JESUS BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN.
Caiaphas, the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. But I tell you: From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy; what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!” Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?” Mt 26:63-68.
After daybreak, Jesus was then tried before the chief priests and the scribes, presumably in the Temple, and again was found guilty of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death according to the Jewish law.
“And they all said, ‘Are you the Son of God, then?’ And he said to them, ‘You say that I am.’ And they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips (Lk 22:70-71).”
However, since permission for such execution to take place, Jesus was brought to the governing Roman authority, Pontius Pilate. This time, however, he was cunningly presented by his accusers as a self-appointed king against the Roman rule, and not as a blasphemer, as previously condemned by the Sanhedrin. For what reason? His accusers wanted to assure that the death execution was to be handed to Jesus by Pilate.
Pilate, however, made no charges against Jesus and sent him to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Judas, who in turn, made no charges and sent him again to Pilate
POINTS FOR MEDITATION
1.Let us place ourselves in Jesus’ situation to realize what He experienced during that terrible Thursday night. For 12 hours, from 9pm of Thursday to 9am of Friday, without having rested and slept even the entire night, Jesus suffered:
- an intense EMOTIONAL STATE OF ANGUISH (evidenced by the hematidrosis);
- GREAT INTERIOR SUFFERING caused by the WOUNDING BETRAYAL by Judas, HURTFUL DENIALS by Peter, disappointing ABANDONMENT by his disciples;
- PHYSICAL BEATING AND HUMILIATION from the hands of the guards who spat on him, spanked him, struck him on the face together with the reviling insults against the Son of Man;
- and the TIREDNESS caused by being forced to walk from one place of trial to another, approximately 4,0 kilometers (Cf. William D. Edwards, et al., “ON THE PHYSICAL DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST” in “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” March 21, 1986, Volume 256).
2. See where PRIDE, ENVY AND HATRED lead to?
- The scribes and Pharisees, out of envy and pride were blinded by their hatred, condemning an innocent man to death. And they employed all deceitful means to make Jesus suffer. Let us resolve to overcome our pride and envy in their most subtle manifestations.
- Like the guards, we MOCK JESUS everytime we sin.
- Let us not forget that Jesus suffers anew everytime we offend Him with our deliberate sins. It is as if we subject him to the same physical beating, insult, humiliation and mockery, everytime we commit sins. Let us NOT SUBJECT JESUS TO FURTHER SUFFERING DUE TO OUR SINS.
No more, Jesus, no more. I don’t want you to suffer more due to my pride, envy, malice, indifference, ingratitude… Grant me the grace to abhor and avoid that which would cause you further suffering. I ask you pardon for all my sins and the grace to offer up the sufferings I experience in my daily life in reparation for my sins and that of the whole world.
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