The Illegal Trial Of Jesus Christ
Denied Opportunity To Obtain WitnessesLocation:
Ms Suzy, Jurist in this court room:
(Ms Suzy Stands up from her desk while cleaning her glasses before beginning to address the court.)
After having hurled those false accusations against Jesus, they completely ignored His unquestioned right to a reasonable time within which to secure His witnesses, and thus refute what had been said, both in the Jewish court and while before Pilate.
The Christ could not have had any witnesses present before the trial began, because He had not been informed of the nature of the charges which might be made.
And He was not given any advance notice whatever, from anyone, as to what accusations they intended making!
The very least they could have done, in such circumstances, would have been to say to Him:
"If you need time to obtain Your witnesses to show the untruth of these charges against You, we will grant the request for a reasonable time to be allowed for that purpose."
But, with Jesus, they had no concern for nor interest in the matters of lawful procedure, fairness and justice; for He was not given even a moment to hail before the court a host of friends, then in Jerusalem, who could and would have witnessed for Him.
We will dismiss, for the moment, the initial charge of threatening to destroy the Temple of God, because it was so ridiculous, as already pointed out, that the prejudiced judges would not, themselves, act upon such flimsy, false and absurd testimony.
Jesus had been teaching and preaching for three years, out in the open spaces as well as within the synagogues and the Temple, before uncounted thousands of men, women and little children.
His doctrine was well known, for He never taught nor preached in secret!
And so, there were too many people, nearby, who knew that Jesus had never threatened to do injury to God's Temple, but had plainly made reference to His Body and His resurrection!
As to the second charge- that He was the Son of God- and for which He was condemned to die, for "Blasphemy"- He could have had thousands to come forth who had been healed, through the miraculous agency of the power of God.
And, with very few exceptions, they were grateful people, eager to reaffirm the fact of His Divine Personality.
They well knew that no mere prophet, nor the son of a prophet, nor any other human being, could have said the things which Jesus had said; and that no human ever led the perfectly sinless life that Jesus had led.
Yes, they, by the thousands, sincerely believed Him to be what He was, and Is- the Son of the Living God!
What about the great horde of people who were the direct beneficiaries of His compassion?
Immediately there comes to mind a list, consisting of these, as well as many more:
Bartimaeus, whose sight was restored; the group of paralytics; the host of lepers; the centurion of Rome, whose servant was healed merely by saying the word; the widow, whose son was brought back to life; Jairus, whose dead daughter was made to live again; the hundreds of deaf and dumb, and the halt and the lame; the poor, convulsed child; the man who was blind from birth, and was made to see; the badly crippled woman; and, finally, His good and devoted friend, Lazarus, who had been brought back to life from a four-day-old grave!
And as a climax to such an array of reputable, trustworthy witnesses, there would have come Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus, who lived only about two miles from Jerusalem, in the little village of Bethany. And would it not be quite convincing proof of His Divinity when one heard Lazarus describe the sensation of reposing, for four full days and nights, in a cold and silent grave- with a heart stilled by death- and to be suddenly awakened and released from the throes of death, at the majestic command of the Son of God!
Consider the hundreds who were present, immediately after Jesus was baptized by John, and who heard the glorious voice of God, penetrating from the skies of Heaven, and announcing:
"This is My Beloved Son. in Whom I am well pleased!"
Then call Peter, and James and John, the disciples, who were present at the great Transfiguration, and who heard, again, the soft voice of God, repeating the affirmation of Jesus being His Son!
Indeed, the Christ would not need any greater proof or better witnesses than those. Could they not have readily dispelled any possible doubt of His identity, with evidence of such supremely high quality and character?
Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin- through absent during the alleged "trial," would have certainly testified that Jesus was the Son of God. He believed it so strongly that he went to the Christ, at night, seeking the assurance of his own salvation, through Jesus!
A good and noble man- and another absent member of the Sanhedrin- believed sincerely that Jesus was the Son of God. So definite was his belief that, in spite of threats of the Jews, Joseph insisted that Jesus be buried in the personal tomb of this man of Aramathea!
It took a man of courage to do that- one who firmly believed that the Christ was the Son of God!
Indeed, except for the rush to murder Him, Jesus could have had ample witnesses to establish that He spoke only the truth when responding to the inquiry of the high priest.
But when evil men have murder in their hearts, they give no thought to orderly, legal procedures, nor justice!