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The multiple trials of Christ are referenced in each of the Gospels, but neither Gospel reports all of the trials and with them in order (Matt. 26:57–27:31; Mk. 14:53-64; 15:1-15; Lu. 22:63–23:25; Jo. 18:12-14, 19-24, 28-38; 19:1-16). It appears that there were two main trials, a Jewish trial and a Roman trial; and each of these trials had three parts. For the Jewish trial there was: Annas, Caiaphas, and the Council; and for the Roman: Pilate, Herod, and Pilate.

Jewish Trial

Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas (Jo. 18:13-15, 19-24) – After His arrest Jesus was carried to Annas, a former high priest; the answer of Jesus to a question by Annas caused Jesus to be struck with the palm of a hand; it was here that Peter began to deny Christ; Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas.

Caiaphas, the high priest, along with the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders (Matt. 26:57-66; Mk. 14:53-64; Lu. 22:54) – Before Caiaphas false witnesses were brought and to their accusations Jesus made no comment; they spat in His face, beat Him, and struck Him; Jesus did inform the high priest that he would see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven; when he heard this the high priest torn his clothes and accused Jesus of blasphemy; all this occurred during the night after Jesus was arrested in the early evening.

Council, the Sanhedrin (Mk. 15:1; Lu. 22:66-71) – In the morning the Council met, and Jesus was asked if He was the Son of God; He answered: “You rightly say that I am”; after deliberation the Council sent Jesus to Pilate.

Roman Trial

Pilate (Matt. 27:1-2, 11-14; Mk. 15:1-5; Lu. 23:1-5; Jo. 18:28-38) – After He was accused Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews; Jesus answered: “It is as you say”; Pilate said he found no fault in Christ; after being informed that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod (Lu. 23:6-12) – Herod was glad to see Jesus and hoped to witness a miracle; to Herod Jesus says nothing even though He is vehemently accused by the priests and scribes; Herod treated Jesus with contempt, placing a robe on Him and sending Him back to Pilate.

Pilate (Matt. 27:15-26; Mk. 15:6-15; Lu. 23:11-25; Jo. 18:39-19:16) – three times Pilate proclaims the innocence of Jesus and offers to chastise Him but the crowd wants Jesus crucified; they choose Barabbas and demand that Jesus be crucified; Pilate issues the sentence of death.

Even a superficial reading of the accounts reveals that neither the Jewish trials or the Roman trials were proper or legal. The decision to crucify Christ was not based on evidence but because the Governor succumbed to the wishes of the crowd. After Pilate had said: “I find no fault in Him,” he condemned Christ to death.

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