Jesus was dragged back and forth between ruling authorities six different times on the day of His crucifixion. We see the symbolism of six in that six is the number of man. Mankind was made to work six days (Walmart would say seven) and rest on the seventh. Jesus was forced to endure six unjust trials, but endured these to secure the salvation for all who would believe. (Romans 1:16, Hebrews 5:9) Jesus actually faced another Judge, His Father, for a seventh trial. (Matt. 27:46) At this point, He was accepted as the fulfillment of the law, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. It was finished. (Luke 23:46, John 19:30) The Lord is utterly amazing in all His ways!
THE SIX TRIALS OF JESUSBy James A. Turner
I. BEFORE ANNAS
1. John 18
band and the chief captain, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound
him, and led him to Annas
first : for
he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest
2. Annas had been removed by Roman authority, but evidently the rulers of the Jews still counted him as high priest.
3. Annas questioned Jesus, and one of his officers struck Jesus with his hand (Jn. -23).
II. BEFORE CAIAPHAS AND THE SANHEDRIN
1. Jn. says, “Annas therefore sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.”
2. Roman authorities counted him as the high priest.
3. John entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stayed without, and warmed by the enemies fire (Jn. -18; Mt. 26
26 :69-75). Do you think this
had a part in causing Peter to deny Jesus three times?
4. Matthew 26
:59-60 reads, “Now
the chief priest and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death; and they found it
not, though many false witnesses came.”
5. Mark. Says, “For many bare false witness against him, and their witness agreed not together. And there stood up certain, and bear false witness against him saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands. And not even so did their witness agree together Mk. 15
6. Then the high priest said, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou art the Christ the Son of God. Jesus said. Unto him, “Thou hast said
nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at
the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven (Mt.
7. The Court condemned him to death. They said he was guilty of blasphemy because he said he was the Son of God.
III. BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN EARLY THE NEXT MORNING
1. Mt. 27
:1-2 reads, “Now
when morning was come, all the chief priest and elders of the people took
counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and they bound him, and led him away,
and delivered him up to Pilate the governor.”
2. Mark’s account also shows that the court condemned Jesus during the night (Mk. , -65) and met again the next morning (Mk. 15
3. Why did the Sanhedrin meet again the next morning? Walter M. Chandler in his first volume entitled, The Trial Of Jesus, states that according to the rules of the Sanhedrin, the court was not to hear a capital punishment case at night. Do you think they were trying to give what they had done the appearance of legality?
IV. BEFORE PILATE THE FIRST TIME
1. Matthew, Mark, and John say that they carried Jesus to Pilate the next morning (Mt. 27
15 :1; Jn ).
2. Jn. reads, “They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, (or palace) and it was early; and they themselves entered not into the Praetorium that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.”
3. Jn. shows that Jesus kept the Passover with his disciples prior to the regular time for the Passover.
a. Why? Jesus died at the time they were to start killing the passover lambs!
b. A foot note in the ASV on Ex. 12
Between the two evenings”.
c. The Passover feast was instituted before the event that it was to commemorate (Ex. 12
d. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper before the event that it was to commemorate (Mt. 26
e. The passover lambs were a type of Christ “ the lamb of God” ( Isa. 53
:5-8; Jn. 1 :29; I Cor. 5 :7-8; I Pet.
1 :18-20; Rev.
7 : 17,
13 :8,15 :3-4,
f. The lambs were to be without blemish that prefigured Christ being without sin (Ex. 12
: 5; I Pet. -20).
g. When the Israelites applied the blood of the lambs it delivered them from the Egyptian bondage (Ex. 12
:7, , 12 41-42), and when the
blood of Christ is applied it delivers from the bondage of sin (Rom.
5 :7; Eph.
h. Not a bone in a Passover lamb was to be broken (Ex. ), and this prefigured that not a bone in the body of Christ was broken (Jn. -37).
4. Pilate questioned Jesus and found no crime in him (Jn. -40; Lu. 23
: 17-19), but when he learned
that he was of Herod’s jurisdiction he sent him to
Herod (Lu. 23
V. BEFORE HEROD
1. Herod was glad that Pilate sent Jesus to him (Lu. 23
2. Herod questioned Jesus “in many words, and the chief priest and scribes stood, vehemently accusing him (Lu. 23
3. Herod found no fault in Jesus, but he and his soldiers mocked him and “arraying
Him in gorgeous apparel sent him back to Pilate (Lu. -12).”
VI. BEFORE PILATE THE SECOND TIME
1. When Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate he called the chief priest and the rulers of
the people, and said unto them, “Ye brought unto me this man, as one that
perverteth the people
behold, I, having examined him before you found
fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him
he sent him back to us; and behold, nothing worthy of death by
I will therefore chastise him, and release him (Lu. -16).”
2. These murders cried out, “ Away with the man and release unto us Barabbas”, Barabbas had caused an insurrection and was guilty of murder (Lu. -19).
3. Pilate then had Jesus scourged, and the soldiers mocked him (Jn. 19
4. Pilate affirmed to them again, “I find no crime in him and he said unto them, “Behold, the man (Jn. 19
5. What did Pilate mean by “Behold, the man!” Did he not mean, don’t you think he has suffered enough?
6. When Pilate saw that a “tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see you to it (Mt. 27
7. All the people answered and said, “His blood be on us, and on our children (Mt. 27
:25),” but when that time
came they were ready to kill the apostles on accusation that they were intending
bring this man’s blood upon us (Acts -28, ).”
8. Was Pilate innocent? Surely not! He was a moral coward! He knew that Jesus had “done nothing worthy of death (Lu )”, and that “for envy they had delivered him up (Mt. 27
:18)”, and he also had been
warned by his wife (Mt. 27 :19); and he should have
9. Sometimes a victim’s stomach organs protruded by scourging, and some died when they were scourged.
10. Jesus must have been in such a terrible condition that they compelled Simon of Cyrene to bear his cross to Calvary (Mk. 15