The Order of the 5 Trials of Jesus (a compilation from the Gospels), cont’d.
Trial #1-before Annas
Trial #2-before Caiaphas
Matt. 27:1-The decision of the Sanhedrin (Council) to put Jesus to death.
Matt. 27:3-5-When Judas realizes that Jesus is going to be killed he feels “remorse” (cf. Acts 1:16-20). He goes to the Sanhedrin to try to persuade them to take back the money and not kill Jesus…but they refuse. Judas then goes out and hangs himself. The money was used to buy a graveyard for strangers (Potter’s Field…a place where potters dug clay for making pottery vessels). Some believe that this suggests (27:3) that because Judas tried to return the money when he saw that Jesus had been "condemned", there is the possibility that he had not wanted him to die, but was trying to force Jesus' hand to move forward with a political agenda, or to declare Himself to be the Messiah…but that he had not intended for Him to die.
Trial #3-before Pilate...the first time (Matthew 27:2,11-14)
Pilate’s headquarters were in Caesarea, the city that Herod had built on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in honor of Caesar Augustus. He had a palace located in Jerusalem and was there during the Passover…anticipating that there would be large crowds present and that there could be trouble.
(Ryrie) “Pilate was the Roman prefect or governor of Judea (usually referred to as procurator), to which position he was appointed by Tiberius in A.D. 26. He was in charge of the army of occupation, kept the taxes flowing to Rome, had power of life and death over his subjects, appointed the high priests, and decided cases involving capital punishment. He was a capricious, weak governor who let personal and political considerations outweigh his awareness that justice was not being done in Jesus’ case. He did not want another report to get to Rome that he had offended Jewish customs or could not control a situation—charges against him made to Tiberius earlier.”
Matt. 27:11-Pilate asks Jesus, "Are You the King of the Jews?" Jesus responds directly, "It is as you say." However, He did not answer the accusations of the chief priests and elders.
Trial #4-before Herod (Luke 23:6-12)…Matthew does not mention that Pilate sent Jesus to Herod.
Trial #5-before Pilate...the second time (Matthew 27:15-26)…this occurs after Herod returned Jesus to Pilate.
Matt. 27:15-26-Pilate realizes that the Jews have brought Jesus to trial out of “envy” (:18), so he tries an alternate approach to the trial by offering to let them choose between Jesus and another man to be released. The other man was a notorious criminal that he knew they would not want released. However, his plan doesn’t work and they demand that Jesus be crucified. He agrees to follow through on their decision, but makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with it by washing his hands…symbolically showing that he has nothing to do with what is about to take place and that the responsibility lies solely with the Jews.
Matt. 27:19-Pilate’s wife had a dream the night before that involved Jesus and she tells him to do nothing to Jesus…but he ignores her.
Matt. 27:27-31-The beating of Jesus prior to His crucifixion by the Roman soldiers. The “cohort” (consisted of about one-tenth of a legion, 300-600 men) gathered in the “Praetorium” (Pilate’s residence in Jerusalem…probably the Castle of Antonia).
Prayer: Lord, You were tried unjustly. You were accused falsely. And yet, You did not respond vindictively. Lord, when I am attacked, when I am mistreated, when I am misrepresented…please help me to respond in a manner that is in keeping with Your character. Help me to stand firm for what is true…and yet, keep me from striking back at those who against me.