The Trial of Jesus Christ
Why was Jesus sentenced?
The Gospels report how the high priests of Jerusalem delivered Jesus to the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate, to condemn him to death. Why was he bothering at this point? Jesus was a Jew who did not break with Judaism. Jesus did not come to abolish, but to fulfill the Law. Thus placing the Law above the dogmas and religious traditions of men (taqqanots). Like other prophets who ended badly, for disturbing the institutions that hold power. The conflict has never been between Jesus and the Torah, as is often wrongly thought, but between Jesus and religious power. Jesus trained disciples, he was not a religious leader. A disciple belongs to his master, not to a religious denomination.
Luke 22.44 : "Being in agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground."
It was evening, in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Mount of Olives, that Jesus knew that the end was near. By observing the Lord, we will discover a facet of his personality rarely described in the Gospels: the vulnerability of his humanity. He was entirely God, but also completely man. This incarnation reflects many characters that we can not understand. This tension was felt especially in the garden. When the Lord tells his disciples that "the spirit is well disposed, but the flesh is weak" (Mt 26:41), he spoke not only of them, but also of himself.
Matthew 26.47 : "While he was yet speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people."
It was about midnight when Judas at the head of a Roman garrison, accompanied by the emissaries of the high priest, led a most perilous mission, the arrest of a man: the Lord Jesus. This crowd, coming out of the eastern gate, descending the Cedron road, with their lanterns, their torches, and their arms, was clearly visible and audible from the garden where Jesus and his disciples were.
Mark 14.44 : "The deliverer gave them this sign: He whom I will kiss, it is he, seize him, and take him away surely." As soon as he arrived, he approached Jesus, saying: Rabbi, and he kissed him."
Judas pointed to Jesus kissing him. Then all the disciples abandoned him and fled. The arrival of Judas was a fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy: "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Jesus said to him:
- "It is by a kiss that you are giving the Son of Man".
- "Every day, I was sitting in the temple to teach, and you did not come to arrest me".
When they approached to seize him, by an invisible force, the Lord made them fall to the ground, making them understand that they could not seize him against his will. Pierre then intervened to defend his master by cutting the ear of Malchus. But Jesus said, "Leave that enough!" Then he touched the man's ear and healed him.
John 18.12 : "Then the cohort, the tribune, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus, and bound him, and brought him first to Hannah, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest. this year...."
The clerics accused Jesus of being a malefactor. They had always refused His word because it did not bring them glory. They questioned him and condemned him in the name of their religion, revealing the wickedness of the man's heart. They claimed they could not kill anyone, but arranged for someone else to do it: Pontius Pilate (Emperor Tiberius' prefect in Judea).
John 18.19 : "The high priest asked Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine: Jesus answered him," I have spoken openly to the world, and I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all the Jews sit together. and I did not say anything in secret. "
At the moment of the condemnation of Jesus. Pierre was in the courtyard of the residence. It was then that one of the servants of the High Priest, the parent of the one to whom Peter had cut off his ear, said: "Did not I see you with him in the garden?" Peter denied it again. And immediately the cock crowed, as the Lord had announced to him.
John 18.28 : "And they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the house of the priests, that it was morning, and they did not come into the house, that they should not defile themselves, and that they might eat the passover: and Pilate went out to go out. to them, and he said, What accusation do you bring against this man? ... "
They answered him: if it were not a criminal, we would not have delivered it to you. Pilate finding nothing against him and not wanting his blood on their hands said to them, "Take it yourselves, and judge according to your law." The Jews said to him, "We are not allowed to put anyone to death."
John 18.33 : "And Pilate went into the house, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
Being more exposed to pressure from the Jews, Pilate no longer opposes, not wanting to risk a revolt in occupied territory. The religious, obtain that it confirms the death sentence of Jesus of Nazareth decided by the Sanhedrin. And Pilate went into the palace, and called to him Jesus, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered, "Do you say that of yourself, or have others told you of me?"
John 18.37 : "Pilate saith unto him, Thou art king?" Jesus said, Thou sayest I am a king: I was born, and came into the world to bear witness to the truth: whoever is of truth hears my voice. "
The political issues taking over the truth and Pilate wanting to ensure the durability of Rome is blindness. The unworthy sentence continues. Jesus is wearing a crown of thorns and wearing an imperial garment. No humiliation is spared him. He is whipped, beaten, insulted ...
John 19.1 : "Then Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him, and the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and put on him a purple robe, and came near to him. they said, "Hello, King of the Jews!"
" Here is the man ! Pilate announces to the people. Christ was judged because of his title of Son of God. Our Lord has humbled himself as a perfect man, who suffered and took for us the wages of all the sins of the world: death.
John 19.7 : "The Jews answered him, We have a law, and according to our law he must die, because he made himself the Son of God."
Conclusion: all will choose a robber: Barabbas. The religious would have preferred a prestigious man who would have brought glory to them. To get rid of Jesus, they even came to invoke friendship with Rome, they who were however vexed by their domination under the Roman yoke. The Kingdom of Jesus is not of this world and yet God has offered it to us as a sacrifice. His work transforms lives, transforms this world, while he was the Lord of Heaven alien to the goals of unjust men; jealous and proud. Christ voluntarily took our condemnation with indescribable dignity to save us.
Quote of Flavius Josephus (many scholars admit its authenticity). Born in 37-100 AD J-C: formed in Jerusalem; Jewish historian and general of the Jewish army said:
"There was at that time Jesus, wise man, if it is permissible to call him a man, for he did marvelous works. It was Christ. Pilate, at the suggestion of our chief leaders, condemned him to the cross. He appeared alive again to his disciples on the third day. "
John 18.32 : "That was the fulfillment of the word which Jesus spoke, when he spoke of what death he was to die." Amen !