So they arrested Him and led Him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.Luke 22:53+55
The guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating Him. They blindfolded Him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit You that time?” And they hurled all sorts of terrible insults at Him. At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council, and they said, “Tell us, are You the Messiah?” But He replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe Me. And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand. ” They all shouted, “So, are You claiming to be the Son of God?” And He replied, “You say that I am.” “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard Him say it.”Luke 22:63-71
When you read Matthew and Mark’s account of what happened you could be excused for thinking you were reading an entirely different event from what Luke described. Matthew and Mark’s account read as though they were court reporters covering the latest trial at the court house. It reads like a court transcript from the stenographers machine. There is a description of the antagonists – the leading priests and the entire high council (read Sanhedrin). No-one appears for the defendant; He is on His own. There is no court appointed defence lawyer, no defence team; just Jesus alone. Witnesses are called, questions are asked, the evidence is weighed, the defendant speaks for Himself. Finally the GUILTY verdict is given. One could be forgiven for thinking the trial was “fixed”; a foregone conclusion and not a fair trial at all.
According to our court reporters, Matthew and Mark, this trial was a sham.
- The judges wanted to find Him guilty before the trial had even begun
- The judges themselves tried to find witnesses who would lie.
- They found many whose testimony contradicted each other.
- Finally two witnesses are found whose testimony is hear say at best.
- This trial should have been thrown out of court but . . . the trial continues.
- Two witnesses come forward claiming Jesus told them he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days.
- The first said, “This man said [let the court know this witness pointed at the defendant, Jesus of Nazareth], “I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild in three days.”
- The second man said “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’
There are other records available which show more clearly the transcript of what was actually said but these eye witness accounts were not prepared in time for the case.
- “The Jewish leaders themselves asked, “What are You doing? If God gave You authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”
- Jesus replied. “All right, destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
- They [the leaders] exclaimed. “What! It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and You can rebuild it in three days?”
- But John son of Zebedee assures us when Jesus said “this temple,” He meant His own body.
- Later after Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the dead, 11 witnesses remembered He had said this, and they believed what Jesus had said [was true].”
- High Priest (the judge): “Well, aren’t You going to answer these charges? What do You have to say for Yourself?”
For the record: The Defendant made no comment.
- High Priest: “[Do you swear by Almighty God] – Are you the Messiah, the Son of [the Blessed] God?”
- Defendant: “I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Let the court records show at this point the Defendant used a term which shocked the Judge and the accusers.
- “I AM” is the term mere mortals [Jews] do not use as it the most Holy Name for God Himself and no human being is allowed to take THAT NAME on their lips.
- At this point pandemonium broke out when the Judge himself tore his clothes in shock.
- High Priest/Judge: “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard His blasphemy.” High Priest/Judge: “What is your verdict?”
- Sanhedrin/Jury: “Guilty! He deserves to die!”
- The Defendant was held over for contempt of court.
- Order was called for but the court broke out in chaos whereupon the Court guards began to beat the Defendant mercilessly.
- What followed were scenes the like of which we have never seen in a court in this land before.
- Some of the [guards and it is suggested some of Sanhedrin too] began to spit at the Defendant.
- The guards blindfolded the Defendant and beat Him with their fists.
- They jeered and yelled over and over “Prophesy to us, You Messiah! Who hit you that time?”
- This went on in Court for a long period of time and the Judge did nothing about it.
- Finally the guards slapped Him as they took Him away.
This court reporter has never seen the like of it in all my 40 years of experience reporting on the religious affairs in this city.
There ought to have been a mistrial called for but instead the Defendant has been held in custody for a second trial before the SAME COURT in the morning.
There were unprecedented scenes in the court room and outside the court as the guards continued to beat the Defendant. No authorities did anything to stop this gross miscarriage of justice. It is almost as though the Judge and the members of the Sanhedrin are acting as Judge, Jury and Executioners at the same time. Something is not right about this trial.
We will continue to bring you the proceeding events of this trial as they unfold.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by the age of eighteen.Albert Einstein
It’s your decisions not your conditions that determine your destiny!Rick Godwin
When you speak, be sure the words you say are an improvement over silence!Rick Godwin
In reading lives of great people, I found the first victory won was over themselves.Harry S. Truman