FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, "Prophesy! Who hit you?" And they said many other insulting things to him. At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. "If you are the Messiah," they said, "tell us."
SJesus answered, "If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God." They all asked, "Are you then the Son of God?" He replied, "You say that I am." Then they said, "Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips."
There were six different trials Jesus faced. The first three were in a religious court and the second three were in a Roman court. In the Jewish court Jesus was tried before Annas, the former high priest, then the current high priest, Caiaphas and finally here in this passage He is tried before the Sanhedrin. The primary charge in the religious court was blasphemy, claiming to be the Son of God, the Messiah.
As we come to the final trial within the Jewish court of the Sanhedrin-the supreme court for the Jews. All of the religious trials were riddled with illegalities. I want to list out a few:
FIRST-If a man was arrested for a capital crime, he could never be arrested at night. It had to be in broad daylight. Jesus' arrest took place between 1 and 2 o'clock at night.
SECOND-If a man was arrested for a capital crime, no one cooperating in the arrest could be in any way connected to the one who is accused. No arrest for a capital crime could be made based upon information given by a follower or colleague of the accused. Because they felt if the accused was guilty, so were his followers. But the entire plot revolved around Judas, one of the followers. This law was blatantly and openly ignored.
THIRD-No Jewish trial could ever be held at night. The law stated that it must be held in the daytime. Listen to the code, which is taken from the Talmud: "The members of the court may not alertly and intelligently hear the testimony against the accused during the hours of darkness." But, if you check the record, both before Annas and before Caiaphas, these trials were held in darkness.
FOURTH-The members of the Jewish court, after hearing the testimony of true witnesses (none of which were ever brought before Jesus) in a capital crime, could not immediately act and judge. They were to go home and remain alone and separate from one another for two days (at the least, one full day), thinking about the testimonies they had heard. During that time, here's what they were to do. They didn't do that. They never left the presence of Caiaphas!
FIFTH-Even the method of voting was specified. They never took an "all in favor say I, all opposed say no" kind of vote. Their vote was supposed to be taken from the youngest to the oldest so that the youngest wouldn't be intimidated or influenced by the older votes. This never happened.
SIXTH-No trial could be held before only one judge, and never without a defense attorney. All of that was overlooked and ignored. Even though they were people of the book, they didn't follow their own rules.
According to the Gregorian calendar, the arrest and trials of Jesus took place on April 6th, 32AD, during a nine hour period. The Jews put together a plan that was illegal, fallacious, unfair, and unwarranted. No man was ever more innocent, and no man ever stood before six more illegal and unfair trials than Jesus.
Why were all of these illegalities committed? It simply goes back to Jesus in His revolutionary ways works with the heart. Jesus goes to the heart of the matter. His revolution makes everyone feel a little uncomfortable, because it threatens the prideful stance and position of so many-especially the leadership. The spiritual revolution of Jesus is all about turning you inside out and turning your world upside down. If you are not willing for Him to work on your heart, then you must do anything you can to destroy His work in your life-even if it means to destroy Him. Give it up and let Jesus do His surgery on you.