Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Luke 23:1-12

v. 1-5 Then Jesus was lead to Pilate for the next trial.  The leaders spoke against Jesus to Pilate saying, "We have found this man subverting our nation.  He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king."  Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?"  Jesus replied, "Yes, it is as you say."  Pilate's judgment was, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."  The leaders were upset and said that He stirred up the people by His teachings.

The religious leaders took Jesus before Pilate who was the Roman governor of Judea.  Pilate could either risk his political future by provoking the Jews to complain to Rome about his leadership or he could condemn a man he thought to be innocent.  Subverting means: to overthrow; cause the downfall, ruin or destruction of; undermine the principles of, or corrupt.  This is exactly what the leaders were doing to their beliefs by accusing Jesus of doing the same.  The leaders accused Jesus of opposing payment of taxes to Rome, which was a lie.  They thought that this would be an issue for Rome due to their collections throughout the entire empire.  They added on at the end that Jesus claimed to be a king, which might also upset the Roman leaders since they were in charge and would not have wanted any rebellion from the Jewish people.  Pilate did not see Jesus as a threat to the Roman empire nor to any local laws.  The enemy will make an appeal to those that oppose your beliefs to find the greatest insult to their beliefs.  The leaders were right that Jesus stirred up the people by His teachings, they were teaching some of God laws and many man made laws and Jesus was teaching the truth and God's love.

v. 6-12 Pilate asked if Jesus was a Galilean, when he learned Jesus was under Herod's jurisdiction he sent them to Herod.  "When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see Him.  From what he had heard about Him, he hoped to see Him perform some miracle.  He plied Him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.  The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing Him.  Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked Him.  Dressing him in elegant robe, they sent Him back to Pilate.  That day Herod and Pilate became friends-before this they had been enemies."

Pilate did not want to deal with this situation so he sent Jesus to Herod.  Herod had wanted to see Jesus perform miracles.  Why did Jesus respond to Pilate, but not Herod?  Pilate was trying to be diplomatic and Jesus answered him.  When Herod was asking Jesus questions He was silent.  Herod wanted a show and when he didn't get it he and his men started mocking Jesus.  Jesus knew that when hearts were hard there was no reason to respond.  Some situations we are to speak up and others we are to remain quiet, our task is to learn how to do this.  This was the same Herod who killed John the Baptist so there was no compassion in him.  The religious leaders were vehemently accusing Jesus of His "crimes."  They did not want to see Him set free so they continued with great hatred, hostility, and violent anger to prove they were right.  Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate as not guilty.  Until then Pilate and Herod were enemies.  Pilate replaced the spot formally filled by Herod's ineffective half brother.  Sometimes enemies will unite for a common reason, this issue brought them together.  During trials in our life we will face adversaries, many times it will be from all sides and repeatedly.  I wonder with as much effort people place on ruining other's lives what they could have done good with that energy instead.  Hatred is a lot of work and it will only ruin yourself in the end.

"Trial before Annas (powerful ex-high priest) - he may have still wielded much power 
Trial before Caiaphas (ruling high priest) - to gather evidence for the Sanhedrin hearing
Trial before the Sanhedrin - formal religious trial and condemnation to death
Trial before Pilate (highest Roman authority) - all death sentences needed Roman approval
Trial before Herod (ruler of Galilee) - courteous and guilt-sharing act by Pilate
Trial before Pilate - Pilate's last effort to avoid condemning an obviously innocent man"

"The verdict was predecided, but certain 'legal' procedures were necessary.  A lot of effort went into condemning and crucifying an innocent man.  Jesus went through an unfair trail in our place so that we would not have to face trial and receive the well-deserved punishment for our sins."
                                                                                                                                                  NIV notes

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