the charges had to be dropped.
- Caiaphas then– against the law– demanded that Jesus make a statement regarding his own case.
- Jesus then professed His divine Sonship and it was based on this statement that the court found him guilty of death. This again was contrary to Jewish law which stated that no man could be convicted based on his own testimony unless there were reliable witnesses to verify the testimony.
- There is no record of a vote being taken among the court as to Jesus’ guilt, which was required, but we are told that they all deemed Christ to be worthy of death. This unanimous voice would actually have freed Jesus under Jewish law, “for, it was argued, a unanimous vote against a prisoner indicated that he had had no friend or defender in court, and that the judges might have been in conspiracy against Him.” (Jesus the Christ)
- A second trial for a capital charge was to be held the next day after the judges had spent time in fasting and prayer. However Jesus’ second trial was held only hours later. (Source for all of this information is Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage)
My Favorite Scriptures for the Week
- Isaiah 53:4
- Isaiah 53:7
- Zechariah 9:9
- Exodus 21:32
- Psalm 22:16
- Isaiah 53:9, 12
- Isaiah 25:8