The Arrest and Trial of Jesus
The role of Judas has often been disputed. If indeed Jesus’ death was in the Will of God, then Judas was a useful instrument to that end and in the Laws of God was not to be accounted guilty. He should have been declared a Saint because he played a vital role in the achievement of something of vital importance to mankind.
It is illogical that the Christian Church have not declared this man a Saint. If they were to carry their argument of a propitiatory sacrifice to its logical conclusion, then there is nothing left but to canonize Judas Iscariot.
The illogical way in which the events surrounding the life of Jesus has been handled by the Christian religious authorities is ever again brought to the fore. They are at a loss and it is only the demand for blind faith that has kept them going. This demand for blind faith will not take them much further anymore. Now, all must be revealed so that at last mankind will breathe a sigh of relief and worship God with a free mind and complete conviction based on knowledge.
Here, we do not have to do anything more than to examine the Words of Jesus Himself as to the Will of God in regard to His crucifixion. Not a Word of the Scriptures need be changed.
Matthew 26:24 “The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” With His own words Jesus condemned the traitor Judas. He said that woe unto him by whom He is betrayed and that it would have been better if Judas had not been born.
No clearer words could be said as to the opinion of Jesus and the Will of God on this matter. If what Judas was doing was in the Will of God, then Jesus would never have uttered this statement. His views on what Judas did, and consequently on His death has now been made clear with this statement. It was clearly an act that went against the Will of God.
The fact the He said He was going as it has been written is a sad testimony to the fact that the prophecies of Isaiah, in spite of their intentions to induce man to change his ways in time so that these dreadful actions would not take place had clearly not worked. His saying this is not proof that God sanctioned or approved of His death.
He broke the bread and served the wine as a token that He was willing to shed His Blood for the preservation of His Teachings. He was prepared to die so that we would continue to have His Message and by so doing the Way would remain open for the remission of sins, but only for those who follow this Way. Since He was the Word of God Incarnate in flesh and blood, those who absorbed the Word of God within themselves and acted accordingly have drank the Blood of Jesus and eaten His Flesh.
This is an act that takes place in the entire Creation and Jesus confirms this by saying that He would drink this wine anew with those who find their way back to Paradise through His Word.
Matthew 26:36-39 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go yonder and pray.” (37) And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. (38) Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (39) And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
The fact that Jesus was very sorrowful at His passing further proves that His death was not willed by God. He knew that His death was not lawful but an arbitrary act through the will of men. He knew that His Mission among mankind was being cut short through this wanton act of wickedness. Jesus would never have been so sorrowful and heavy if He knew that by dying He was achieving something great for men, especially considering the love He had for us. He would have embraced death joyfully.
He would never have lamented. People have tried to explain this away by saying that it was the weakness of the flesh of Jesus that was taking over. No! It was not a question of the flesh but sadness and sorrow at this dastardly unnecessary suffering that was going to be wrought on Him.
The proof of this is Jesus asking God to let the cup of suffering pass Him by. If He was dying and taking away the sins of men, He would never have prayed thus. His perfection through the Will of God would never have allowed Him to say such a prayer, and as mentioned above, He would have been all too happy to carry this cup. The fact that He did not want it and rejected it and even prayed God several times that the cup be taken away is proof that He did not want this and that His death was not to achieve what mankind in their indolence have come to expect.
It was proof that whatever was happening was happening only through the free will of men and God does not interfere with the free will of men. The question of watching and praying and the spirit being willing but the flesh weak had nothing to do with Him. He was addressing Peter saying that their spirits indeed wanted to keep watch with Him but their flesh was weak, which prevented the possibility of keeping watch. Certainly, Jesus was not referring to Himself but this has been taken as proof by some people to say that Jesus’ flesh was weak and this is the reason for the appeal to God.
Matthew 27:3-5 When Judas, his betrayer, saw that he was con- demned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, (4) saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” (5) And throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself.”
Judas realized what he had done; filled with dread he committed suicide. Judas was obviously far more clear-sighted than the majority of the believers today. He immediately realized that the betrayal, arrest and the crucifixion of Jesus was not in the Will of God and his role in that was contrary to this Will. He knew that he had betrayed the Innocent One and said as much. Why do we insist on portraying this event as necessary and willed by Jesus and God Himself?
Matthew 26:51-54 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. (52) Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (53) Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (54) But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
This is one of the verses quoted to justify the teaching of a fulfillment of the prophecy and the propitiatory sacrifice. As mentioned before, what people did not understand they added their own thoughts. This has led to the various inconsistencies and contradictions. This is obviously a contradiction. How are we to explain it? All that can be said is that we should take a hard look at the Words of Jesus and the consistent thread through it all and make up our minds as to what to believe.
The disciples more than once have demonstrated their ignorance of the Word of Jesus and their lack of understanding could be regarded as primarily responsible for some of the contradictions. This last verse is meant to be quoted to convince us that Jesus wanted this to happen. It is, however, just one verse in the whole body of the Word of Jesus that asserts the contrary.
Matthew 26:63-66 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. (64) Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (65) Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spo- ken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. (66) What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
They had their excuse. They had played their last trump card. After empty platitudes which was leading nowhere and after the stepping forward of many false witnesses to no avail, they were offered with the one thing by the darkness which was certain to put Jesus under immense pressure. There was no question of His denying His Origin and as discussed earlier, He preferred to die than to allow His Message to run to sand.
Pilate obviously knew that Jesus was not guilty and was prepared to release Him, especially with the warning from his wife ‘not to have anything to do with that innocent man’. The people, however, were obdurate and they demanded that a criminal be released to them in place of One Who had done so much good in their community.
The surprisng thing about Jesus’ trial was that his enemies had absolutely nothing to go on. They had nothing on Him and it was all blind fury and hatred.
Matthew 27:22-23 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified.” (23) And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.”
Luke 23:13-25 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, (14) and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him; (15) neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Behold, nothing deserving death has been done by him; (16) I will therefore chastise him and release him….”
John 19:12 Upon this Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.”
The series of quotations above goes to show that there was absolutely no reason for demanding the crucifixion of Jesus other than hatred and jealousy. The blind demand for His death is obvious from here. No single trace of objective reasoning. They just wanted Him dead. Pilate asked them several times what Jesus had done, but instead of giving any rea- sons, they raged the more.
He asked them several times ‘What evil had he done?’ Instead of answering, they shouted all the louder that a riot was even going to take place. These were mostly ordinary people who probably knew nothing of the issues, but they just allowed themselves to be incited by those who thought they had a reason for demanding His death.
Matthew 27:29-31 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! (30) And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. (31) And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
Matthew 27:39-44 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, (40) And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
It is pertinent to remember here that the soldiers and most of the people who mocked Jesus had not the faintest idea of the issues. Some did not even know Jesus at all. It was all fun to them, and unfortunately mankind has not changed in this regard. The penchant for mocking what we do not understand is still very much with us with their disastrous consequences. It is all a senseless sham. They thought it was all funny, but they would have to account for every action and word.