Spring, 30 AD. Early this morning at approximately 1:30 AM, Jesus was accosted and arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by Temple Guards of the Sanhedrin. Judas, one of his disciples betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver. During the arrest, according to an eyewitness by the name of John, “Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” Another eyewitness by the name of Luke states, “Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.”
The reason Jesus was in the Garden was that he was praying. It is reported that earlier that night, he and his disciples enjoyed a supper together. Judas then left the group, and it is reported that he went directly to the Sanhedrin to sell out his Rabbi, Jesus. Afterwards, at about 1:00 AM, Jesus and the eleven remaining disciples went to the Garden to pray.
Jesus was then arrested and taken at night before the Sanhedrin to stand trial for his offenses. Now according to Jewish law, a trial at night is against the law, but apparently, the Sanhedrin felt that Jesus needed to be convicted right away. They took him to Caiaphas house to try to get a conviction and an immediate death sentence. In the Jewish trial Caiaphas asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus answered “Yes.”
The following is Mark’s account, who was an eyewitness that went to the Palace of Caiaphas. Mark states, “Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again, the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.”
They convicted him of proclaiming that he was the Son of God and King of the Jews. Those were his only crimes according to eyewitnesses. The Sanhedrin and Caiaphas pronounced sentence that he should die. Since the Sanhedrin could not actually carry out the sentence, they waited for morning to take Jesus before Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman official in charge of the region.
While in custody of the Sanhedrin, it is reported that the Temple guards struck Jesus several times. While Jesus was in custody, Peter, one of Jesus disciples, denied knowing him on three separate occasions that morning. It is reported that Jesus stated while having dinner with his disciples the night before that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed. Jesus exact words as reported by Matthew, “Jesus said to Peter, Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” On three separate occasions that morning, Peter in fact denied Jesus and when he realized it, Peter grieved.
At 6:30 AM, according to John, “they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. So, Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So, Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose, I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber. Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So, Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”
John goes on to describe what happened next. “The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So, Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore, he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So, when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So, he delivered him over to them to be crucified.”
Our eyewitness, John, saw the entire account. John stated that after they beat him within an inch of his life, they made him carry a cross throughout the town streets with a cloak and a crown of thorns pierced on his head. Jesus was in such agony. He was bloody and thirsty and so weak that he could barely walk. The wooden cross beam was so heavy that the Romans forced another Jewish man to help him carry the beam.
John states, “So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So, the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also, his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So, the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
It was about 3:00 PM according to John. John states, “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said, “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So, the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again, another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.”
“After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So, he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So, they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So, because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”
In another eyewitness account, Matthew states, “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”
In previous accounts, Jesus had said that he would die for the redemption of sin. It is reported that he said that after he died, he would rise again. We will see what happens as today is Saturday, and he has officially been in the tomb for two days.
Disciples Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Republished: Copyright © April 2, 2021. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.