Bible ConcordanceArrest (22 Occurrences)
Matthew 21:46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet. (See RSV NIV)
Matthew 26:4 They took counsel together that they might take Jesus by deceit, and kill him. (See RSV NIV)
Matthew 26:48 Now he who betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, "Whoever I kiss, he is the one. Seize him." (See NIV)
Matthew 26:55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out as against a robber with swords and clubs to seize me? I sat daily in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. (WEB WEY NAS NIV)
Mark 12:12 They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left him, and went away. (See RSV NIV)
Mark 13:11 When however they are marching you along under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but speak what is given you when the time comes; for it will not be you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. (WEY NAS NIV)
Mark 14:1 It was now two days before the feast of the Passover and the unleavened bread, and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him by deception, and kill him. (See RSV NIV)
Mark 14:44 Now he who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, "Whoever I will kiss, that is he. Seize him, and lead him away safely." (See NIV)
Mark 14:48 "Have you come out," said Jesus, "with swords and cudgels to arrest me, as if you had to fight with a robber? (WEY NAS)
Mark 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you didn't arrest me. But this is so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled." (WEB NIV)
Luke 20:19 The chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on him that very hour, but they feared the people-for they knew he had spoken this parable against them. (See NIV)
Luke 22:52 Then Jesus said to the High Priests and Commanders of the Temple and Elders, who had come to arrest Him, "Have you come out as if to fight with a robber, with swords and cudgels? (WEY)
John 7:30 On hearing this they wanted to arrest Him; yet not a hand was laid on Him, because His time had not yet come. (WEY RSV)
John 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. (WEB RSV NIV)
John 7:44 Some of them would have arrested him, but no one laid hands on him. (Root in WEB WEY RSV)
John 10:39 This made them once more try to arrest Him, but He withdrew out of their power. (WEY RSV)
John 11:57 Now the High Priests and the Pharisees had issued orders that if any one knew where He was, he should give information, so that they might arrest Him. (WEY RSV NIV)
John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn't be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here." (See NIV)
Acts 9:14 and here he is authorized by the High Priests to arrest all who call upon Thy name." (WEY NIV)
Acts 12:3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened bread. (See NAS RSV)
2 Corinthians 11:32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damascenes desiring to arrest me. (WEB NIV)
Jeremiah 36:26 The king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son, and Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to take Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet; but Yahweh hid them. (See NIV)
ThesaurusArrest (22 Occurrences)...
Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (vt) To stop; to check or hinder the motion or action
of; as, to arrest
the current of a river; to arrest
the senses. .../a/arrest.htm - 45k
Fight (265 Occurrences)
... to apprehend me? Day after day I have been sitting teaching in the Temple,
and you did not arrest me. (WEY). Mark 14:48 "Have you ...
/f/fight.htm - 38k
Apprehend (7 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (vt) To take or seize (a person) by legal process;
to arrest; as, to apprehend a criminal. 2. (vt) To ...
/a/apprehend.htm - 10k
... company on the remainder of his journey toward Jerusalem (Acts 20:4 2 Corinthians
1:1). No place therefore in Paul's life, previous to his arrest in Jerusalem ...
/p/pastoral.htm - 39k
Trial (45 Occurrences)
... purpose of determining such issue. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. JESUS
CHRIST, THE ARREST AND TRIAL OF. " 1. Jewish and Roman Law ...
/t/trial.htm - 52k
Wanted (73 Occurrences)
... (See NAS RSV NIV). John 7:30 On hearing this they wanted to arrest Him; yet not
a hand was laid on Him, because His time had not yet come. (WEY). ...
/w/wanted.htm - 26k
Parchments (1 Occurrence)
... Perhaps in the fact that the books and the parchments and the cloak had been left
at Troas with Carpus, there may be a hint that his final arrest by the Roman ...
/p/parchments.htm - 10k
Pause (4 Occurrences)
... 3. (n.) In speaking or reading aloud, a brief arrest or suspension of voice, to
indicate the limits and relations of sentences and their parts. ...
/p/pause.htm - 8k
Cudgels (3 Occurrences)
... (WEY). Mark 14:48 "Have you come out," said Jesus, "with swords and cudgels
to arrest me, as if you had to fight with a robber? (WEY). ...
/c/cudgels.htm - 7k
Caiaphas (9 Occurrences)
... first" (John 18:13), Jesus was conducted thence in bonds to Caiaphas (John 18:24),
According to Matthew He was led immediately upon His arrest to Caiaphas ...
/c/caiaphas.htm - 14k
Greek2694. katasuro -- to drag away ... arrest
. From kata and suro; to drag down, ie Arrest
judicially -- hale. see GREEK
kata. see GREEK suro. (katasure) -- 1 Occurrence. << 2693, 2694. katasuro. 2695 ... /greek/2694.htm - 6k
4815. sullambano -- to collect, ie to take, by impl. to take part ...
... to conceive NASB Word Usage arrest (3), arrested (4), became pregnant (1),
conceive (1), conceived (3), help (2), seized (1), taken (1). ...
/greek/4815.htm - 7k
4084. piazo -- to lay hold of, to take
... Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: piazo Phonetic Spelling: (pee-ad'-zo) Short
Definition: I lay hold of Definition: I lay hold of, apprehend, catch, arrest ...
/greek/4084.htm - 7k
4912. sunecho -- to hold together, to hold fast, pass. to be ...
... From sun and echo; to hold together, ie To compress (the ears, with a crowd or siege)
or arrest (a prisoner); figuratively, to compel, perplex, afflict ...
/greek/4912.htm - 7k
2722. katecho -- to hold fast, hold back
... Verb Transliteration: katecho Phonetic Spelling: (kat-ekh'-o) Short Definition:
I hold fast, bind, restrain Definition: (a) I hold fast, bind, arrest, (b) I ...
/greek/2722.htm - 7k
2638. katalambano -- to lay hold of, seize
... Spelling: (kat-al-am-ban'-o) Short Definition: I seize tight hold of, overtake,
comprehend Definition: (a) I seize tight hold of, arrest, catch, capture ...
/greek/2638.htm - 8k
71. ago -- to lead, bring, carry
... verb Definition to lead, bring, carry NASB Word Usage arrest (1), bring (11), bringing
(3), brought (26), go (5), going (2), lead (1), leads (1), led (12), led ...
/greek/71.htm - 8k
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaJESUS CHRIST, THE ARREST AND TRIAL OF
" 1. Jewish and Roman Law
2. Difficulties of the Subject
3. Illustrations of Difficulties
I. THE ARREST
1. Preparatory Steps
2. The Arrest in the Garden
3. Taken to the City
II. THE JEWISH TRIAL
1. The Jewish Law
2. The Mishna
3. Criminal Trials
4. The Trial of Jesus
5. The Preliminary Examination
6. The Night Trial
7. False Witnesses
8. A Browbeating Judge
9. The Morning Session
10. Powers of the Sanhedrin
11. Condemnation for Blasphemy
III. THE ROMAN TRIAL
1. Taken before Pilate
2. Roman Law and Procedure
3. Full Trial Not Desired
4. Final Accusation
5. Examination, Defence and Acquittal
6. Fresh Accusations
7. Reference to Herod
8. Jesus or Barabbas
9. Behold the Man!
10. Pilate Succumbs to Threats
11. Pilate Washes His Hands
12. The Sentence
This subject is of special interest, not only on account of its inherent importance, but more particularly on account of its immediately preceding, and leading directly up to what is the greatest tragedy in human history, the crucifixion of our Lord. It has also the added interest of being the only proceeding on record in which the two great legal systems of antiquity, the Jewish and the Roman, which have most largely influenced modern legislation and jurisprudence, each played a most important part.
1. Jewish and Roman Law:
The coexistence of these two systems in Judea, and their joint action in bringing about the tremendous results in question, were made possible by the generous policy pursued by Rome in allowing conquered nations to retain their ancient laws, institutions and usages, in so far as they were compatible with Roman sovereignty and supremacy. Not only so, but, in a large degree, they permitted these laws to be administered by the officials of the subject peoples. This privilege was not granted absolutely, but was permitted only so long as it was not abused. It might be withdrawn at any time, and the instances in which this was, done were by no means rare.
Of the matters considered in this article, the arrest of Jesus and the proceedings before Annas, Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin took place professedly under Jewish law; the proceedings before Pilate and the reference to Herod, under Roman law.
2. Difficulties of the Subject:
It is very difficult to construct from the materials in the four Gospels a satisfactory continuous record of the arrest, and of what may be called the twofold trial of Jesus. The Gospels were written from different viewpoints, and for different purposes, each of the writers selecting such particulars as seemed to him to be of special importance for the particular object he had in view. Their reports are all very brief, and the proper chronological order of the various events recorded in different Gospels must, in many eases, be largely a matter of conjecture. The difficulty is increased by the great irregularities and the tumultuous character of the proceedings; by our imperfect knowledge of the topography of Jerusalem at this time (29 A.D.); also by the fact that the reports are given mainly in popular and not in technical language; and when the latter form is used, the technical terms have had to be translated into Greek, either from the Hebrew or from the Latin.
3. Illustrations of Difficulties:
For instance, opinions are divided as to where Pilate resided when in Jerusalem, whether in the magnificent palace built by Herod the Great, or in the castle of Antonia; as to where was the palace occupied by Herod Antipas during the Passover; whether Annas and Caiaphas occupied different portions of the same palace, or whether they lived in adjoining or different residences; whether the preliminary examination of Jesus, recorded by John, was before Annas or Caiaphas, and as to other similar matters. It is very satisfactory, however, to know that, although it is sometimes difficult to decide exactly as to the best way of harmonizing the different accounts, yet there is nothing irreconcilable or contradictory in them, and that there is no material point in the history of the very important proceedings falling within the scope of this article which is seriously affected by any of these debatable matters.
For a clear historical statement of the events of the concluding day in the life of our Lord before His crucifixion, see the article on JESUS CHRIST. The present article will endeavor to consider the matters relating to His arrest and trial from a legal and constitutional point of view.
I. The Arrest.
During the last year of the ministry of Jesus, the hostility of the Jews to Him had greatly increased, and some six months before they finally succeeded in accomplishing their purpose, they had definitely resolved to make away with Him. At the Feast of Tabernacles they sent officers (the temple-guards) to take Him while He was teaching in the temple (John 7:32); but these, after listening to His words, returned without having made the attempt, giving as a reason that "never man so spake" (John 7:46).
After His raising of Lazarus, their determination to kill Him was greatly intensified. A special meeting of the council was held to consider the matter. There Caiaphas, the high priest, strongly advocated such a step on national grounds, and on the ground of expediency, quoting in support of his advice, in a cold-blooded and cynical manner, the Jewish adage that it was expedient that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. Their plans to this end were frustrated, for the time being, by Jesus withdrawing Himself to the border of the wilderness, where He remained with His disciples (John 11:47-54).
On His return to Bethany and Jerusalem, six days before the Passover, they were deterred from carrying out their design on account of His manifest popularity with the people, as evidenced by His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the first day of the Passover week (Palm Sunday), and by the crowds who thronged around Him, and listened to His teachings in the temple, and who enjoyed the discomfiture of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians, as they successively sought to entangle Him in His talk.
Two days before the Passover, at a council meeting held in the palace of Caiaphas, they planned to accomplish their purpose by subtlety, but "not during the feast, lest a tumult arise among the people" (Matthew 26:3-5 Mark 14:1, 2). While they were in this state of perplexity, to their great relief Judas came to them and agreed to betray his Master for money (Matthew 26:14-16 Mark 14:10, 11).
1. Preparatory Steps:
This time they determined not to rely solely upon their own temple-guards or officers to execute their warrant or order of arrest, fearing that these officials, being Jews, might again be fascinated by the strange influence which Jesus exercised over His countrymen, or that His followers might offer resistance. They therefore applied to Pilate, the Roman procurator (governor), for the assistance of a band of Roman soldiers. He granted them a cohort (Greek: speira, 400 to 600 men) from the legion then quartered in the castle of Antonia, which adjoined and overlooked the temple-area. The final arrangements as to these would probably be completed while Judas was at the supper room. It has been suggested that the whole cohort would not go, but only a selection from them. However, it is said that Judas "received the band (cohort) of soldiers" (John 18:3), and that they were under the command of a chief captain (Greek: chiliarch, Latin tribune, John 18:12). If there had not been more than 100 soldiers, they would not have been under the command of a captain, but the chief officer would have been a centurion. The amazing popularity of Jesus, as shown by His triumphal entry into the city, may have led the authorities to make such ample provision against any possible attempt at rescue.
The Garden of Gethsemane, in which Judas knew that Jesus would be found that night, was well known to him (John 18:2); and he also knew the time he would be likely to find his Master there. Thither at the proper hour he led the band of soldiers, the temple officers and others, and also some of the chief priests and elders themselves; the whole being described as "a great multitude with swords and staves" (Matthew 26:47). Although the Easter full moon would be shining brightly, they also carried "lanterns and torches" (John 18:3), in order to make certain that Jesus should not escape or fail to be recognized in the deep shade of the olive trees in the garden.
2. The Arrest in the Garden:
On their arrival at the garden, Jesus came forward to meet them, and the traitor Judas gave them the appointed signal by kissing Him. As the order or warrant was a Jewish one, the temple officers would probably be in front, the soldiers supporting them as reserves. On Jesus announcing to the leaders that He was the one they sought, what the chief priests had feared actually occurred. There was something in the words or bearing of Jesus which awed the temple officers; they were panic-stricken, went backward, and fell to the ground. On their rallying, the impetuous Peter drew his sword, and cut off the ear of one of them, Malchus, the servant of the high priest (John 18:6-10).
On this evidence of resistance the Roman captain and soldiers came forward, and with the assistance of the Jewish officers bound Jesus. Under the Jewish law this was not lawful before condemnation, save in exceptional cases where resistance was either offered or apprehended.
Even in this trying hour the concern of Jesus was more for others than for Himself, as witness His miracle in healing the ear of Malchus, and His request that His disciples might be allowed their liberty (John 18:8). Notwithstanding His efforts, His followers were panic-stricken, probably on account of the vigorous action of the officers and soldiers after the assault by Peter, "and they all left him and fled" (Mark 14:50).
It is worthy of note that Jesus had no word of blame or censure for the Roman officers or soldiers who were only doing their sworn duty in supporting the civil authorities; but His pungent words of reproach for not having attempted His arrest while He was teaching openly in the temple were reserved for "the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and elders" (Luke 22:52), who had shown their inordinate zeal and hostility by taking the unusual, and for those who were to sit as judges on the case, the improper and illegal course of accompanying the officers, and themselves taking part in the arrest.
3. Taken to the City:
The whole body departed with their prisoner for the city. From the first three Gospels one might infer that they went directly to the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest. In the Fourth Gospel, however, we are told that they took him first to Annas (John 18:13).
Why they did so we are not informed, the only statement made being that he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas (John 18:13). He had been the high priest from 7 A.D. to 15 A.D., when he was deposed by Valerius Gratus, the Roman procurator. He was still the most influential member of the Sanhedrin, and, being of an aggressive disposition, it may be that it was he who had given instructions as to the arrest, and that they thought it their duty to report first to him.
Annas, however, sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas (John 18:24). Having delivered over their prisoner, the Roman soldiers would proceed to their quarters in the castle, the temple officials retaining Jesus in their charge.
Meanwhile, the members of the Sanhedrin were assembling at the palace of the high priest, and the preliminary steps toward the first or Jewish trial were being taken.
II. The Jewish Trial.
1. The Jewish Law:
It is the just boast of those countries whose jurisprudence had its origin in the common law of England, that their system of criminal law is rounded upon the humane maxims that everyone is presumed to be innocent until he is proved to be guilty, and that no one is bound to criminate himself. But the Jewish law went even farther in the safeguards which it placed around an accused person. In the Pentateuch it is provided that one witness shall not be sufficient to convict any man of even a minor offense. "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established" (Deuteronomy 19:15).
2. The Mishna:
These principles of the Mosaic law were elaborated and extended in the system which grew up after the return from Babylon. It was begun by the men of the Great Synagogue, and was afterward completed by the Sanhedrin which succeeded them. Up to the time of our Lord, and for the first two centuries of the Christian era, their rules remained largely in an oral or unwritten form, until they were compiled or codified in the Mishna by Rabbi Judah and his associates and successors in the early part of the 3rd century. It is generally conceded by both Jewish and Christian writers that the main provisions, therein found for the protection of accused persons, had been long incorporated in the oral law and were recognized as a part of it in the time of Annas and Caiaphas.
3. Criminal Trials:
The provisions relating to criminal trials, and especially to those in which the offense was punishable by death, were very stringent and were all framed in the interest of the accused. Among them were the following: The trial must be begun by day, and if not completed before night it must be adjourned and resumed by day; the quorum of judges in capital cases was 23, that being the quorum of the Grand Council; a verdict of acquittal, which required only a majority of one, might be rendered on the same day as the trial was completed; any other verdict could only be rendered on a subsequent day and required a majority of at least two; no prisoner could be convicted on his own evidence; it was the duty of a judge to see that the interests of the accused were fully protected.
The modern practice of an information or complaint and a preliminary investigation before a magistrate was wholly unknown to the Jewish law and foreign to its genius. The examination of the witnesses in open court was in reality the beginning of a Jewish trial, and the crime for which the accused was tried, and the sole charge he had to meet, was that which was disclosed by the evidence of the witnesses.
4. The Trial of Jesus:
Let us see how far the foregoing principles and rules were followed and observed in the proceedings before the high priest in the present instance. The first step taken in the trial was the private examination of Jesus by the high priest, which is recorded only in John 18:19-23. Opinions differ as to whether this examination was conducted by Annas at his residence before he sent Jesus to Caiaphas (John 18:24), or by the latter after Jesus had been delivered up to him.
Caiaphas was actually the high priest at the time, and had been for some years. Annas had been deposed from the office about 14 years previously by the Roman procurator; but he was still accorded the title (Acts 4:6). Many of the Jews did not concede the right of the procurator to depose him, and looked upon him as still the rightful high priest. He is also said to have been at this time the vice-president of the Sanhedrin. The arguments as to which of them is called the high priest by John in this passage are based largely upon two different renderings of John 18:24. In the King James Version the verse reads "Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest," a reading based upon the Textus Receptus of the New Testament which implies that Jesus had been sent to Caiaphas before the examination. On the other hand, the Revised Version (British and American), following the Greek text adopted by Nestle and others, reads, "Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest," implying that Annas sent him to Caiaphas on account of what had taken place in the examination.
However, it is not material which of these two leading members of the Sanhedrin conducted the examination. The same may also be said as to the controversy regarding the residence of Annas at the time, whether it was in some part of the official palace of the high priest or elsewhere. The important matters are the fact, the time, and the manner of the examination by one or other of these leading members of the council, not the precise place where, or the particular person by whom, it was conducted.
5. The Preliminary Examination:
The high priest (whether Annas or Caiaphas) proceeded to interrogate Jesus concerning His disciples and His doctrine (John 18:19). Such a proceeding formed no part of a regular Jewish trial, and was, moreover, not taken in good faith; but with a view to entrapping Jesus into admissions that might be used against Him at the approaching trial before the council. It appears to have been in the nature of a private examination, conducted probably while the members of the council were assembling. The dignified and appropriate answer of Jesus pointedly brought before the judge the irregularity he was committing, and was a reminder that His trial should begin with the examination of the witnesses: "I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said" (John 18:20, 21 the King James Version). The reply to this was a blow from one of the officers, an outrageous proceeding which appears to have passed unrebuked by the judge, and it was left to Jesus Himself to make the appropriate protest.
6. The Night Trial:
The next proceeding was the trial before the council in the palace of Caiaphas, attended at least by the quorum of 23. This was an illegal meeting, since a capital trial, as we have seen, could not either be begun or proceeded with at night. Some of the chief priests and elders, as previously stated, had been guilty of the highly improper act for judges, of taking part in and directing the arrest of Jesus. Now, "the chief priests and the whole council" spent the time intervening between the arrest and the commencement of the trial in something even worse: they "sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death" (Matthew 26:59). This, no doubt, only means that they then collected their false witnesses and instructed them as to the testimony they should give. For weeks, ever since the raising of Lazarus, they had been preparing for such a trial, as we read: "So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death" (John 11:53).
Caiaphas, as high priest and president of the Sanhedrin, presided at the meeting of the council. The oath administered to witnesses in a Jewish court was an extremely solemn invocation, and it makes one shudder to think of the high priest pronouncing these words to perjured witnesses, known by him to have been procured by the judges before him in the manner stated.
7. False Witnesses:
But even this did not avail. Although "many bare false witness against him," yet on account of their having been imperfectly tutored by their instructors, or for other cause, "their witness agreed not together" (Mark 14:56), and even these prejudiced and partial judges could not find the concurring testimony of two witnesses required by their law (Deuteronomy 19:15).
The nearest approach to the necessary concurrence came at last from two witnesses, who gave a distorted report of a figurative and enigmatic statement made by Jesus in the temple during His early ministry: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). The explanation is given: "He spake of the temple of his body" (John 2:21). The testimony of the two witnesses is reported with but slight variations in the two first Gospels as follows: "This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days" (Matthew 26:61); and "We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands" (Mark 14:58). Whether these slightly different statements represent the discrepancies in their testimony, or on account of some other variations or contradictions, the judges reluctantly decided that "not even so did their witness agree together" (Mark 14:59).
8. A Browbeating Judge:
Caiaphas, having exhausted his list of witnesses, and seeing the prosecution on which he had set his heart in danger of breaking down for the lack of legal evidence, adopted a blustering tone, and said to Jesus, "Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace" (Matthew 26:62, 63), relying on the fact that the prosecution had utterly failed on account of the lack of agreement of two witnesses on any of the charges. As a final and desperate resort, Caiaphas had recourse to a bold strategic move to draw from Jesus an admission or confession on which he might base a condemnation, similar to the attempt which failed at the preliminary examination; but this time fortifying his appeal by a solemn adjuration in the name of the Deity. He said to Jesus: "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Matthew 26:63, 64). Caiaphas, although knowing that under the law Jesus could not be convicted on His own answers or admissions, thereupon in a tragic manner "rent his garments, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy: what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? They answered and said, He is worthy of death (Matthew 26:65, 66).
The night session then broke up to meet again after daybreak in order to ratify the decision just come to, and to give a semblance of legality to the trial and verdict. The closing scene was one of disorder, in which they spat in their prisoner's face and buffeted him (Matthew 26:67, 68 Luke 22:63-65).
9. The Morning Session:
The following morning, "as soon as it was day," the council reassembled in the same place, and Jesus was led into their presence (Luke 22:66). There were probably a number of the council present who had not attended the night session. For the benefit of these, and perhaps to give an appearance of legality to the proceeding, the high priest began the trial anew, but not with the examination of witnesses which had proved such a failure at the night session. He proceeded at once to ask substantially the same questions as had finally brought out from Jesus the night before the answer which he had declared to be blasphemy, and upon which the council had "condemned him to be worthy of death" (Mark 14:64). The meeting is mentioned in all the Gospels, the details of the examination are related by Luke alone. When asked whether He was the Christ, He replied, "If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I ask you, ye will not answer. But from henceforth shall the Son of man be seated at the right hand of the power of God" (Luke 22:67-69). This answer not being sufficient to found a verdict of blasphemy upon, they all cried out, "Art thou then the Son of God?" To this He gave an affirmative answer, "Ye say that I am. And they said, What further need have we of witness? for we ourselves have heard from his own mouth" (Luke 22:70, 71).
10. Powers of the Sanhedrin:
It will be observed that neither at the night nor at the morning session was there any sentence pronounced upon Jesus by the high priest. There was on each occasion only what would be equivalent to a verdict of guilty found by a jury under our modern criminal practice, but no sentence passed upon the prisoner by the presiding judge. When Judea lost the last vestige of its independence and became a Roman province (6 A.D.), the Sanhedrin ceased to have the right to inflict Capital punishment or to administer the law of life and death. This jurisdiction was thenceforth transferred to the Roman procurator. The Sanhedrin submitted very reluctantly to this curtailment of its powers. A few years later it exercised it illegally and in a very riotous manner in the case of Stephen (Acts 7:58). Annas, however, of all men, had good reason not to violate this law, as his having done so during the absence of the procurator was the cause of his being deposed from the office of high priest by Valerius Gratus (15 A.D.).
The proceedings may have been taken before the high priest in the hope that Pilate might be induced to accept the verdict of the Sanhedrin as conclusive that Jesus had been guilty of an offense punishable by death under the Jewish law.
11. Condemnation for Blasphemy:
Now what was the precise crime or crimes for which Jesus was tried at these two sittings of the council? The first impression would probably be that there was no connection between the charge of destroying the temple and building another in three days, and His claiming to be the Son of God. And yet they were closely allied in the Jewish mind. The Jewish nation being a pure theocracy, the overthrow of the temple, the abode of the Divine Sovereign, would mean the overthrow of Divine institutions, and be an act of treason against the Deity. The profession of ability to build another temple in three days would be construed as a claim to the possession of supernatural power and, consequently, blasphemy. As to the other claim which He Himself made and confessed to the council, namely, that He was the Christ, the Son of God, none of them would have any hesitation in concurring in the verdict of the high priest that it was rank blasphemy, when made by one whom they regarded simply as a Galilean peasant.
To sum up: The Jewish trial of our Lord was absolutely illegal, the court which condemned Him being without jurisdiction to try a capital offense, which blasphemy was under the Jewish law. Even if there had been jurisdiction, it would have been irregular, as the judges had rendered themselves incompetent to try the case, having been guilty of the violation of the spirit of the law that required judges to be unprejudiced and impartial, and carefully to guard the interests of the accused. Even the letter of the law had been violated in a number of important respects. Among these may be mentioned:
(1) some of the judges taking part in and directing the arrest;
(2) the examination before the trial and the attempt to obtain admissions;
(3) endeavors of the judges to procure the testimony of false witnesses;
(4) commencing and continuing the trial at night;
(5) examining and adjuring the accused in order to extort admissions from Him;
(6) rendering a verdict of guilty at the close of the night session, without allowing a day to intervene;
(7) holding the morning session on a feast day, and rendering a verdict at its close; and
(8) rendering both verdicts without any legal evidence.
III. The Roman Trial.
Early on the morning of Friday of the Passover week, as we have already seen, "the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council" held a consultation (Mark), in the palace of the high priest; and after the examination of Jesus and their verdict that He was guilty of blasphemy, they took counsel against Him "to put him to death" (Mt), this being, in their judgment, the proper punishment for the offense of which they had pronounced Him guilty.
1. Taken before Pilate:
For the reasons already mentioned, they came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to invoke the aid of the Roman power in carrying out this sentence. They thereupon bound Jesus, and led Him away and delivered Him up to Pilate, who at this time probably occupied, while in Jerusalem, the magnificent palace built by Herod the Great. Jesus was taken into the judgment hall of the palace or Pretorium; His accusers, unwilling to defile themselves by entering into a heathen house and thereby rendering themselves unfit to eat the Passover, remained outside upon the marble pavement.
2. Roman Law and Procedure:
The proceedings thus begun were conducted under a system entirely different from that which we have thus far been considering, both in its nature and its administration. The Jewish law was apart of the religion, and in its growth and development was administered in important cases by a large body of trained men, who were obliged to follow strictly a well-defined procedure. The Roman law, on the other hand, had its origin and growth under the stern and manly virtues and the love of justice which characterized republican Rome, and it still jealously guarded the rights and privileges of Roman citizens, even in a conquered province. Striking illustrations of this truth are found in the life of Paul (see Acts 16:35-39; Acts 22:24-29; 25:10-12). The lives and fortunes of the natives in an imperial province like Judea may be said to have been almost completely at the mercy of the Roman procurator or governor, who was responsible to his imperial master alone, and not even to the Roman senate. Pilate therefore was well within the mark when, at a later stage of the trial, being irritated at Jesus remaining silent when questioned by him, he petulantly exclaimed: "Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to release thee, and have power to crucify thee?" (John 19:10).
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ARREST, AND TRIAL OF JESUS
a-rest', see JESUS CHRIST, THE ARREST AND TRIAL OF.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (v. t.
) To stop; to check or hinder the motion or action of; as, to arrest the current of a river; to arrest the senses.
2. (v. t.) To take, seize, or apprehend by authority of law; as, to arrest one for debt, or for a crime.
3. (v. t.) To seize on and fix; to hold; to catch; as, to arrest the eyes or attention.
4. (v. t.) To rest or fasten; to fix; to concentrate.
5. (v. i.) To tarry; to rest.
6. (n.) The act of stopping, or restraining from further motion, etc.; stoppage; hindrance; restraint; as, an arrest of development.
7. (n.) The taking or apprehending of a person by authority of law; legal restraint; custody. Also, a decree, mandate, or warrant.
8. (v. t.) Any seizure by power, physical or moral.
9. (n.) A scruffiness of the back part of the hind leg of a horse; -- also named rat-tails.
Strong's Hebrew4223. mecha -- to smite...
hang, smite, stay. (Aramaic) corresponding to macha'; to strike in pieces; also
; specifically to impale -- hang, smite, stay. see HEBREW macha'. ... /hebrew/4223.htm - 6k