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Discovering the Son of God

What Jesus Said at His Trial

The ordinary Jewish people respected Jesus. They saw His miracles. They heard His teachings. They didn’t all understand that He is the Son of God, but they could tell He belonged to God.

Many of the important people disliked Jesus. These men were religious leaders who also had political power. Some of them were the rulers of the land. They knew Jesus came from God too. They knew this truth, but they chose not to believe it. They chose not to believe because they were jealous.

These leaders also hated Jesus for challenging their sins. They acted like good religious men when others could see them. They did evil in secret. Jesus had told them to be good when no one could see them.

These men were both evil and powerful. They decided Jesus must die. They couldn’t simply kill Him. They would never get away with murder. The ordinary people would be angry. They feared this anger.

Judea was part of the Roman Empire. The Romans would not allow the local leaders to kill anyone on their own. The rulers needed to make the Romans believe that Jesus was a criminal. They began planning a dishonest trial. At the trial they would sentence Jesus to death. Then, they would ask the Roman governor to carry out the sentence.

The rulers sent their policemen to arrest Jesus late one night. One of Jesus’ twelve disciples, Judas, was not faithful. The rulers had given him thirty pieces of silver to help them. Judas led the police to Jesus. They arrested Him and took Him to the high priest. The high priest was one of the leaders who wanted Jesus dead.

The high priest held the trial. Many people came as witnesses. The rulers had asked them to lie about Jesus. They said many bad things about Him. The law said the judges could not find a man guilty without two witnesses. Two people who saw the same thing would tell the same story. If they lied, their stories would be different. These witnesses told very different stories. The witnesses could not prove that Jesus was guilty. The trial wasn’t helping Jesus’ enemies.

Finally, the high priest brought all the leaders together. He asked Jesus, "Are you the Christ, the Son of God?"

Jesus said, "I am. Someday you will see Me coming in the sky with clouds around me."

The leaders became angry. They said that Jesus had said bad things about God. He hadn’t said anything bad about God. But they did not believe He was the Son of God. The Son of God is equal with God. To make Himself equal to God seemed very evil to them. They said, "He has spoken against God. He must die."

This trial happened at night. The leaders brought Jesus to the governor early the next morning. The Roman governor was named Pilate. They asked Pilate to execute Jesus. There were many leaders. They formed an angry crowd. Other people may have come to see the excitement also. Many people wanted Jesus to die. Nobody could give a good reason for Him to die. The Jews knew Pilate wouldn’t execute a man for speaking badly about God. He might execute him for rebelling against Rome. They told Pilate that Jesus called Himself the King of the Jews. The Romans would kill anyone who tried to make himself king.

Pilate tried to be fair. He talked to Jesus. Jesus didn’t defend Himself. Pilate said, "Are you a king?"

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not from this world. If I was a king in this world, my servants would fight for me. My kingdom is in Heaven. I speak the truth. People who follow Me as king obey the truth that I speak."

Pilate knew Jesus was not rebelling against Rome. Rome didn’t care if people obeyed a man’s spiritual truth. They only cared about political rulers. Pilate knew the leaders were jealous of Jesus. It would not be right to execute Him. But the crowd was angry. They screamed that Jesus must die.

Pilate told the Jewish leaders Jesus didn’t deserve to die.

They said, "We have a law. Our law says a man who says he is God must die. Jesus said He is the Son of God. He must die!"

Pilate became worried. He knew Jesus did not deserve to die. He didn’t want to anger God by killing His Son. He didn’t want to offend the Jewish rulers either. They could complain to the emperor about him. He was in a hard place.

At last, Pilate agreed to do what the crowd asked. He said the Son of God must die. He must die in a very painful way. He must be crucified.

Pilate told the crowd they would be guilty for killing Jesus.

They said, "We will be responsible for His blood!"

Jesus is the Son of God. His enemies knew it. They loved their own power and pride. They loved themselves so much they were jealous of the Son of God. Their sin made their souls blind. They were so blind they chose to kill the Son of God. They even said, "We will be responsible for His blood!"

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