2024-02-08
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The night before Jesus’ death, He washed his disciples’ feet and shared the Passover meal with them. At this time, Judas was revealed as the one who would betray Jesus, as detailed in John 13:1-30. At the end of the meal, Jesus established the Lord’s Supper and took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. There, He pulled John, Peter, and James away and told them to pray that they wouldn’t fall into temptation and went off alone. The three disciples promptly fell asleep.

When He was alone, Jesus was depressed, grieved, and sorrowful as He approached death. According to Luke 22:44, His sweat fell like drops of blood, and His anguish was such that His life was practically falling away from Him. He asked God to take the coming suffering from Him, but only if it was God’s will. Still, it wasn’t the anticipation of tormenting or the terrible hours on the cross that had Jesus so sorrowful. Matthew 27:46 says that the anticipation of carrying the weight of sin is what made Jesus cry out in the garden.

God sent an angel to give Jesus the strength to get through it. Jesus asked John, Peter, and James to pray that they would remain loyal to Him, but they fell asleep again. He shared His life and coming death with His disciples for three years. Then, one of them, Judas, walked up to Him, greeted Him in a friendly manner, and handed Him over to the Roman guards.

What trials did Jesus face before His crucifixion?

The night Jesus was arrested, He was brought before Caiaphas, Annas, and an assembly of religious leaders called the Sanhedrin. After this, He was taken before the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate, sent off to Herod, and returned to Pilate, who eventually sentenced Him to death. There were six parts of Jesus’ trial: three stages before a Roman court and three stages in a religious court. Jesus was tried before the former high priest, Annas, the current high priest, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin. He was charged in these priestly trials with blasphemy for claiming to be the Messiah and the Son of God.

The religious trials, or the trials before the Jewish authorities, showed the degree to which the Jewish leaders despised Him because they carelessly disregarded many of their laws. There were several violations involved in these trials from the Jewish law perspective. First, no trial was to be had during feast time, and each member of the court had to vote individually to convict or acquit, but Jesus was convicted by acclamation. Another violation was if the death penalty was given, a night had to go by before the sentence was carried out. However, only a couple of hours passed before Jesus’ crucifixion.

Technically, the Jews had no authority to execute anyone, and no trial was to be held at night. However, this trial was held before dawn. The accused was to be given representation or counsel, but Jesus didn’t have either. The last violation was the accused was not to be asked any self-incriminating questions, but they asked Jesus if He was the Christ. According to John 18:23, the trial before Roman authorities started with Pontius Pilate after Jesus was beaten. In this trial, the charges brought against Him differed from the charges in the religious trials. Jesus was charged with inciting riots, claiming to be King, and forbidding the people to pay their taxes.

Pilate didn’t have a reason to kill Jesus, so he sent Him to Herod. Herod had Jesus ridiculed but sent Jesus back to Pilate to avoid political liability. This trial was Jesus’ last, as Pilate tried to soothe the hatred of the Jews by having Jesus tormented. The Roman torment was a horrific whipping aimed to remove the flesh from the back of the one being punished. In a last-ditch effort to have Jesus released, Pilate offered to crucify the prisoner Barabbas and release Jesus, but to no avail. The crowd called for Barabbas’ release and for Jesu to be crucified. Pilate, who knew Jesus was innocent, granted their wish and surrendered Jesus to their will.

Once on the cross, Jesus had the choice of pushing up on the spikes in His feet and being able to breathe or resting His weight on the spikes driven into His hands. Those who celebrated Him a week prior now taunted Him, and He watched the Roman soldiers divvy up His possessions before He died. Jesus took in His mother’s grief as she looked up at the One who the angel promised would save the world. According to John 19:30, when the soldiers came to break His legs, a method used to speed up the death of the crucified, He was already dead because He had given up His spirit.

Why was Jesus crucified?

There’s a heavenly reason and an earthly reason why Jesus was crucified, but simply put, the heavenly reason is because God is good. The earthly reason is that humanity is evil. Malicious men conspired against Him, falsely accused Him, and murdered Him. Israel’s leaders had several reasons they wanted Jesus to be executed. They were jealous of His following and were scared that He would gather too large a following, which could bring down the Roman authorities and cause them to lose their positions. They hated the fact that Jesus publicly called out their sin and thought Him blasphemous for calling Himself the Son of God. Still, all of these reasons were symptoms of their underlying belief.

As for the heavenly reason for Jesus’ crucifixion, God had a plan to salvage sinners, and Jesus was the Lamb of God who came to remove sin from the world, according to John 1:29. Even though crucifying Jesus was wicked, the crucifixion was still the plan of God to atone for sin. We’ve all committed sins and are worthy of death, but Jesus took our place. He was publicly killed, and His blood was shed for us, as Paul explains in Romans 3:25-26.

The trials that Jesus faced before His crucifixion were simply a means to an end. The reason He was crucified is the answer that we all must come to embrace by faith and understand: Jesus was crucified to pay for our sins so that we can be forgiven and made right with God.

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