Whereas Mathew and Mark emphasized Jesus’ interrogation during the night where His guilt was predetermined, and John—who wrote after the other gospels had already reported the essential account—added the initial examination with Annas to emphasize his role in the injustice, Luke emphasized the official trial before the Sanhedrin. It was a kangaroo court convened at the first light of day to approve the sentence already determined by Caiaphas and his toadies at the behest of Annas, whose lucrative temple merchandising stood to suffer from Jesus’ continued teaching, and which also threatened their own rule and standing over the nation. The trial was short, for time was of the essence to also present Jesus to Pilate first thing in the morning in order that He might be put to death before the celebration of their Passover began that evening, followed by two consecutive sabbaths—one for the first day of Unleavened Bread, and then the seventh day Sabbath. Had He not been put to death immediately, His arrest would have been a powder keg that would surely have exploded as news spread by the manifold fuses of His many supporters and the free time they had with family and friends to mount a protest.
What does Luke record was the charge for which He was tried and convicted by the Sanhedrin, and how was that a reflection of what Caiaphas’ earlier interrogation had decided upon? See Luk 22:67,70, Mat 26:63,65-66. Notice the twofold nature of the charge: Jesus’ claim to be the Christ or Messiah, and His claim to be the Son of God. Whereas in Matthew’s account of the earlier interrogation Caiaphas seemed to equate these two as synonymous at least in regard to Jesus’ claims, is that necessarily the case here in Luke’s account of the trial before the Sanhedrin? Whereas the Council began inquiring if He was the Christ, what led them to inquire if He was the Son of God? See Luk 22:67-70. Why was it pointless for Jesus to tell them that He was the Christ? I.e., what prevented them from believing that He was the Christ? Think: was He the sort of Messiah they would accept? What question in regard to the circumstances might Jesus have asked, that they would not answer (Luk 22:68), that also forms a natural bridge to His words in Luk 22:69, and the Council’s response in Luk 22:70? See Mat 22:42-45, and notice that Jesus was quoting there from Psalm 110:1, to which He is also referring in Luk 22:69.
What else does Psa 110:1-2 say that the members of the Council would have been familiar with? In what ways did those words prove true in the time to come, that culminated in 70 a.d. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the entire Jewish nation? See also Psa 110:5-6. Hence, although they supposed they were trying Him, in what way were they on trial themselves? Think: by refusing to believe the Scriptures that spoke of Jesus, or even answer His question that would help them to see the truth, and just going along with Annas and Caiaphas and using their power to condemn Him in order to save their own fleshly lives in this world, in what way were they and the nation they represented being judged guilty? In what way do we as His disciples also judge the world in regard to righteousness when faced with similar circumstances and rather than denying the truth to save our lives, we take up our cross and lay down our lives by bearing witness to the truth? Cf. Mat 19:28, 1Co 6:2, Col 3:1, Rev 2:26-27, 3:21. What was it that allowed Jesus to act in truth at that time in spite of the circumstances, that is also required for us to act similarly when facing the same trials? See Heb 10:39-11:2,6.
We see then that by unjustly judging Jesus guilty, those on the Sanhedrin, along with Annas and Caiaphas, were themselves judged guilty. Although Jesus’ sentence would be carried out that day, again, in what way would the sentence for their guilty verdict be carried out in the years to come? Although that sentence was not immediate by our standards, was it any less certain? See Nah 1:3, Deut 32:35. What encouragement should that give us when faced with the injustice of our own cross? At the same time, for what reason does God tarry in bringing judgment, whether upon individuals or more collectively upon nations? See 2Pe 3:7-9, 1Ti 1:12-16 and consider that as the former Paul was ravaging the Church, the saints might also have wondered why God tarried in bringing judgment upon him. See also Rom 9:17 and consider that God is under no obligation to execute judgment immediately, even upon those for whom it is certain, as He may still use them to accomplish His own wise purposes.
The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?