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Jesus Condemned by the Religious Leaders

53 Those who arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, to a meeting where the religious scholars and Jewish leaders were assembled. 54 Now, Peter had followed him from a distance all the way to the chief priest’s courtyard. He sat with the guards and was warming himself by the fire.

55 The chief priests and the entire supreme Jewish council of leaders were doing their best to find false charges that they could bring against Jesus and condemn him to death, but they could not find any. 56 Many false witnesses came forward, but the evidence could not be corroborated. 57 Some came forward and testified against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I can destroy this temple made with hands and then build another one again in three days not made with hands!’” 59 Yet even on this point the witnesses did not agree.

60 Finally, the chief priest stood up in the middle of them and said to Jesus, “Have you nothing to say about these allegations? Is what they’re saying about you true?”

61 But Jesus remained silent before them and did not answer. So the chief priest said to him, “Are you the anointed Messiah, the Son of the Blessed God?”

62 Jesus answered him, “I am. And more than that, you are about to see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Almighty and coming in the heavenly clouds!”[a]

63 Then, as an act of outrage, the high priest[b] tore his robe and shouted, “No more witnesses are needed, 64 for you’ve heard this grievous blasphemy.” Turning to the council he said, “Now, what is your verdict?”

“He’s guilty and deserves the death penalty!” they all answered.

65 Then they spat on his face[c] and blindfolded him. Others struck him over and over with their fists and taunted him by saying, “Prophesy to us! Tell us which one of us is about to hit you next?” And the guards took him and beat him.

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  1. Mark 14:62 See Dan. 7:13.
  2. Mark 14:63 What a dramatic scene! Two high priests are facing each other: the high priest of the Jewish system and the true High Priest. One is of the order of Aaron; the other of the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:11-28). One a sinful man; the other, the sinless Son of God. It is clear from Lev. 21:10 that if a high priest tears his robe he is disqualified from his office. Indeed, Caiaphas is now stepping aside and God’s true High Priest is taking his place.
  3. Mark 14:65 See Isa. 50:6.

Judas Commits Suicide

Now, when Judas, the betrayer, saw that Jesus had been sentenced to death, remorse filled his heart. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and religious leaders, saying, “I have sinned because I have betrayed an innocent[a] man.”

They replied, “Why are you bothering us? That’s your problem.”

Then Judas flung the silver coins inside the temple and went out and hanged himself.

The chief priests, picking up the pieces of silver, said, “We can’t keep this, for it’s unlawful to put blood money into the temple treasury.” So after some deliberation, they decided to purchase the potter’s field of clay,[b] to use as a cemetery for burying strangers. That’s why that land has been called “The Field of Blood.” This fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah:[c]

They took the thirty pieces of silver,
    the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
    the price of a precious man,[d]
10 And with the silver they bought the potter’s field,
    as the Lord directed.[e]

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  1. Matthew 27:4 The Aramaic word for “innocent,” zakaia, can also mean “victorious.”
  2. Matthew 27:7 Implied in the historical context. This was the field owned by a potter, used for making clay vessels.
  3. Matthew 27:9 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew. See Zech. 11:12-13. The Greek manuscripts incorrectly identify the prophecy as from Jeremiah. There is no clear prophecy found in Jeremiah that is quoted here by Matthew. The Aramaic reads simply, “spoken of by the prophet.” The Hebrew Matthew correctly states, “spoken through Zechariah.”
  4. Matthew 27:9 As translated from the Aramaic.
  5. Matthew 27:10 Or “as the Lord directed me.”

Jesus before the Jewish Council

66 At daybreak the high priests, the experts of the law, and the top religious leaders convened and had Jesus brought before their council. 67 They asked him point blank, “Tell us, are you the Christ, the Messiah, or not?”

Jesus responded, “If I tell you the truth, you won’t believe me. 68 And if I question you, you will not answer me or release me.[a] 69 But from today on, the Son of Man will be enthroned in the place of honor, power, and authority with Almighty God.”

70 They all shouted, “Then you do claim to be the Son of God?”

He said to them, “You are the ones who say I am.”

71 They all shouted, “We’ve heard it from his very lips! What further proof do we need?”

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  1. Luke 22:68 The phrase “or release me” is found only in the Aramaic text.

62 Then the chief priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Have you nothing to say about these allegations? Is what they’re saying about you true?” 63 But Jesus remained silent before them. So the chief priest said to him, “I charge you under oath—in the name of the living God, tell us once and for all if you are the anointed Messiah, the Son of God!”

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