Briefing: What is the worst corruption you have ever witnessed?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 18:12-14.
On the Street: It is hard for U.S. citizens, or citizens of any civilized democratic system, to understand and comprehend the level of corruption we see in these verses. The arrest of Jesus was politically motivated and totally illegal. Next, He is put on trial. The first issue with this trial is it was at night. Jewish courts could not legally hold hearing after dark. This trial was in violation of the Jews’ own laws.
From the time Jesus was arrested to the time He was crucified (all in one day), He endured six different trails. This was the first proceeding. Bible scholars suggest this trial took place between 1:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., immediately following His arrest in the garden.
Remember what Jesus told Nicodemus in chapter three? “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” John 3:19 (NIV). I find it interesting that Jesus told this to Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin (high court of Israel). There is a very good possibility that Nicodemus was present at one or more of the trials of Jesus on this night. The Jewish trials were all held at night. Jesus used the term, “verdict”. Nicodemus would have understood it as a legal term used in a court proceeding like the ones Jesus was enduring. It is like Jesus was giving His own verdict before the trials ever took place.
The second issue with this trial was the judge. We read in verse 13 that Annas was sitting “on the bench” as the high priest. The problem with this was Annas no longer served as the high priest. The Roman government had removed him and placed Caiaphas as the high priest. Annas did not have the authority to sit in judgment of Jesus.
The third illegal act was that according to Jewish law, a man could not be found guilty and sentenced on the same day. These two acts had to be performed on separate days much like our courts today. There is a guilt or innocence phase and a sentencing phase.
Nothing about this trial was meant to be fair or legal but before you go getting worked up over the injustice of it all, remember this was God’s plan. None of the events surrounding Jesus’ arrest, trials, or crucifixion caught God off guard. None of this surprised Him. This was how it was meant to be.
The most amazing part of this whole situation is that Jesus endured all of it for you and me.
Investigational Resources: It takes all four Gospel accounts to paint the picture of all six trials that Jesus endured. Mark’s account can be found in chapter 14 and 15.
Officer Safety Principle: Jesus endured all of this and never lashed out. How do we act in the face of adversity? Again, Jesus has set us an example of how to act.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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