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Passion Week

Before the Sanhedrin


Matthew 26:57-66
Luke 14:53-64
Luke 22:66-71

Similar Passage

Jesus Taken to Annas


After being taken to Annas, the former high priest, Jesus is taken to Caiphas, the sitting high priest.  There, essentially two trials in one take place.  Caiphas questions Jesus but it is ultimately the body of the Sanhedrin who pass judgment upon Him, having witnessed all of the questions asked of Jesus.

The trial of Jesus is illegal through and through.  Aside from being in secret and at night, the law required that two or more witnesses agree in their testimony in order to accuse someone.  If at any point the witnesses contradicted one another, the accused was to be set free.  The Sanhedrin kept bringing witnesses until they could make an accusation stick however.  When they finally had two people claim that Jesus threatened to destroy the temple, even they disagreed and their quote of Jesus was inaccurate.

Essentially Jesus condemned Himself when He answered the question if He was the Christ, the Son of God.  With the claim, the Sanhedrin declare that they have all heard Jesus blaspheme and that they did not need any more witnesses.

An often overlooked detail is the tearing of the high priest’s robe. This was often done as a sign of mourning in the nation of Israel. Here it is an over the top expression of anguish – most likely faked for show to show distress over Jesus’ statement. However, according to Leviticus 21:10, the high priest was not to tear his garment. By doing so, he officially gave up his right to be high priest. This is important for two reasons. Hebrews discusses at length how Jesus is our high priest. Caiphas had legally given up his right to the job when he tore his robe. At Jesus’ crucifixion it is recorded that the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothing rather than tear them and divide them up. Jesus’ robe was never torn.


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