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07 — The Unfair Trial

artwork created by Zoe Palmateer

07 — The Unfair Trial

When: Friday Early Morning
Location: Jerusalem

Read: Matthew 26:57-27:34; Mark 14:32-15:15; Luke 22:54-23:32; John 18:13-19:17

In the modern day, trials can take a few hours up to weeks to come to a guilty conclusion. Jesus's trial took only a couple hours.

Very early in the morning Jesus was taken out of the garden of Gethsemane to the house of Annas (Former high priest) where he was interrogated and assaulted (John 18:13, 19-24). From there he was taken to Caiaphas, the current high priest. This is where the scribes and elders listened to many witnesses whose testimonies did not line up about Jesus. Eventually two came forward and accused Jesus of claiming that he can destroy the temple and rebuild it. Finally Caiaphas asked outright, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?" to which Jesus replied, "You have said so, but I say to all of you: from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven."

Jesus was charged with blasphemy and beaten. Early in the morning the chief priests and elders officially convicted Jesus of blasphemy. Knowing they could not carry out the death sentence (John 18:31), they then sent Jesus to Pilate who investigated him and found no guilt and so sent him to Herod. Herod was excited to see the “miracle worker” but was disappointed when Jesus did no miracles. He mocked Jesus and dressed him up as a king and sent him back to Pilate. After beating Jesus, pleading with him, and giving the Jews five chances to let Jesus go, Pilate washes his hands and sentences Jesus to be crucified simply because the crowd was demanding it.

Jesus faced great injustice during his trial, during which many Jewish court laws were broken: -Jews were not allowed to arrest people because of bribery (Exodus 23:8).
-Trials had to be held in the Temple during the daytime, not in the high priest's house at night. -There must be 24 hours in between the trial and the sentencing.
-Finally, many witnesses testified falsely against him.

While Jesus faced all of these injustices, we can celebrate because He does not judge in the same manner that He was judged. Instead, Jesus, who is our Righteous Judge, died on the cross so that we can stand innocent of our sins because He was willing to pay it all. As Paul writes in Romans 3:23-26, "'for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

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