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Agony, Judas Iscariot's Kiss, Jesus Stands Trial before Pontius Pilate
Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
Jesus said these things and they sang praises.
These may have been the Passover Hymns of Psalms 113-118.
Then Jesus and His disciples went out to the Mount of Olives across from the brook Kidron [Cordon], to a place called Gethsemane where there was a garden that He and His disciples entered. Jesus said to His disciples, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Sit here, wait for me and stay awake and watch with me, while I go to pray. Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John about a stone’s throw away and He became very sorrowful and depressed and knelt down to pray. He said, “Abba Avi, [Oh Father, my Father], you can do everything; if it is possible, make this cup to pass away from me; but let it be not my will, but your will be done.”
An angel from heaven appeared to strengthen Him, but He was fearful, and prayed earnestly; and His sweat became like drops of blood. He fell on His face on the ground. [Jesus sweating blood is a near-death experience. Some theologians believe that Jesus was not praying to escape he crucifixion, but asking our Father to not let Him die that night before the crucifixion.]
Then He rose up from His prayer and returned to His disciples and found them sleeping because of distress. He said to Peter, “So, were you not able to watch with me even for one hour? Awake and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is indeed willing and ready, but the body is weak.”
He went away again a second time and prayed, saying the same words and, “Oh Father, if this cup cannot pass and I must drink it, let it be according to your will.”
He came and found them sleeping again because their eyes were heavy. He left them again and went away and prayed a third time, using the same words.
Then He came back to His disciples and said, “Sleep from now on and rest; the end has arrived and the hour is come; the Son of man will be delivered into the hands of sinners. Arise, let us go; behold, he who is to betray and deliver me has arrived.”462
462. Matthew 26:30-46; Mark 14:26; 12-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1.
Jesus Betrayed by Judas' Kiss
While Jesus was speaking, Judah of Iscariot [Judas], the traitor, one of the twelve, came with a large crowd including a company of soldiers and the guards, the high priests, the Pharisees and the elders of the people with swords and staves, lamps and torches.463 Judah knew the place, for Jesus and His disciples gathered there frequently. Judah had told them, “He whom I kiss is the one; seize him carefully and arrest him.” Then immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Peace, Master;” and he kissed him.
Jesus said to Judah, “Is it for this that you have come, my friend?” Knowing everything that was about to happen, He went out and asked them, “Whom do you want?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
Jesus answered, “I am he.” On hearing this they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus again asked them, “Whom do you want?’
They said, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
Jesus said to them, “I have told you that I am he; if then you want me, let these men go away.”
The word that Jesus prayed earlier was fulfilled, “Of those you gave me, I have not lost even one.”
Simon Peter had a sword, and he drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, whose name was Maleck [Malekh or Malchus, whose name means king or kingdom], cutting off his right ear. Jesus told Peter, “Put your sword back in its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which my Father has given me? All who take swords will die by swords. Do you think that I cannot ask my Father, and He will raise up more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”
Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out with swords and staves to arrest me like a bandit? I was with you every day, teaching in the temple and you did not arrest me. You did not even point your hands at me; but this is your time, and the power of darkness.”
A young man was following Jesus naked, except for a linen cloth wrapped around him; and they seized him, but he left the cloth, fled and ran away naked. Then all the disciples left Him and fled. But this happened that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled464. Then the soldiers and the captains and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound Him.465
463. According to Hebrew law, arrests at night are illegal, as are trials. Jesus
was tried at night.
Leviticus 19:16-18 says, "The testimony of an
accomplice is not permissible by rabbinic law. Judas was an accomplice of Jesus
throughout His ministry and aided, encouraged, and abetted Jesus in the
propagation of His faith. The arrest was not the result of a legal summons.
According to Hebrew law it was illegal to bind an uncondemned man (John 16:12)
There were 6,000 – 9,000 men in a Roman legion. Twelve legions would be 72,000 –
100,000 angels. Jesus never told a lie.
464. Psalm 41:9.
465. Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12.
Jesus Arrested, and Denied by Peter
Those who arrested Jesus brought Him first to Hannan [Annas], the father-in-law of Caiaphas the leader of the high priests that year, where the scribes and the elders had assembled. Caiaphas was the one who had counseled the Jews that it would be better for one man to die, instead of all the people. Hannan sent Jesus to Caiaphas.
Simon Peter and one of the other disciples followed at a distance and sat at a fire with the servants and soldiers warming themselves to see what would happen. Simon stood outside near the door. The high priest knew the other disciple, so he entered with Jesus into the courtyard. Then the other disciple went out and told the portress, who brought Simon Peter in. The young portress then looked at Him and said, “This man was also with him. “She asked Simon, “Are you also one of the disciples of this man? You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.”
He denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” Simon then went and stood with the servants and guards who were making the fire because it was cold.
After a little while another one saw Peter. This was a kinsman of the one whose ear Peter had cut off and said to him, “You also are one of them. Did I not see you with him in the garden?” Peter answered, “I am not.”
After an hour, another one argued, saying, “Truly, this man also was with him; for he is also a Galilean, and even your speech proves it.”
Then Peter began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the man.” At that very hour, the cock crowed. Then Jesus turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what Jesus told him, that before the cock crows twice, he will deny Jesus three times. Then Peter went outside and began to weep bitterly.
As soon as daybreak when it was morning, the high priests and the elders and the whole council were looking for witnesses against Jesus so that they could put Him to death, but they could not find any. There were many false witnesses; but finally two came forward. They said, “This man says, “I can tear down the temple of God and build it in three days” but even this testimony was not worthy.
Then the high priest stood up and said, “You are not answering anything. What is it that these men are testifying against you? Jesus was silent and did not answer.
The high priest then questioned Jesus concerning His disciples and His teaching, and Jesus said to him, “I have spoken openly to the people, and I have always taught in the synagogue and in the temple where all Jews assemble. I have spoken nothing in secret. Why do you ask? Ask those who heard what I have spoken; behold they know everything that I have said.”
Then the high priest said, “I adjure you by the living God to tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
Jesus answered, “You say that [meaning that is correct], but if I tell you, you will not believe me. If I ask you, you will not answer me nor release me; but I say to you that henceforth you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds in the sky.”
They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”
Jesus said, “You say that I am [again, meaning that is correct].”
They said, “Why then do we need witnesses? We have heard it from his own mouth.”
As He was saying these things, one of the guards who stood by struck Him on His cheek and said to Him, “Is this how you answer the high priest?”
Then the solders and others spit on Him and mocked Him and covered His head and hit him in the face, saying, “Prophecy! Who struck you?”
Jesus answered, “If I have spoken any evil, testify to the evil; but if it is good, why did you strike me?” 466
At the time of Jesus’ life, when a person asked a question and the one queried answered, “You say that.” It meant that what the person asked was true. When Jesus was asked if He is the Son of God, Jesus’ reply confirmed that He is indeed the Son of God.
It was the duty of the high priest to offer the sacrificial lamb to God to pay for our sins. Now without realizing it, Caiaphas, the high priest, would be offering Jesus, the ultimate sacrificial Lamb of God to pay for our sins once and for all (Isaiah 50:6).
466. Matthew 26:57-75; 27:1; Mark 14:53-72; 15:1; Luke 22:54-71; John 18:12-27.
Jesus Christ Stands Trial before Pontius Pilate
Then they bound Jesus again and the whole synagogue took Him from Caiaphas to the court of the praetorium, which was the judgment hall of the praetorian, the palace or residence of Pilate. It was morning, so they dared not enter the praetorium because it would defile them to break the fast before they ate the Passover meal.
Pilate went outside and asked, “What the devil do you have against this man?”
They began to accuse him saying, “We found this man misleading our people and forbidding paying the head tax to Caesar, and he says concerning himself that he is a King, even the Christ. If he were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered him to you.”467
Then Pilate said, “You are the accusers; take him yourselves, and judge him according to your own law.”
The Jews said, “We have no authority to kill anyone.” This was so that what Jesus said would be fulfilled, when He signified by what kind of death He was to die.468
Pilate then entered into the Praetorium and called to Jesus and asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?”469
Jesus told him, “Do you say this from yourself, or have others told you this?”
Pilate answered, “Why, am I a Jew? Your own people have delivered you to me. So what have you done?”
Jesus told him, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world here, my attendants would have fought for me so that I would not be delivered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not yet from here.
Pilate said, “Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You are saying that I am a king470. I was born for this, and for this very thing I came to the world, that I may witness concerning the truth. Whoever is of the truth will hear my voice.”
Pilate asked, “Who is the Truth?” As he asked, he went out again to the Jews and told them, “I am unable to find even one fault against him. Since you have a feast, I can release one of you for the Passover.”
It was the custom on every feast to release one prisoner whom they asked for. They shouted, “He has stirred up our people, teaching throughout Judea and beginning from Galilee even to this place!”
When Pilate heard the name Galilee, he asked if this man was a Galilean. He knew that he was under Herod and sent Him to Herod, because he was in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad because he had wanted to see Jesus for a long time, since he had heard many things about Him and he hoped to see Him perform a miracle. So Herod asked Him many questions, but Jesus gave no answer. Then the high priests stood up and accused Him bitterly. Herod and his soldiers insulted Jesus and dressed Him in a scarlet robe and sent him back to Pilate.
That day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other; for there had been a long-standing enmity between them.
While the chief priests and elders were accusing Him, Jesus stood before the governor, and gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how much they testify against you?”
Jesus did not answer him, not even a word; and because of this, the governor marveled greatly.
Then Pilate told the Jews, “You have a custom that I should release one prisoner to you at the Passover; do you wish therefore, that I release to you this king of the Jews who is called the Christ?”
They all cried out, “Not him, but Bar-Abba!” Bar-Abba [Barabbas] was a bandit who was imprisoned for sedition, robbery and murder, and was held prisoner with other murderers. [The name Bar-Abba means Son of His Father, and Jesus was also the Son of His Father. Thus it was ironic that the Jews cried out to release both a robber and murderer and Jesus, the Son of God, the Father.]
Pilate asked them, “What evil has he done?”
They shouted, “Crucify him!” Pilate knew that they had brought Jesus to him because of envy. While he was sitting on his judgment seat, his wife sent for him and told him, “Have nothing to do with this righteous man; for today I have suffered a great deal in my dreams because of him.”
Pilate’s wife was Claudia Procula, the illegitimate daughter of Claudia, the third wife of Tiberius, and was the granddaughter of Augustus Caesar. When Pilate was appointed Procurator of Judea, he was allowed the very unusual privilege of taking his wife with him.
The high priests and the elders urged the people to ask for Bar-Abba and to destroy Jesus. The governor asked again, “Which of these two do you want me to release to you?” They cried out, “Bar-Abba!” Bar-Abba was one the vilest of criminals and it was such as these that Jesus, without sin, would be punished by God to pay for the sins of all sinners. This was God’s way of punishing Himself for the evil humans that He created.
So Pilate said, “What, then should I do with Jesus who is called the Christ” They all shouted, “Let him be crucified! If you release this man you are not a friend of Caesar; for whoever makes himself a king is against Caesar.”
When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and confusion was increasing, he took water and washed his hands in front of the people and said.” I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; do as you please.”
The people answered, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.”
Pilate released Bar-Abba to them and had Jesus scourged with whips and delivered to be crucified. It was the custom for Roman soldiers to whip prisoners before crucifixion. The whips had sharp objects tied to the ends, such as broken seashells, broken bones or pieces of iron. Usually thirty-nine lashes were inflicted, as the prisoner would often die upon the fortieth blow. Jesus probably had His arms tied around a marble column. As they whipped, the sharp objects not only bruised His flesh, but also cut into it, shredding the muscles of our Lord's back.
The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and stuck it on His head; and they covered Him with purple robes and said, “Peace be to you, Oh king of the Jews!” and they struck Him on His cheeks. This cohort or band of soldiers was about 600 men.
Pilate again went outside and said to the people, “Behold, I bring him outside to you, so that you may know that I did not find a single cause against him.”
So Jesus went outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robes. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man.”
When the high priests and the guards saw Him, they cried out again, “Crucify him!”
And Pilate said, “You take him and crucify him; for I find no cause in him.”
The Jews told Pilate, “We have a law; and according to our law he is guilty of death because he made himself the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, so he went back into the Praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where do you come from?” Jesus did not answer him. Pilate said, “Will you not speak even to me? Do you not know that I have the authority to release you, and I also have the authority to crucify you?”471
Jesus said, “You would not have any authority whatever over me if it had not been given you from above. For this reason, the sin of him who delivered me to you is greater than yours.”
So Pilate wanted to release him; but the Jews cried out, “If you release him, you are not a friend of Caesar, for whoever makes himself a king is against Caesar.”
When Pilate heard this again, he brought Jesus outside and sat down on the judgment seat at a place that is called the Stone Pavement, but in Hebrew is called Gabbatha. It was Friday of the Passover, about six o’clock; and he said to the Jews, “Behold your king.”
They cried out, “Take him away and crucify him!” And Pilate said, “Shall I crucify your king?” and the high priests said, “We have no king but Caesar.”
They spat in His face and struck His head with a reed and fell on their knees and worshipped Him. Then Pilate delivered Jesus to the soldiers to crucify Him.”472
Jesus was God, and came to earth as a Jew to save God’s chosen people because God loves the Jews. In Genesis 12:3 God tells Abraham that He will bless those that bless the descendants of Abraham and curse those that curse them. The first apostles, including Paul, were Jews.
The Jewish population did not kill Jesus, but have been blamed ever since. Jesus was killed by evil men: Pontius Pilate who tried not to be evil, the evil chief priest Caiaphas, the evil king Herod and the scribes and Pharisees who followed Caiaphas. The Jewish people loved Jesus. They followed Him wherever He went. Three thousand to five thousand Jewish people would gather wherever Jesus spoke, totaling at least two hundred thousand or many more Jews that believed that Jesus was the much prophesied Messiah. They loved listening to Him, being healed by Jesus and seeing others healed. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, word spread quickly throughout Israel, and all but a handful of evil Jewish leaders were amazed and worshipped Jesus.
After Jesus was crucified many believers began to doubt that Jesus was the Messiah; but after Jesus arose from the dead and was seen by more than five hundred Jews, crowds of two thousand Jews would come to hear the Apostles speak, and would become Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, and were willing to die for Jesus, rather than deny Him.
Descendants of those Jewish people who loved Jesus have been hated and persecuted by Christians and by most all nations except the United States ever since. This is a great travesty, especially because the Jewish people should be loved by all Christians, and all Christians should bless Israel and not curse them. It is an absolute certainty, because God never told a lie, that the Islamic terrorists who are now cursing and killing Jews will be cursed by God.
In a trial for life, if the witnesses’ testimony was demonstrably false, the
penalty for bearing false witness was death by stoning. This is because the
death sentence was based solely on the accusation of the witnesses.
468. The Jews put criminals to death by stoning them; if Pilate where to authorize the death, it would be by crucifixion. Jesus predicted this in Matthew 20:18-19; John 3:14; 12:32-33.
469. The first time the word “Jew” is used in the Bible is in 2nd Kings 16:6 where both Israel and its Syrian ally are at war with the Jews. The southern kingdom was led by the tribe of Judah, from which the word Jews, meaning Judeans, is used. Jerusalem was the capital of the two tribes of Judah. The other ten tribes were the northern kingdom, and were never called Jews, but were the “Lost Ten Tribes” in the Old Testament.
470. For a Jew to say, “you say that,” is a Hebrew polite way of saying, “what you say is true.”
471. After the testimonies had broken down, it was illegal for Pilate to cross examine Jesus. He should have acquitted Him. Pilate was illegally trying to supply the necessary grounds that the witnesses were unable to produce for a conviction.
472. Matthew 27:2-30; Mark 15:1-19; Luke 23:1-25; John 18: 28-40; 19:1-16.
Then when Judah the traitor saw that Jesus was convicted, repented. He went away and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief high priests and the elders. He told them, “I have sinned because I betrayed innocent blood.”
They said, “What is that to us? That is your problem.” Then Judah threw the coins into the temple and left, and went and hung himself.
The high priests took the coins and said, “It is not lawful for us to put this into the house of offerings, because it is blood money.” So they counseled, and used the money to buy the potter’s field to be used as a cemetery for foreigners. That is why that field is called ‘The Field of Blood’ to this day.
Thus the prophecy that was said by the prophet was fulfilled473:
“And I said to them, ‘If it seems good in your sight, give me my wages; and if not, then you are doing me injustice.’ So they weighed for my wages thirty pieces of silver. The LORD said to me, ‘Cast it into the treasury; a goodly price that I was prized of them.’ And I took the thirty pieces of silver and cast them into the treasury in the house of the LORD.”474
473. Matthew 27:3-10.
474. Zechariah 11:12-13.
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