JESUS ARRIVES IN JERUSALEM on what will become known as Palm Sunday. The city is crowded with Jewish pilgrims. They’ve come to celebrate the Jewish festival of Passover.
Many welcome Jesus as the Messiah, paving his path with palm branches and cloaks. Through Thursday, they listen to his teachings in the Temple courtyards. But on Thursday evening, while he’s praying on the Mount of Olives, Temple guards arrest him.
This begins what some say are five overnight and early morning trials, none fair. The judges:
- Annas. He’s the retired high priest and father-in-law of the current high priest. This is Jesus’ first stop, possibly for an interrogation if not a preliminary trial.
- Caiaphas. He’s the current high priest. By daybreak, the Jewish high court known as the Sanhedrin, led by Caiaphas, convicts Jesus of blasphemy for claiming to be God’s Son.
- Pontius Pilate. Roman governor of Judea, Pilate is the only local official who can sentence Jesus to death. Pilate finds no cause for that. When he learns that Jesus comes from Galilee, he gladly sends him to the Galilean ruler, who’s in town for the Passover.
- Herod Antipas. Ruler of Galilee and executioner of John the Baptist, Herod toys with Jesus. Then he sends him back to Pilate dressed in a royal robe—a joke. Pilate and Herod become friends over this.
- Pontius Pilate. After resisting Jewish pressure to crucify Jesus, Pilate caves. Jesus is hanging on the cross by about 9 a.m. on Friday. He’s dead sometime between 3 p.m. and sunset.
From The Complete Visual Bible, by Stephen M. Miller, published by Barbour Publishing Inc.
Used by permission.
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