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Having appeared first before Annas, and then Caiaphas and select members of the Sanhedrin to decide upon the charges to have Him put to death, Jesus has now been judged guilty by a formal gathering of the ruling Council convened at the break of day for that purpose.  It was Thursday of Passion week, and some, like Jesus and His followers, had already celebrated the Passover, so that it was the first day of Unleavened Bread and a required sabbath day of rest.  But for the religious leaders in Jerusalem, who because of ambiguities in sighting the new moon reckoned the start of the “moonth” a day later, it was the day of preparation for the Passover that would commence at sundown, followed by a required sabbath rest on Friday for the first day of Unleavened Bread, and then the seventh day Sabbath on Saturday.  Their law would not allow them to prosecute Jesus to death during the sabbaths, which would allow His followers time to mount protests as news of His arrest spread; cf. Mat 26:3-4.  It was therefore essential that He be tried that day, which they wasted no time doing, and quickly delivered the verdict that had already been decided; see Mat 27:1, Luk 22:66-71.

What does Matthew say happened next?  See Mat 27:2; cf. Luk 23:1.  Although Jesus was bound with ropes or chains, in what way only was he truly bound?  See Act 20:22, Mat 26:39; cf. Act 12:6, 21:11-13.  Are we as bound in spirit to do the will of the Father even unto physical bonds as were Jesus, Peter, and Paul?  Although judged guilty by the words of His mouth and bound physically to be presented to Pilate as a result of the show trial before the Sanhedrin, in what much more serious way were the religious leaders bound as a consequence of their own trial in God’s higher court where they had just been found guilty by the words of their own mouths?  Cf. Mat 13:30, 22:13.  What does this remind us about the very different way that the Church binds and looses than the way the world does?  Cf. Mat 16:19, 18:18.

What prophecy had Jesus earlier made that was now being fulfilled in Mat 27:2?  See Mat 20:19, Luk 18:32-33.  Although the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus put to death, why were they very careful to not simply put Him to death themselves—maybe an “accident”, or assassination, or by an enraged mob as with Stephen (Act 7:54-60)—but took great pains to fabricate official charges against Him and go through the motions of a trial in order to deliver Him up to the Roman governor to have Him put to death?  Note that while the Romans allowed subjugated peoples a certain amount of freedom to govern themselves, they were very strict to not allow them to execute anyone for fear that such be used to undermine their own authority by executing as “criminals” those deemed traitors to the nation for any Roman sympathies.  What did the fact that this scepter to execute judgment had departed from Judah indicate about the coming of the Messiah at that time?  See Gen 49:10[1].

Unlike Stephen who was not so widely known, considering that Jesus had become a public figure through the popular support of many in the nation, in what danger would the Jewish leaders put themselves with their Roman overlords by acting against Him directly, which would surely result in popular protests against them?  See Mat 26:3-5.  How does this help to better understand the true nature of prophecy, not as a simple foretelling of the future as is often imagined, but of an intimate understanding, illuminated by the light of truth, of how sinful human nature is bound to respond to the forces of a corrupt world?  What does this also teach us about the nature of God’s omniscience being much more than just a complete knowledge of every possible fact, but because He is the Creator, a complete understanding of how His creation works, including even the manifold intricacies and machinations of men’s thoughts and motives?  Cf. 1Ch 28:9, Psa 139:2-3, Jer 17:10.  Should we be surprised then that only those are prophets who are especially close to God, and illumined by the light of His truth?  And should we be surprised that that prophetic spirit would be the strongest and most clearly evident in Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, through Whom all things were created (Joh 1:3, 1Co 8:6, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2)?  What does this also teach us about the nature of God’s sovereignty?  Think: Having a complete and intimate knowledge of how His creation works, because He is the Creator, is He not therefore able to orchestrate events to accomplish His own sovereign will, even while at the same time not restricting the free will of men who were created in His image—at least beyond the limits set by their creation?  Cf. Job 38:8-11, Psa 65:7, Pro 8:29, Isa 57:20, Mar 4:39, Rev 4:6, 15:2.

[1] Compare the LXX Genesis 49:10 A ruler shall not fail from Judah, nor a prince from his loins, until there come the things stored up for him; and he is the expectation of nations.

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