Summary: As Jesus stood before Pilate and His accusers, they were astonished at His silence. The King of glory stood before them, and yet they failed to see Him. He was committed to the cross, to provide our redemption.
Brought before Pilate
Mark 15: 1-5
It had been a long, grueling night for Jesus, but the extreme difficulty was not over. He had been betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane and arrested by the angry mob. From there He was led to stand before the high priest in a mock trial, filled with false-accusation and untruthful witnesses. Having secured the evidence, they had schemed to confirm, Jesus was declared guilty of blasphemy and condemned to death. Following the guilty verdict, Jesus was spat upon, humiliated, and beaten at the hands of his accusers.
Morning had come, and Jesus would be led to stand before Pilate. While Mark doesn’t reveal all the details of that day, we do know that Jesus was sent from Pilate to Herod, and then brought back before Pilate. Our text only reveals His accusation and examination before Pilate, the Roman governor in charge of Palestine.
As we begin to examine the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, we must consider the factors involved in this portion of His condemnation and eventual death. I want to preach on the thought: Brought before Pilate.
I. The Deliberation of the Council (1) – And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. This reveals the final deliberations of the Sanhedrin before Jesus is taken to stand trial before Pilate. Consider:
A. The Assessment (1a) – And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. Remember, it had been a long night as Jesus stood before His accusers. One by one, they came with accusation against Him. Finally, having secured what would be considered justifiable evidence for condemning one to death, the council had adjourned for a brief period.
As morning began to dawn, the council reconvened for final consideration of the charges, before Jesus was to be accused before the governor. Most agree this would have been in the early morning hours, somewhere between 3am and 6am, being in the morning watch. It appears the council wanted to go over the charges one last time and ensure all stood in agreement with the charges worthy of death brought against Jesus. (We know this was just a formality to make themselves feel better about condemning an innocent man to death. This was a mock trial in a kangaroo court, but these men wielded great power and authority in Jerusalem.)
B. The Agreement (1b) – And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the
elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away. Following final deliberations, the council agreed to stand by their decision, agreeing to take Jesus to stand before the governor. These had conspired for some time to get the conviction they desired, and they wasted no time in continuing with their deceitful plan to crucify Jesus. These had agreed to the death of an innocent man, and they had now reached the point of no return. Jesus was bound and led away, to face accusations they deemed worthy of death.
The political and social climate in Jerusalem was somewhat unusual at this time. While the Romans were in charge of the area, having complete control of the region, the Jews were allowed a measure of religious and social freedom. The Sanhedrin was allowed the privilege of hearing and settling disputes among the Jews. They had authority to pass down sentences that would be carried out for particular offenses. However, they were not able to condemn one to death and carry out executions. This was reserved for the Roman authorities.
C. The Arraignment (1c) – And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. Leaving the home of the high priest, the council made their way to Pilate’s hall with Jesus. They were determined to present their case, in hopes Pilate would consent to their desires and condemn Jesus to death. He was the only one who could pass such judgment. If they were to see Jesus put to death, they knew Pilate would have to agree and condemn Jesus to death.
Let’s take a moment to consider the role Pilate played in Jerusalem at this time. He was the governor of Palestine from 26-36 AD. There was a lot of distrust between Pilate and the Jews. In fact, it appears their relationship was not good at all. There was a measure of resentment for each other, which developed into hatred. "When Pilate became procurator of Judea, he did two things that aroused the people's bitter hatred against him forever. First, on his state visits to Jerusalem he rode into the city with the Roman standard, an eagle sitting atop a pole. All previous governors had removed the standard because of the Jews' opposition to idols. Second, Pilate launched the construction of a new water supply for Jerusalem. To finance the project, he took the money out of the temple treasury. The Jews never forgot or forgave this act. They bitterly opposed Pilate all through his reign, and he treated them with equal contempt." (i) Pilate was removed as governor when he ordered an attack on Samaritans who had gathered at Mount Gerizim for religious activities. After being removed as governor, Pilate was exiled to northern Europe. Tradition claims he committed suicide there, being unable to deal with his loss of power and prestige.