The Trial of Jesus

(Matt. 27:1-31; Mark 15:1-20; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16)

After the Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus and condemned Him to death, they took Him to the Roman governor named Pilate to have Him tried. This was because the Romans would not let the Jews put anyone to death. In front of Pilate the Jews began to accuse Jesus of many things, most of them were lies. They said He told people not to pay taxes to the Romans; they said He told people that He Himself was a king called Christ. So Pilate took Jesus inside and asked Him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus told him, "My kingdom is not of this world." Then Pilate said, "So you are a king." Jesus answered, "You are saying it." Then Pilate went out to the people and for the first time that morning Pilate told them, "I find nothing wrong with this man."

But the Jewish leaders called out, "He causes trouble among the people, from Galilee to here." When Pilate heard this, he asked if Jesus were from Galilee. When he found out that He was, he sent Him over to Herod, the king over Galilee, who was visiting in Jerusalem. Herod was glad to see Jesus because he hoped to see Him do a miracle. But Jesus would not talk to this murderer of John the Baptist. So Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus. Then they put some beautiful clothes on Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate.

Now every year at the Passover feast, Pilate would let one prisoner out of jail. When the people started asking for him to do so this year, he asked, "Whom shall I let go: Jesus or Barabbas?" Now Barabbas was a robber and a murderer. Then the chief priests got the people to ask for Barabbas. So Pilate asked, "Then what shall I do with Jesus?" The people cried out, "Crucify Him!" Pilate answered, "What has He done bad? I find nothing wrong with Him. I will whip Him and let Him go." But they shouted even more, "Crucify Him!"

So Pilate had the soldiers whip Jesus. The soldiers also made a crown out of thorns and put it on Jesus' head. They put a purple robe on Him and made fun of Him and slapped Him. Then Pilate brought Him outside to the people and said, "I find nothing wrong with Him. Look, the man!" But the people cried out, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" But Pilate answered, "I find nothing wrong with Him!" Then the people said, "He ought to die, because He says He is the Son of God." This made Pilate afraid, so he took Jesus back inside and asked Him, "Where are you from?" But Jesus would not tell him.

So Pilate went back outside and told the people that he was going to let Jesus go. They replied, "If you let this man go, you are not Caesar's friend." Now Pilate had been made governor by a prime minister who had recently been killed for plotting to kill the emperor Caesar. When he heard this, he was afraid for his job and so he brought Jesus outside. He asked the Jews, "Shall I crucify your king?" Then they said, "We have no king but Caesar." So Pilate called for a bowl of water and washed his hands in front of them and said, "I am not responsible for shedding this man's blood." The people replied, "May the responsibility for shedding His blood be on us and on our children." So Pilate let Barabbas go free and ordered for Jesus to be nailed to a cross.

And so Jesus Christ, the Son of God who had done nothing wrong, was condemned to die because the Jewish leaders were jealous and the governor was afraid he might lose his job. But that is not the real reason He had to die. The One who had done nothing wrong had to die because we have done many things wrong. He died in out place; only a man who had never sinned could do that and Jesus did it for us. But His death takes away our sins only if we accepted Him as your Lord and Savior? Or do you, like Pilate, care more about other things?

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