Jesus' Trial

Sanhedrin trial of Jesus

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John 18 Commentary
John 18:2-9 Jesus of Nazareth
John 18:10-12 Judas' Kiss
John 18:13-24 Annas and Caiaphas
John 18:25-27 (A): Peter Denies Jesus

John 18:25-27 (B) Jesus' Trial

John 18:28-32 Praetorium
John 18:33-38 My Kingdom Is Not of This World
John 18:39-40 Barabbas

Is anything else wrong with the Sanhedrin's trial of Jesus?
There are at least eight illegalities in this trial of Jesus: (1) During a trial, members of the Sanhedrin were allowed to speak in defense of the accused but not against him, yet the high priest spoke against Jesus: "He has spoken blasphemy!" (Matthew 26:65); (2) for the verdict to be valid, the trial had to be held at the Hall of the Hewn Stone inside the temple precinct, but Jesus' trial was held at the high priest's house; (3) the trial could not be held at night, yet Jesus' trial was held at night ; (4) the trial could not be held during a great feast, yet Jesus' trial was held during the Passover feast; (5) all witnesses had to be examined separately, yet when witness testimonies against Jesus didn’t match, they brought forward together "two" false witnesses; (6) each member of the Sanhedrin had to give their verdict separately, yet they sentenced Jesus to death together; (7) the youngest member of the Sanhedrin had to render his verdict first so as not to be influenced by the older, more powerful ones, yet at Jesus' trial the high priest rendered his verdict first; and (8) if the sentence was death, a night had to elapse before it was to be carried out, yet Jesus was nailed to the cross by 9 AM.

Why were they asking Jesus, "Who is the one who struck You?" as they hit Him?
They had blindfolded Him: "Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?" (Luke 22:63-64)

Did they make an attempt to clean up at least some of the 8 illegalities?
LUKE 22:66-71 66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67 “If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. 69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 70 Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” 71 And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Which of the above illegalities did they clean up?
#2 and #3. They led Jesus "into their council", meaning their usual place in the temple precinct "as soon as it was day" to rubberstamp their decision.

Did Jesus help or hinder them in their efforts?
He helped them. In fact, when they had trouble getting the false testimonies to match at the high priest's house, it was Jesus who made it easy for them by declaring, "I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy!" (Matthew 26:64-65)

Why would those words make it easy for them and bring about accusation of "blasphemy"?
Jesus was declaring His deity by referring to Old Testament prophecies they understood. "Son of Man... coming in the clouds of heaven" was a reference to Daniel 7:13-14: "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." And "Sitting at the right hand of the Power" was a reference to Psalm 110:1: "The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."

How about at daybreak in the temple precinct?
He repeated Himself, "Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God" and answered, "I am" when they asked Him, "Are You then the Son of God?" (Luke 22:70)

Why was the reason for Jesus' death sentence important?
He not only had to die, but die for the right reason. Imagine if He were crucified after having been accused of robbery or rape. It wouldn’t have carried the significance of being crucified for having declared that He is God and after repeatedly having said that He had come to die to save us from our sins.

So whose testimony enabled their verdict?
Jesus’ own.

Who is in control of these developments?
Jesus timed Judas Iscariot's departure to fetch the soldiers. Jesus volunteered Himself for arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus picked the reason for His own crucifixion. Jesus is in control of the developments thus far, and to come.

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