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Friday of Passion Week

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The Betrayal, Arrest, and Crucifixion of The King of the Jews

The Betrayal and Arrest

With growing hostility spearheaded by the religious leaders, the inevitable happens sometime after midnight, early Friday morning. Guided by Judas Iscariot and with a traitor’s kiss, authorities arrest our Lord.

Jesus is first taken for an “informal” hearing with the Jewish leaders, Annas, and his father-in-law (the former High Priest), Caiaphas. After the initial hearing, there are two subsequent hearings where Jesus is tried before the Jewish Sanhedrin (the Jewish religious ruling body). Throughout these three hearings, the Jewish Sanhedrin continually brings false accusations against Jesus, with the inevitable “guilty” verdict being the final outcome. With this verdict, the Jewish leaders bring Jesus to the Roman authorities, who were the only ones who could make final decisions on cases of capital punishment.

The Roman Trial

There are 3 “scenes” in Jesus’ Roman trial. In scene 1, Jesus is questioned by Pontius Pilate who, after questioning Him finds no reason to indict Him. However, since Jesus is a Galilean, and falls under Herod’s jurisdiction, Jesus stands before Herod, who also finds Jesus innocent, being more “enamored” with Jesus miracle power (scene 2). Finally, scene 3 closes with Jesus standing before Pontius Pilate again. Though both he and Herod have found Jesus innocent, Pilate fears a potential Jewish upheaval, so he washes his hands of Jesus’ blood and renders a final verdict.

The Crucifixion

Our Lord is then scourged, mocked, beaten further, and crucified in a place known as Golgotha. Through all of this, He does not revile in return, but continues to entrust Himself to His Father, amidst the most excruciating of torture and temporary separation from His Father for our sins. The Romans may have been expert killers, but the stage is set for our Lord’s inevitable and powerful rising from the grave on Sunday!

Read more in these Gospel accounts: Matthew 26:47-27:61; Mark 14:43-15:47; Luke 22:47-23:56; John 18:2-19:42