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Standing Accused

Updated: Feb 4

May 21, 2023— When I was writing The Last Supper article, the Holy Spirit had me continue reading the Holy Bible about the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Knowing what #Jesus Christ did at the cross, my soul cried out. I knew then that #God was leading me to prepare for this article that you are reading today.

Before the Priests

The betrayal of Judas Iscariot at the garden in Gethsemane led to the arrest of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Bounded by the troops, the captain, and the officers of the Jews (John 18:12), Jesus was led away to two priests in the following order:

  1. Annas- the father-in-law of the high priest that year

  2. Caiaphas- the high priest that year

Caiaphas had prophesied earlier that year that it was expedient for one man to die than to let the whole nation perish (John 11:49-52). That one man was Jesus Christ. Caiaphas had spoken of this when the Pharisees and the chief priests were plotting how to destroy Jesus Christ.

So, the day came that they would have their chance, being blind to the truth even though the prophecies from the Scriptures were unfolding before their eyes. Jesus was bound before Annas, and he questioned Jesus Christ “about His disciples and His doctrine.” (John 18:19).

When the Word of God came to the world in the flesh as Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ started His ministry at 30. He testified against the deeds of the world for what people were doing (and continue to do) are evil in the eyes of the Lord (see John 3:19). Now, Jesus’ response to Annas speaks to that effect:

I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.”

(John 18:20-21)

A soldier then strikes Jesus Christ with the palm of his hand, “Do You answer the high priest like that?”

But Jesus Christ said nothing wrong and answered the soldier, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” (John 18:23).

At this, Annas sends Jesus Christ to the high priest's courtyard, Caiaphas. Following behind Him were all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes (Mark 14:53). According to the Holy Bible, the chief priests and the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death (Mark 14:55). Witnesses came forward. Still, their testimonies did not agree (Mark 14:56).

This is significant. What does the Jewish law say? “Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.” (Deuteronomy 17:6). Again, it says, “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” (Deuteronomy 19:15).

False witnesses rose and bore testimony that did not match, and Jesus remained silent. Eventually, the high priest asks Jesus, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” (Mark 14:60). Jesus remains silent.

Then, the high priest asks Jesus, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” (Mark 14:61)

Jesus answers, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:3).

The high priest was angered that the testimonies did not match and was still convinced that Jesus Christ had committed an offense. Look at his response “Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?’ ” (Mark 14:63).

The Holy Bible says that the people present condemned Him to death, spit on Him, blindfolded Him, and beat Him with their hands. They ridiculed Jesus Christ, saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?” (Matthew 26:67-68 and Mark 14:64-65).

Jerusalem, Streets, Old city streets
Streets of Jerusalem. Photo by Benjamin Recinos on Unsplash

Before the Governor

When the morning came, Jesus Christ was brought to the Praetorium, the #home and fortress of the Roman-appointed governor of Judea, Pontius #Pilate (Luke 3:1). However, the people would not enter the Praetorium so they would not defile themselves. If they did, they would not be allowed to celebrate the Passover. Therefore, Pilate asks them what accusation was being brought against Jesus (John 18:29).

Since they didn’t have an accusation against Jesus Christ, they said, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not deliver Him up to you” (John 18:30).

Seeing through them, Pilate tells them to take Jesus back and judge Him according to their laws (of the Jews.

Lying to Pilate, the people tell him that it was not lawful for them to put anyone to death. It was and is unlawful to commit murder, but it was legal to sentence an “evildoer” to death if they were deserving. (More on this in Accepting Jesus.)

The people brought forth additional false testimony, “We found this fellow perverting the nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He himself is Christ, a King.” (Luke 23:2).

Pilate asks Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?” (Luke 23:3).

Jesus responded, “It is as you say.” (Luke 23:3).

Finding no fault in Jesus, Pilate tells the people this, but they were fiercer, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.” (Luke 23:5).

Having heard this, Pilate has something in mind.

Sea of Galilee, Israel.
Sea of Galilee, Israel. Photo by Chris Gallimore on Unsplash

Delivery to a Ruler

Pilate sent Him to the jurisdictional authority of Galilee (Luke 23:7). At that time, Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee (Luke 3:1).

According to the gospel of Luke, when Herod saw Jesus Christ, he was “exceedingly glad.” Over the course of Jesus’s ministry, Herod had heard many things of Jesus Christ, and he “had desired for a long time to see Him ” and “he hoped to see some miracle done by Him” (Luke 23:8).

However, Jesus remained silent during His time before Herod and did not perform any miracles. Even as Herod questioned Him, and the “chief priests and the scribes vehemently accused Him” (Luke 23:10), Jesus remained silent. Mocking Him, Herod and “his men of war” place a gorgeous robe on him and send Him back to Pilate.

Prisoner Exchange

From the judgment seat, Pilate calls the chief priests, the rulers, and the people. Pilate tells them that neither he nor Annas, Caiaphas, or Herod found fault in Jesus Christ. It was custom to release a prisoner at the feast of the governor. Pilate asks them if he should release a prisoner known as Barabbas, responsible for a rebellion and murder (Matthew 27:16, Mark 15:7, Luke 23:19), or release Jesus Christ. Pilate knew that Jesus Christ was handed to him out of envy.

A warning comes to Pilate through his wife, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.” (Matthew 27:19).

The chief priests and the elders persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas. Pilate asks them what he should do with Jesus Christ. The crowd demands that Jesus Christ be crucified.

Taking his wife’s warning seriously, Pilate asks the people, “Why, what evil has He done?” (Matthew 27:23). The crowd cries out all the more for His crucifixion.

Symbolically, Pilate washes his hands and declares, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.” (Matthew 27:24).

The crowd said, “His blood be on us and on our children.” (Matthew 27:25).

The gospel of Luke says, “Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.” (Luke 23:34).

To no avail, and succumbed to the shouts and the cries of the Jews at the time, Pilate then released Barabbas and beat Jesus, and delivered Him to be crucified.


From Pilate’s Praetorium, the governor’s soldiers stripped Jesus Christ down and placed a scarlet robe on Him. They made a crown by twisting thorns and placing it on His head. The soldiers also put a reed in His right hand, bowing a knee before Him, and then began mocking Him, “Hail king of the Jews.” (Matthew 27:29). They struck Him and spat on Him. They removed the robe from Jesus Christ and placed His clothes back on Him.


From the Praetorium, Jesus began to carry His cross. A man living at the time known as Simon was a Cyrenian (Luke 23:26) and the father of Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21). Along a portion of the path that Jesus walked and dragged His cross, Simon was coming from the county, and was compelled to bear Jesus’s cross. When they arrived at Golgotha, the soldiers gave Jesus wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but Jesus Christ refused to take it. (Matthew 27:33 and Mark 15:22).

At Golgotha, iron nails were driven through Jesus’s hands and feet into the cross. The cross was then placed into the ground. According to the gospel, two other men were crucified that day, and Jesus was in the center, and the two others were on either side. Pilate wrote a sign, and it was placed on the cross. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John have slightly different variations on what was written, but they agree that it at least contained “King of the Jews.” The gospels of Luke and John describe what languages it was written in. Table 1 below cross-references the titles and the translations where applicable.

Accepting Jesus

Earlier in this article, I wrote that “Lying to Pilate, the people tell him that it was not lawful for them to put anyone to death. It is unlawful to commit murder, but it was lawful to sentence an ‘evildoer’ to death if they are deserving.”

According to the Holy Bible, the following sins called for a death sentence by stoning:

  • Anyone who passes their children to Molech (a demon that calls for the burning of children in a fire, now he calls for the burning of children in a woman’s womb (abortion) (Leviticus 20:2).

  • Anyone who consults with spirits (medium) (Leviticus 20:27).

  • Anyone who blasphemes against the Lord (Leviticus 24:16).

  • Murderers (Numbers 35:17).

  • Anyone not observing the Sabbath (day of rest) (Numbers 35:32-36).

  • A rebellious son who does not heed the voice of his mother and father, and does not take heed of those that chastened him (Deuteronomy 21:15-17)

  • Those committing harlotry (Deuteronomy 22:21)

  • Anyone committing adultery (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

  • Anyone committing rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27)

Does this mean that we commit anyone who has performed these sins to death? No! The Old Testament was the law, and the New Testament explains how the law was fulfilled by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and His ascension. We broke the law, for all have committed sin (Romans 3:23). We pay the price with our lives. God has issued the death sentence (Genesis 3:19). Yet, out of His love, mercy, and grace, God gave the perfect sacrifice—Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who paid the price for our sins when He was crucified.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth is our savior! If you are ready to accept Him in your heart as your savior, say this prayer aloud:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

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