I. "THEN THEY LED JESUS FROM CAIAPHAS UNTO THE HALL OF JUDGMENT."
A. In verse 24, we are told that Jesus was taken from Annas to Caiaphas. Nothing is mentioned by John concerning the trial before Caiaphas.
1. As we said earlier, it was necessary to bring Jesus to Caiaphas in order that he might bring him to the Roman government, for Annas was not recognized by Rome.
2. Matthew tells us concerning the trial before Caiaphas.
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led [him] away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, [yet] found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
And said, This [fellow] said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what [is it which] these witness against thee?
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote[him] with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
3. It was necessary to bring Him before Rome in order to get the sentence of crucifixion.
a. Though the Jews on occasion would stone a person to death, and Rome did not seem to bother, such as with the case of Stephen, yet to get a sentence of death by crucifixion was necessary to go to Rome.
b. Jesus must be crucified in order to fulfill the prophecies of Psalm 22
, and Isaiah 52
, plus His own predictions.
c. He said that the Son of man was to be betrayed and crucified. Matt. 26:2
d. John 12:32
"And I if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me." This He said, signifying what death He should die.
4.Before Caiaphas, the charges have now been established and they can now take Him before Pilate.
a. The charges that they bring before Pilate are far different from the charges that they affirmed before the high priest.
b. Before the priest, Jesus affirmed that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. That is when Jesus was accused of blasphemy, and they said that He was worthy of death.
c. Before Pilate they will charge Him with insurrection against Rome, by claiming to be the king of the Jews.
d. Pilate asked Jesus if He were the King of the Jews.
B. John tells us, "And it was early."
1. The night before Jesus was with His disciples eating the Passover supper.
2. From there they went to the Garden of Gethsemene where they no doubt spent a good deal of time.
3. It was probably after midnight when He was arrested and taken before Annas, and then Caiaphas. It is now early in the morning as they bring Jesus to Pilate.
4. The trial before Pilate will take some time, but by nine in the morning Jesus will be hanging on the cross.
C. "They themselves would not go into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled."
1. It was their desire to participate in the Passover observances, thus to go into the house or place of a Gentile would make them according to their understanding of the law unclean.
a. What a paradox, here they are committing the worse crime in the history of mankind, yet religiously following the customs of their religion.
b. They would not want to offend God by entering into the place of a Gentile, yet they are crucifying the Son of God.
c. This surely shows us the blindness of traditional religion.
2. When they would walk down the street, they would hold their robe close to their body lest the swinging robe touch a Gentile or a woman, and thus make them unclean.
a. No wonder Jesus railed on them for straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel.
b. He told them that by their traditions they had made the law of God of no effect.
II. SO PILATE CAME OUT TO THEM, AND INQUIRED AS TO WHAT ACCUSATION THEY WERE BRINGING AGAINST HIM.
A. Notice they did not answer the question of Pilate. Instead they said, "If He were not a malefactor, we would not have brought Him to you."
B. Pilate came right back to them and said, "Then you take Him and judge Him by your laws."
1. If they have no charges to prefer against Him, Pilate was going to have nothing to do with the whole affair.
C. They answered Pilate, "It is not lawful for us to put a man to death."
1. Now we see their villainy, they are wanting a death sentence.
2. Not just a death sentence, but a death by crucifixion.
3. In verse 32 John makes a commentary, "That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which He spake signifying what death he should die."
And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify [him]: and the third day he shall rise again.
Ye know that after two days is [the feast of] the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
III. "THEN PILATE ENTERED INTO THE JUDGMENT HALL AGAIN, AND CALLED JESUS AND SAID UNTO HIM, ARE YOU THE KING OF THE JEWS?"
A. This is no doubt the charge that they made against Jesus before Rome.
1. When a man was crucified, they would put the charges for which he was crucified above his head on the cross, to be a warning to others of the penalty of a crime against Rome.
2. The accusation that was put above the head of Jesus was, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."
a. Remember how the priests were upset about the accusation and came to Pilate, and asked that it be changed. He said that He was not the king of the Jews, and Pilate responded, "What I have written, I have written."
B. Pilate is also asking Jesus to incriminate Himself.
1. Jesus did not at first give to him a yes or no answer, He asked Pilate, "Do you want to know this for yourself, or did others tell you of Me?"
2. Again Jesus takes control over the situation, and He becomes the interrogator.
3. Pilate asked, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you unto Me, what have You done?"
C. Rather than answering the question, "What have you done?" for He had done nothing, Jesus went back to the first question, "Are You the king of the Jews."
1. Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world, if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight to keep Me from being delivered to you."
2. There is so much here that I am going to wait until the next lesson to get into this portion.