64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it. Nevertheless, I tell
henceforth you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power,
and coming on the clouds of the sky."
65 Then the high priest tore his clothing, saying,
"He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses?
Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.
66 What do you think?" They answered, "He is worthy of death!"
67 Then they spit in his face and beat him with their fists, and some slapped him,
68 saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who hit you?"
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body.This was misinterpreted. The phrase should be interpreted as "If you destroy this temple of my body I will raise it again in three days." He does not speak of himself destroying the man-made temple. Nor does he speak of rebuilding it, but of "raising" it, speaking of his resurrection from the dead.
This kind of misinterpretation is quite common in developing slanderous accusations against one's religious enemies.I have seen it happen to others where someone being very dogmatic about their particular theological point of view will demonize the opposing point of view through a strawman argument, and purposely or carelessly misinterpret the writings of the opposition so as to justify condemning them. (For example see The Murder of Servetus)
It is clear that Jesus had done nothing worthy of death. So why was he put on trial? Very simply because he humiliated the institutional religious leaders. And historically it has not been uncommon even in post Biblical Christianity for religious leaders to slanderously accuse those who humilate them and bring trumped up charges against such people in order to punish them, even putting them to death. Notice particularly the zeal with which these religious leaders attempt to humiliate Christ, hitting him and mocking him. They show little respect even for human dignity. The closest equivalent today would be the violent contempt that Islamic leaders show towards Christians who are under their authority, such as the murder of muiltitudes of Christians in Sudan by the Islamic government leadership.
Here we also see Jesus openly reveal himself as the Christ. This fact was no longer to be hidden. The high priest tore his garments as a declaration that a blasphemy had been committed. Later at the crucifixion God sort of tore His own garments at the blasphemy of the murder of His Son by tearing the veil in the temple in two, but which also opened up a direct path to God not blocked by a curtain.
3 The chief priests accused him of many things.
4 Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they testify against you!"
5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate marveled.
4 Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, "I find no basis for a charge against this man."
5 But they insisted, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place."
6 But when Pilate heard Galilee mentioned, he asked if the man was a Galilean.
7 When he found out that he was in Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days.
Interestingly enough at this point Pilate did not even find the stand Jesus had taken about being King of the Jews as a basis for charging him. More than likely he simply saw him as a dreamer - a religious man who merely had some theological differences with the religious leaders. Pilate did make a couple of efforts of washing his hands of the matter. I don't think this was due to his sympathy for Jesus, but rather he was concerned of Jesus' popularity and didn't want the Roman government (namely himself) to unnecessarily take the blame for his death and thus by doing so incite more turmoil in his province. For even these leaders reported to him that, "He stirs up the people all over Judea." Today when confronted with the issue of Christ's death, Jews in fact blame the Romans and wash their own hands of the matter, which I think Pilate saw the religious leaders attempting to do then. So first he reckons him as somebody else's responsibility, namely Herod Antipas.
Notice also so far in these two trials how silent Jesus was. For it is written, "Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words." Pr 23:9
Christ (as well as Christians) has the effect of uniting his enemies against him. Notice here that Herod and Pilate were formerly enemies. But now they had a common enemy who was even more so. Many non-Christians have conflicts with each other. But they tend to unite when opposing Christianity. Though we live in an age where the philosophy of tolerance and pluralism grows, yet just as with those who built the tower of Babel, this is not necessarily a healthy thing. As we read in Revelation in the end Christians will be the scapegoat just as Christ was.
18 But they all cried out together, saying, "Away with this man!
Release to us Barabbas!" —
19 one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder.
20 Then Pilate spoke to them again, wanting to release Jesus,
21 but they shouted, saying, "Crucify! Crucify him!"
22 He said to them the third time, "Why? What evil has this man done? I have found no capital crime in him. I will therefore chastise him and release him."
23 But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. Their voices and the voices of the chief priests prevailed.
24 Pilate decreed that what they asked for should be done.
25 He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will.
24 So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."
25 All the people answered, "May his blood be on us, and on our children!"
7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with those who had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder.
8 The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them.
God had ordained this circumstance perhaps to provide a further allegory
as to the purpose of Christ's death. Let's contrast Barabus with Christ.
For example the name "Barabus" literally means "a son of the father".
|"a son of the father"||"the Son of the Father"|
|Committed murder while inciting a riot||Falsely accused of inciting a riot|
|Chosen by the crowds and the religious leaders||Rejected by men|
There are a couple of ways of viewing Barabus. One way is to view him as simply representative of sinful man, in whose place Christ died. Another way is to view him as a sort of anti-Christ. He represents the kind of person that the world choses over Christ.
"Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Matt 27:25 This kind of expression was not uncommon among the Jews. After fulfilling his ministry to the Jews and having been rejected, it is written of Paul, But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." Ac 18:6 The phase "on our children" does not mean to incur the responsiblity of his death on their children. For people cannot be held responsible concerning things they have no control over. Rather they are proposing that if they are wrong, that their children would experience the effects of such a wrong decision. Of course many children today would say, "Hey! I didn't sign up for that." But it is inevitable that the effects of sin are experienced for many generations.
The meaning of "Let his blood be on us" of course is to incur responsibility for one's death. But then there is another way of viewing this expression. For "In him we have redemption through his blood" Eph 1:7 "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."Heb 9:22 And the redeemed will be spoken of as being those who "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Rev 7:14 So as Christians we actually want Jesus' blood to be upon us! And so again just as we have a contrast between Barabus and Christ, so we have a contrast between the Jews then saying, "His blood be upon us", and the Christian who say, "His blood be upon us".