Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin

John was driving home late one night when he picked up a hitchhiker. As they rode along, he began to be suspicious of his passenger. John checked to see if his wallet was safe in the pocket of his coat that was on the seat between them, but it wasn’t there! So he slammed … More

Accused

Jesus was led off to the high priest and all the other leaders (v. 53). Peter followed at a distance and sat down beside a fire with the guards (v. 54). Jesus knew what it was like to be falsely accused (vv 55-59). The Sanhedrin had seventy-one members which included the Sadducees (the priestly classes), the Pharisees (experts in the law), the Scribes and also the respected elders. It had full power over religious matters, but it had no power to inflict the death penalty. Its function was not to condemn, but to prepare a charge on which the criminal could be tried before the Roman governor. The policy of the Sanhedrin forbid the asking of questions to a person on trial that would incriminate him, but this was the kind of questions the High Priest asked (v.60).  He asked Jesus if He was the Messiah (v. 61). When Jesus answered that He was, this was the charge the Sanhedrin had been waiting for (v. 62). They said, “this is blasphemy” (v. 63). The entire Sanhedrin then condemned Jesus guilty and worthy of death (v. 64). They spat on Him and beat Him (v. 65).

Lawyers who have studied these proceedings say the trial of our Lord was a travesty of justice and a mockery of legality. The place where Jesus was tried was illegal. The Sanhedrin was required to hold its hearings in the hall of stones in the temple, but Jesus was tried in the private residences of Annas and Caiaphas. A case could not be tried at night, yet Jesus was tried at night. A person was not to be tried on a feast day, yet Jesus was tried during Passover. The proceedings themselves were illegal as the judge was the prosecutor and the one who actually pressed the case against Jesus. The witnesses had to agree, but these witnesses did not agree. Jesus was convicted before He was tried.

Application

Jesus gave us an example of keeping quiet at times and of speaking at other times. Ask - What type of situations do I feel I can handle best silently? When is it best for me to speak? What are some examples in my life that I can think of from both speaking and keeping quiet?

Mark 14:53-65 (English Standard Version)

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." And the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, "Prophesy!" And the guards received him with blows.

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