14 Apr. Mark 14:53-59

14 Apr. Jesus is tried by the Jewish Council

"The people who arrested Jesus led him [at dawn] to the house of the high priest [Caiaphas], where all the leading priests, the Jewish elders and the teachers of the law were gathered."

"Peter followed far behind and entered the courtyard of the high priest's house. There he sat [outside in the cool early morning air] with the guards, warming himself by the fire."

"The leading priests and the whole Jewish council [the 'Sanhedrin'} tried to find something that Jesus had done wrong so they could kill him. But the council could find no proof of anything."

"Many people came and told false things about him, but all said different things - none of them agreed."

"Then some people stood up and lied about Jesus, saying, 'We heard this man say, "I will destroy this Temple that people make. And three days later, I will build another Temple not made by people."' But even the things these people said did not agree."

          (Mark 14:53-59)

 

 

At dawn on the Friday morning, just before 6.00am, Jesus was moved across the old city and brought before Caiaphas - the current Jewish High Priest - who was the leader of the Jewish Council (the 'Sanhedrin') (see 3 on the map on 10 Apr).

Caiaphas was determined to bring a successful religious charge of blasphemy against Jesus, and then to get this translated into a political charge of treason against the Roman Emperor (which would enable the Jewish leaders to get Jesus crucified by the Romans on a capital charge).

Caiaphas was the Jewish leader who had advocated Jesus's death in order to maintain the political alliance between the Jewish religious authorities and the Roman civil authorities, and it was Caiaphas who had earlier said, "You people know nothing. You don't realise that it is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole [Jewish] nation to be destroyed." (John 11:50)

The reference to Jesus's prediction of the downfall of the Jewish Temple (see Luke 21:5-24) was particularly apt, as Caiaphas himself had said of Jesus, "This man is doing many miracles. If we let him continue doing these things, everyone will believe in him [as the Jewish Messiah who is expected to challenge the Romans]. Then the Romans will come and take away our Temple and our nation." (John 11:48)

This is, of course, exactly what happened in 70AD when the Jews rose up against the Romans, culminating in the destruction of the Temple and the expulsion of all Jews from the Roman province of Palestine.

But even the 'evidence' for Jesus predicting the Roman overthrow of the Temple became confused with Jesus's prediction that his own body (literally the 'Temple' where God dwelt) would be destroyed by his death on a cross and would be replaced with a new resurrection body (a new 'Temple' where God dwelt in the form of the Holy Spirit).

False witnesses testified against Jesus but their stories conflicted. The evidence was contradictory, and there was no proof that Jesus had done anything wrong - never mind anything which justified the death penalty. So the wily chief priest decided at this point that a change in tack was needed if he was to successfully bring a charge of blasphemy against Jesus.

The photo shows the western wall of the Temple mount in Jerusalem and the site of the Jewish Temple.

You can read more about Jesus's trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/6-jesu…/jesus-is-arrested/


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