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CXXVIII.

Third Stage of Jewish Trial. Jesus Formally Condemned by the Sanhedrin and Led to Pilate.

(Jerusalem. Friday After Dawn.)

A Matt. XXVII. 1, 2; B Mark XV. 1; C Luke XXII. 66–23:1; D John XVIII. 28.

a 1 Now when morning was come, c 66 And as soon as it was day, b straightway c the assembly of the 703elders of the people was gathered together, both chief priests and scribes; and they led him away into their council, a all the chief priests and { b with} the elders a of the people b and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and a took counsel against Jesus to put him to death [Since blasphemy was by no means a criminal offense among the Romans, the Sanhedrin consulted together and sought for some charge of which the Romans would take notice. As we follow their course it will become evident to us that they found no new ground of accusation against Jesus, and, failing to do so, they decided to make use of our Lord's claim to be the Christ by so perverting it as to make him seem to assert an intention to rebel against the authority of Rome]: c saying, 67 If thou art the Christ, tell us. But he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe [as experience had already proven—John viii. 59; x. 31]: 68 and if I ask you, ye will not answer. [Thus Jesus protests against the violence and injustice of his trial. His judges were asking him whether he was the Christ without any intention of investigating the truth of his claim, but merely for the purpose of condemning him by unwarrantedly assuming that he was not the Christ. They therefore asked in an unlawful spirit as well as in an unlawful manner. Jesus had a good right to ask them questions tending to confirm his Christhood by the Scripture, but had he done so they would not have answered—Matt. xxii. 41–45. Jesus appeals to them to try the question as to who he was, but they insist on confining the inquiry as to who he claimed to be, assuming that the claim was false.] 69 But from henceforth shall the Son of man be seated at the right hand of the power of God. [See p. 698.] 70 And they all said, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. [The Hebrew mode of expression, equivalent to “Ye say it, because I am.”] 71 And they said, What further need have we of witness? for we ourselves have heard from his own mouth. [Thus they unconsciously admit their lack of evidence against Jesus.] 7041 And the whole company of them rose up, a 2 and they bound b Jesus, and carried { a led} him away, d 28 They lead Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium: c and brought him before Pilate. b and delivered him up to Pilate. a the governor. d and it was early; [The Sanhedrin could try and could condemn, but could not put to death without the concurring sentence of the Roman governor. To obtain this sentence, they now lead Jesus before Pilate in the early dawn, having made good use of their time.]

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