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Mark 15 v 1 - 5

As soon as it was light, the Sanhedrin met again to confirm the conclusions they had arrived at during their illegal meeting in the night. As we have noted previously, that council had no power to carry out the death penalty which they had imposed on Jesus, so they had to refer it to the Roman Governor, who was Pilate. Now, the charge which brought the death penalty at the Sanhedrin council was one of blasphemy, but Pilate would have had nothing to do with Jewish religious questions and so they charged Jesus with calling Himself a King-there is greater detail in Luke's Gospel 23 v 1,2-and this could be perceived as a threat to Caesar and the rule of Rome.

Both sides-Pilate and the Sanhedrin- were well aware that the charge was a lie-but it was politically expedient for them to accept it. Pilate needed to demonstrate to Rome his abilities to govern the troublesome state of Judea, especially his forging of greater unity with the ruling religious group and they needed to rid themselves of Jesus. They were so desperate that they were willing to compromise to a great degree with the hated occupying force!

So Pilate asked Jesus if He was the King of the Jews and Jesus answered as He did so often with neither a yes or a no, but by putting the question back on to Pilate. That was all Mark records Him saying. The charges increased but Jesus remained silent. The corruption of the place, the underhand dealings of Pilate and the Sanhedrin must have stunk, and Jesus knew that nothing He could say could change the decision that He was to die. It was God's will, but it was also the perfidy of men and those who were responsible would be punished. As it is written about Judas Iscariot in Matthew's Gospel: 'Jesus declared, ''The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.'' '

Silence is used in many ways to say something which words cannot and the silence of Jesus here is one of tragedy: there is nothing to be said; there could be no bridge between Jesus and the religious leaders. Their obdurate hatred of Him could not be quenched through words. Jesus knew Pilate and knew that he was a corrupt, perverted coward. Justice would have no chance with him, it was all about political expediency.

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