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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Day 313: Trial by the Jews

Jesus is in the power of his enemies.
Jesus before Annas and Caiaphas
John 18:12-14, 19-23
His trial before the Sanhedrin
Matthew 26:57, 59-66, Mark 14:53, 55-64, Luke 22:54, John 18:24
He is mocked and spat upon
Matthew 26: 67-68, Mark 14:65, Luke 22:63-65
Peter’s denial
Matthew 26:58, 69-75, Mark 14:54, 66-72, Luke 22:55-62, John 18: 15-18, 25-27
Jesus is condemned
Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1, Luke 22:66-71
Judas’ remorse
Matthew 27:3-10, Acts 1:18-19

Jesus after his arrest is taken to the High Priest’s residence in Jerusalem. He is questioned there for a while, until the Sanhedrin (the court of Jewish elders) is assembled, then put on trial before them all. It seems the intention is to find evidence to convict immediately, then have him executed the very next day, before his followers can mount a protest. So although this legal procedure is irregular, it is still trying to follow some kind of procedure.
Although it was night, the doors were open, so the guards and servants outside in the courtyard could see and hear Jesus being questioned. Peter had mustered enough courage to come in to the courtyard and watch what was going on, but his nerve broke when he was spotted and challenged. He blamed himself bitterly for this, but at least he did more than the other disciples, who had simply legged it into the hills.
The trial itself is not going well, until Jesus lends a helping hand. There aren’t any coherent witnesses prepared to declare he has committed a crime worthy of death, so eventually Jesus precipitates their decision by answering a question honestly. “Are you the Christ? Are you the Son of God?”
“Yes I am.”
The High Priest is satisfied. This is blasphemy. He asks for a decision and gets one. Jesus deserves death.

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