Here’s What Happened
The council of chief priests and scribes sent Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor. They try to convince Pilate that Jesus is guilty, but Pilate doesn’t find any guilt in Jesus.
Having found out that Jesus is a Galilean, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod (for Jesus belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction). Herod was eager to see Jesus because of all the things he heard and wanted to perhaps see some sign. But Jesus didn’t give any to Herod. So Herod mocked Jesus and sent Jesus back to Pilate.
Pilate once again told the chief priests and the crowds that he doesn’t find Jesus guilty of any of the claimed charges. But the crowds were really rowdy and called for Jesus’s crucifixion. And Pilate complied.
Along the way to the crucifixion site, several people mocked Jesus while others mourned for Him. Two other criminals were also crucified with Jesus.
At the time of Jesus’s death, the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
Later, a man named Joseph went before Pilate to retrieve the body of Jesus. He along with some others buried Jesus.
The Crowds’ Attitude Suddenly Changed
Remember the last few chapters when the Jewish leaders were afraid to mess with Jesus because they feared the crowds? Well, that apparently changed.
What could have happened that shifted the crowd’s opinion of Jesus from being a prophet to being deserving of the worst form of punishment possible?
I’m sure there are several technical studies of history that can answer that question. But I’m going to simply say that the trend has changed.
That’s right. Before the events of Jesus’s capture by the Jewish leaders, the trend was to respect Jesus, adore His miracles, and listen to His teachings.
After Jesus’s capture and trial by the Jewish leaders, the trend changed to scoffing Jesus and mocking Him.
People are so easily swayed by popular opinion. They easily forget all the teachings that Jesus performed and all the miracles He performed. It’s as if everything beforehand never happened.
Even the Secular Rulers Are Afraid of Messing With Jesus
Anything that has to do with religion or politics is complicated and therefore taboo.
I can guess that Pilate and Herod didn’t say that Jesus was blameless out of the goodness of their hearts. More realistically, Jesus probably presented a great deal of controversy for them, and the Roman rulers definitely didn’t want to meddle with the powerful religious communities.
They probably weren’t fans of Jesus either. Herod and his men mocked Jesus after Jesus refused to speak or show any miraculous signs. After the Jesus exchange, Pilate and Herod even ended up as friends (previously they weren’t on great terms).
More so, they found Jesus to be truly blameless when it comes to the law. No matter how much they stretched, their best lawyers could not find fault in Jesus.
The Significance of the Torn Temple Curtain
Right before Jesus died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Without the proper context, it may be weird that this sentence is here. To understand this requires understanding sin and some Jewish practices.
The curtain symbolizes the separation of God and man. Back in the day before Jesus died for our sins, only the high priest and the Levites (descendants of Aaron) could enter the temple to perform the ritual of sacrifice.
Thanks to Jesus living a perfect life and acting as the sacrifice to forgive our sins (which previously was an animal), we now have a direct channel to God through Jesus.
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