Jesus Trial

  Jesus Trial

Jesus Trial – The Questions
Jesus went through six trials before His execution. The Jewish High Priest and the Jewish High Court (the Sanhedrin) effectively asked Jesus two questions:

  1. Are you the Messiah? and
  2. Are you the Son of God?
To both of these, Jesus answered, "I AM." This was enough to condemn Jesus for blaspheming God by claiming to be God.

Jesus Trial – Parts and Stages
There were six parts to Jesus’ trial: three stages in a religious court and three stages before a Roman court.

  • The night of his arrest, Jesus was brought before Annas, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin (a group of religious leaders). In these trials He was charged with blasphemy, claiming to be the Son of God. He was imprisoned at Caiaphas’ palace.

    “Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. ‘I have spoken openly to the world,’ Jesus replied. ‘I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.’

    “When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby struck him in the face. ‘Is this the way you answer the high priest?’ he demanded.

    “‘If I said something wrong,’ Jesus replied, ‘testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?’ Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest” (John 18:19-24).

  • Next, Jesus was taken before Pilate, who was the Roman Governor, who declared, “I find no guilt in this man.”

    "‘If I said something wrong,’ Jesus replied, ‘testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?’ Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest” (John 18:23-24).

  • Jesus was then sent to Herod. Jesus refused to answer any questions so Herod returned Him to Pilot.

    “When he learned that Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time” (Luke 23:7).

  • Then He was returned to Pilate, who finally sentenced Jesus to death.

    “Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies” (Luke 23:11-12).
In these trials, the authorities disregarded many of their own laws.
  1. Trial were not to be held during feast time.
  2. Every member of the court was to vote individually to convict or acquit. In the trials Jesus went through, He was convicted by acclamation.
  3. A night had to pass before a death sentence could be carried out. In the trials of Jesus, only a few hours passed before He was placed on the cross.
  4. The Jews had no authority to execute anyone.
  5. Trial were not to be held at night. Jesus’ trial was held before dawn.
  6. The accused person was to be given representation. Jesus had none.
  7. The accused person was not to be asked self-incriminating questions. Jesus was asked if He was the Christ.
The trials before the Roman authorities started with Pilate (John 18:23) after Jesus was beaten. The charges brought against Him were very different from the charges in His religious trials. He was charged with inciting people to riot, forbidding the people to pay their taxes, and claiming to be King. Pilate found no reason to kill Jesus so he sent Him to Herod (Luke 23:7). Herod had Jesus ridiculed, but wanting to avoid the political liability, sent Jesus back to Pilate (Luke 23:11-12). This was the last trial as Pilate tried to appease the animosity of the Jews by having Jesus scourged. The Roman scourge is a terrible whipping of 39 lashes. In a final effort to have Jesus released, Pilate offered the prisoner Barabbas to be crucified and Jesus released, but to no avail. The crowds called for Barabbas to be released and Jesus to be crucified. Pilate granted their demand and surrendered Jesus to their will (Luke 23:25). The trials of Jesus represent the ultimate mockery of justice. Jesus, the most innocent man in the history of the world, was found guilty of crimes and sentenced to death by crucifixion.

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Jesus Trial: Key References to Explore

  1. John 18:19-24
  2. Luke 23:7
  3. Luke 23:11-12


  Related Topics
  • Before Jesus Trial
  • Jesus Arrest and Trial
  • Jesus Trial before Pilate
  • Jesus Trial Illegal
  • Jesus Trial Sanhedrin

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