Luke 22:63-71 /23:1-25 The Unjust Trial of Jesus

Intro: We are continuing our study in the 3 most important days in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD !!!

We have seen Jesus in Garden – Betrayed – hauled off by the Religious Leaders .

  1. Begin a Mock trial – THAT WAS TOTALLY ILLEGAL – the events that take place here show how wicked these men had BECOME
  2. Driven by GREED / JEALOUS / and HARDNESS of heart – they stoop to this Level of Unjustly Condemning the Son of God To death !!!

63 Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him.

64 And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?"

65 And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him.

66 As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying,

67 "If You are the Christ, tell us." But He said to them, "If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68 "And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. 69 "Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God."70 Then they all said, "Are You then the Son of God?" So He said to them, "You rightly say that I am."

  1. And they said, "What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."

Now as I mentioned before this whole Procession was an Illegal act –

  1. He was beaten before even being tried
  2. Trials were only to take place in one of the rooms of the temple – this took place in the Court yard of Caiaphas House – Matt. 26
  1. They brought forth false Witnesses – Falsely Accuse & Testify against Him
  1. This whole Process took place in the early hours of the morning / but such Trials were to only take place during certain times of the day

So this whole set up was a Shame : Now Luke reveals for us the two main issues that these guys were concerned about

1st v. 67 "If You are the Christ, tell us."

2nd v. 70 Then they all said, "Are You then the Son of God?"

A) To the first question: "ARE YOU THE MESSIAH?"

Jesus said: "If I told you, you wouldn't believe Me, and if I asked you a question you wouldn't answer".

B) In other words you guys are not These guys interested in the truth.

  1. People are the same today. They ask questions but DON'T want the

answer if it doesn't fit their beliefs.



C) Jesus PROVES this to be true. Because He answers their question:

Luke 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

  1. Now This WAS NOT the answer they were looking for.

  1. The term RIGHT HAND OF POWER was reserved for the MESSIAH and for DEITY.

Jesus is referring to Psalm 110:1 and Daniel 7:13, Jesus added, "Nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." "Not only am I the Messiah and the Son of God," He was saying, "but one day you will see Me glorified with My Father in heaven and returning to earth as your Judge" (cf. Matt. 25:31-46).

Son of Man was a commonly acknowledged title of the Messiah, the one Jesus most often used of Himself, and Power was a figurative designation of God. Because the ungodly members of the Sanhedrin had refused to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they had sealed their doom to face Him at the end time as their Judge and Executioner. The accused would then become the accuser, and the judges would become the judged

2nd Question "ARE YOU THE SON OF GOD?"

A) Jesus gave them another answer that they didn't want to hear.

Luke 22:71 So He said to them, "You rightly say that I am. "And they said, "What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."

B)To that group of men who had spent their lives studying the O.T.

scriptures, the term SON OF GOD meant EQUALITY WITH GOD.

Mark records for us the response of the High Priest: Mark 14:63-64

  1. Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, "Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?" And they all condemned him to death.
  1. Guys understand here there is no CONTROVERSY about who Jesus is – It is CLEAR – He was claiming to be God –INFURIATED THEM
  2. Key Passage on Jesus claim to be DEITY !!!

  4. ALSO See an important Lesson here : AKSING the right question IS NOT the most important thing.

  1. It is WANTING the RIGHT answer and RESPONDING to it

that is most important.

  1. Too many ask the right questions / COUNSELING / don’t want to hear the right answer – Go from person to person !!!

They had closed their minds to the truth, and no amount of evidence would open their eyes to it. Like many people throughout the ages who have rejected Christ, it was not that they had carefully examined the evidence about Him and found it to be untrue or unconvincing but that they refused to consider the evidence at all. Even God’s own Holy Spirit cannot penetrate such a willful barrier to His truth and grace. Miracles do not convince the hard-hearted

Now that they are totally enraged they take Jesus to Pilate ch.23:1

23:1 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate.

2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King."

Now why did they go to Pilate ? The Jews were living under Roman Rule – Pilate was like the Governor of their Area

  1. Under Roman Rule – they had no power to carry out Capital Punishment
  2. So they had to go to Pilate: But they had a Problem the Romans wouldn’t care about – someone who claimed to be God
  1. They were not going to sentence someone to death over a Theological issue / so they had to drum up some FAKE charges !!!

C) "We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar,( LIE) saying that He Himself is Christ, a King."

Pilate was a COLD and CRUEL man

He is remembered in history as a notorious anti-Semite. The New Testament refers to him as "governor," while other sources call him "procurator" or "prefect" (an inscription found in Caesarea in 1961).

Pilate came to power about A.D. 26, close to the time when two of his contemporaries, Sejanus in Rome and Flaccus in Egypt, were pursuing policies apparently aimed at the destruction of the Jewish people. Pilate's policies were much the same.

The Jews hated Pilate, and he hated them. His procuratorship consisted of one provocation of Jewish sensibilities after another.

His headquarters were in Caesarea, but he came to Jerusalem during their feasts as that would be the time that they would most likely be incited to revolt.

He brutally suppressed protest by planting armed soldiers, disguised as civilians, among the Jewish crowds.

He incited the intense hatred of the Jews by bringing into Jerusalem the military insignia bearing the image of Caesar in flagrant defiance of Jewish law. He removed these insignias only when the Jews offered to die at the hands of his soldiers rather than consent to such blasphemy.

Now Pilate sees through this Charade – He can tell that the Religious Leaders were trying to pull a fast one on him. Simply asks Are You the king ..Jews


When they made this accusation, Pilate took Jesus into the inner chamber to privately interrogate Jesus.

Luke only gives a brief summary of the trial. A great number of details are filled in by the other Gospels.

NOTE: John’s Gospel fills in the details of this interrogation

John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

We must remember, that Jesus was already beaten beyond recognition. His face would have been a hideous sight.

Isa 52:14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him -- his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness-- NIV

So they bring Him in before Pilate in this condition and they say: "He SAYS that He’s a king"

SO Pilate takes Him aside and asks: Art thou the King of the Jews and Jesus said: "YOU SAID IT"


  1. So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, "I find no fault in this Man."

A) The declaration I FIND NO FAULT is a LEGAL declaration.

  1. In Other words He totally acquitted Jesus – the trial should have been over – but they wouldn’t give up

5 But they were the more fierce, saying, "He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place."

6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean.

  1. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

NOTE: Pilate is now faced with a dilemma

He is CONVINCED that Jesus was innocent. But there was a volatile political situation developing. He now must make a decision between his CONSCIENCE..... What he knows to be right..... and CONVENIENCE..... What will bring him the least amount of grief

APPLICATION: We are always faced with the choice between CONSCIENCE and CONVENIENCE.

Unfortunately there are many, who like Pilate, VIOLATE conscience in order to take the easy path. In your heart you KNOW what is right and what you should do. But if you do it you will bring great difficulty upon yourself. The easy path can be a lie... a denial. That is a hard place to be because your conscience doesn’t let you off very easily

Pilate now has an out. GALILEE is Herod’s business. Herod Antipas... Herod the Tetrarch, son of Herod the Great.

Herod happened to be in Jerusalem for the Passover. Now Pilate could dump his headache onto Herod


What Pilate is seeking to do here is not make a Decision about Christ

  1. But a Non Decision is a Decision – Wrong Decision
  2. Can’t be Neutral about Christ – Jesus said - For me or AGAINST me
  3. Let’s say Howard – all expenses paid Cruise to Tahiti – Leave S.D. Fly to Florida – Week on a Cruise Ship / Leave on Monday

  1. Howie says – I don’t know if I want to go / think I do but I don’t know

  1. Monday roles around still – undecided – doesn’t make the flight /

  1. Consequently boat takes off & He is not there – Hey He missed the boat - HE DECIDED

  1. To not Decide about Jesus is to Decide against JESUS !!!!


Pilate is managing to pull off a change of venue for this trial.

It is like going from a municipal court to a superior court.

In doing so, Pilate was saying: "I’m deferring to a HIGHER court".

By doing this Pilate is taking a lower position in relationship to Herod. Up to this time there was a DISPUTE between the two as to which had the greater authority.

NOTE: Again, people will do strange things for the sake of personal gain.

Thinks he is off the hook – Boy I got out of that mess – He will soon be surprised

  1. Now this is Herod who had John the B. Beheaded –

THIS Herod is one of the sons of Herod the Great

He was appointed at the death of Herod the Great to be ruler over the area of Galilee

He ruled from Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee

In the year 29 A.D. Herod the tetrarch was heading to Rome.

He stopped by to visit his 1/2 brother Philip. There he fell in love with the wife of Philip, Herodius.


She was ambitious and promised to marry Herod IF he would dump his first wife. When they returned from Rome he continued his reign in the area of Galilee.

He was Curious about Jesus –

  1. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.

  1. Miracles don’t produce faith – Jesus never did miracles to satisfy the skeptic only to Help the Hurting
  2. Interesting that after His Resurrection. – He didn’t appear to Pilate of Herod or the Religious Leaders – I’M BACK
  3. We have it all wrong in our Culture – Emphasis on Miracles & Signs & wonders
  4. Miracles signs & Wonders don’t produce lasting faith – Just consider Israel

  1. All the signs / Plaques / Red Sea / Manna Quail / Cloud by day / Pillar of fire by Night / God’s voice thundering from Mountain

  1. What was their problem ? UNBELIEF – Hardening of the Heart
  2. Miracles don’t produce lasting faith – Just Create a Craving to see more Miracles

  1. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.

Jesus stood majestically silent. It was the silence of innocence, the silence of dignity, the silence of integrity, the silence of infinite trust in His heavenly Father

It was a silence in which the lying words against Him reverberated in the ears of the guilty judges and of the false witnesses they had bribed. Goaded by that silence, which accentuated the travesty of justice over which he presided, the enraged high priest continued to badger Jesus

10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him.

11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.

  1. That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

This tragic episode made friends of men who at one time were enemies

Their common disdain for Jesus brought these two together.

People are brought together by things they hold in common.

Tonight we have been brought together by our common love for Jesus Christ.... Our common faith in Jesus.

Though we are from different backgrounds, we are brought together.

In the natural many of us would have nothing to do with each other. But Jesus unites us.

BUT - People can also be brought together by their common hatred for Jesus

I would hate to be brought together with men because of a common love for evil. I USED to be tied together on those terms.

The story of Herod is a tragic story of a man who ONCE had a genuine interest for the things of God

Herod once heard John GLADLY

John was preaching a message of repentance and Herod heard him gladly

But choosing to live after his flesh... after his own passions, we see how in a short period of time the degrading influences of the flesh

NOTE: In 4-5 years... 6 at the most, we see a man who once listened to the Word of God gladly now DISDAINS the Word of God Incarnate

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,

14 said to them, "You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;

  1. "no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.

Now Pilate was already in hot water w/ the Romans

He had governed Judea for some four or five years, but his rule had been marked by several serious misjudgments that threatened his office and even his life. First, he had deliberately offended the Jews by having his soldiers carry ensigns into Jerusalem that carried the likeness of Caesar. Because the Jews considered such images to be idolatrous, previous governors had carefully avoided displaying the emblems in public, especially in the holy city of Jerusalem. When a delegation of Jews persistently asked Pilate to remove the ensigns, he herded them into an amphitheater and threatened to have his soldiers cut off their heads if they did not desist. When the group bared their necks and threw themselves to the ground, defiantly asserting their willingness to die, Pilate withdrew both his threat and the ensigns. He had been sent to Palestine to keep the peace, not foment a revolution, which a massacre of those men would surely have precipitated.

A short while later, Pilate forcefully took money from the Temple treasury to erect an aqueduct. When the Jews again openly rioted, Pilate sent soldiers disguised as civilians among them to brutally slaughter many of the unsuspecting and unarmed protesters. Luke’s reference to "the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices" (13:1) may relate to an additional cruel facet of that massacre.

Pilate’s third public offense against the Jews was almost his

undoing. He had special shields made for his guard at Fort Antonia and, no doubt intending to gain favor with the emperor, ordered likenesses of Tiberius engraved on the shields. This time the Jewish leaders appealed directly to Caesar, and Pilate’s scheme backfired. Tiberius was more concerned about the genuine prospect of rebellion than the insincere flattery of Pilate, and he demanded that the shields be removed immediately.

Pilate was now justifiably afraid that another riot by the Jews would cost him his procuratorship. His brutal and senseless ambush of some Samaritan worshipers a few years later brought exactly that result. When the Samaritans appealed to the governor’s immediate superior, the legate of Syria, that official ordered Pilate to Rome to explain his actions. His political career was ended, and tradition holds that he eventually committed suicide in Gaul, to which he had been banished


So he tries to appease them by Punishing Jesus Through – Chastisement v.16 ,17 "I will therefore chastise Him and release Him" (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

  1. Describe Scourging – Roman Phelgellam Cat of Nine Tails
  1. This would usually Kill a man

The death of Jesus Christ WAS NOT some mistake.

It WAS NOT a case of things getting out of control and thwarting the purpose of God. It was the PLAN of God that His Son would suffer and die for our sins. God KNEW that this would happen. All of this was according to His PREDETERMINATE counsel and FOREKNOWLEDGE.

NOTE: Because God KNEW it, in the next few hours there would be a bunch of Old Testament prophecies that would be fulfilled in all that Jesus would suffer.

DESPISED AND REJECTED Isa. 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men

SMITTEN Isa. 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

MOCKED Ps. 22:6-7 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip

SCOURAGED AND SPIT UPON Isa. 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.

CRUCIFIED Ps. 22:14;16 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels..... they pierced my hands and my feet.

These are just a few of the many prophecies concerning the suffering and death AND resurrection of Jesus.

The prophet Zechariah declared:

Zech. 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

So Jesus was SMITTEN and His followers were scattered.





PSALM 69 is one of the Psalms that is recognized as speaking of the MESSIAH and is called a MESSIANIC PSALM.

Ps. 69:7-9 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face. I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.


Well what Happens next is really interesting :

18 And they all cried out at once, saying, "Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas";

19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them.

21 But they shouted, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!"

22 Then he said to them the third time, "Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go." 23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.

24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.

  1. And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Barabbas was GUILTY of the very thing that the Jews FALSELY accused Jesus of.

He LED the insurrection that led to MURDER.



It is a title: Bar - Abba = Son of the father.

In some of the ancient manuscripts his name is stated to be Jesus....

Jesus Bar-Abbas..... Jesus, the son of the father.

He was probably one of the many men who at that time of history announced himself as the Messiah and led unsuccessful revolts against Rome.

The Jews knew that it was the time for the Messiah to appear.... the time that Daniel had prophesied.

Matt. 27:17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

This was to distinguish Him from the one called Jesus, Bar-Abbas.


WHY was it that the leaders of the Jews wanted to crucify Jesus called the Christ and not Jesus Bar-Abbas?

It WAS NOT the claim to be the Messiah that enraged them.... MANY were doing that.

It was that Jesus claimed that the Kingdom of God was SPIRITUAL rather than material.

They would have readily accepted a Messiah that would lead a revolt against Rome.

They were LOOKING for a Messiah who would overthrow Rome.

Had Jesus done that, they would have readily accepted Him.

It was His INSISTANCE that the SPIRITUAL is superior to the material.... that we SHOULD NOT be as interested in the material as the spiritual..... THIS is what put Jesus at odds with them.




Jesus STILL declares this.

And it STILL sets men at odds with Jesus.

His kingdom IS NOT diamonds and automobiles and houses and wardrobes.

Matt. 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Rom. 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The life lived after the Spirit brings joy and peace.... true contentment.

Life that is lived after the material CAN NOT produce those things.

James 4:1-2 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not.....

These were men who wanted material prosperity.

But Jesus said that THE important thing was the SPIRITUAL.

Barabbas came with the concept of OVERTHROW ROME.

That was a man that they could get along with.


Pilate has just made a choice between conscience and convenience.

HE has made a choice between the RIGHT WAY and the EASY WAY.

The kind of choice that we make time and again in our lives.

Choices between the crowd and the voice of the Lord.

Pilate fought with it for quite some time.

He tried every way possible to NOT have to do anything about Jesus.

But there was no escape from the decision that he HAD to make for Jesus. Even as there is NO ESCAPE from the decision that YOU have to make for Jesus Christ.

The voices of the crowd swayed him and we are told that "HE DELIVERED JESUS TO DO THEIR WILL"

The will of the crowd was "CRUCIFY HIM"

They had NO reason to do that. Pilate asked them WHY? He said: "I FIND HIM NOT GUILTY".

Rather than give Pilate reasons they screamed louder: "CRUCIFY"

Every compromise deadened the voice of God until the voice of the crowd prevailed and he delivered Jesus to their will.


Pilate was trying to pass it off to others so he wouldn't have to deal with it himself.

You CAN NOT pass of that question.

Every man MUST determine what HE will do with Jesus who is called the Messiah!!

NOTE: In a sense, each of us, like Pilate, sit on the judgement seat determining what is to be done with Jesus.

You will either accept or reject Him........ To NOT accept Him is to reject Him.......There IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND when it comes to Jesus.

THAT was Pilate's problem. He was trying to remain neutral about Jesus.

But Jesus DOES NOT allow that.

IF you are not for Him you are against Him...... IF you have not received Him you have rejected Him.....IF you do not confess Him you deny Him.

Each of us MUST make our own determination as to what we will PERSONALLY do with Jesus.


The judgement that you make about Jesus Christ DOES NOT affect HIS destiny at all.

Though you are making judgement about Him you are in reality determining YOUR destiny.....

Whether you will spend eternity in heaven or in hell!!

NOTE: God DOES NOT send men to hell...... men go there when THEY pass judgement on Christ.

God only AFFIRMS the decision that YOU make.


NOTE: The crowds response: "CRUCIFY HIM"...... filled with pride and hate was in reality their own death sentence.

The same is true today.

Those proud men who get so upset about Jesus, who reject Him, are the ones who condemn themselves.

God only affirms their choice.

They want to reject the light today for the darkness and God says: "If that's what you want, that is what you'll get.... FOREVER!!


Luke 23:22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.

INTERESTING: Five times Jesus is declared to be INNOCENT.

Twice by Pilate....... Once by his wife....... Once by Judas......Once by one of thieves.

God went to great lengths to CONFIRM the innocence of Jesus Christ so that we can UNDERSTAND the true meaning of His death.

Jesus, the innocent one, died on the cross.

Jesus IS NOT dying for His own sin......He is dying for OUR crimes!!

Isa. 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

1Pet. 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh......


Luke 23:23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.

Which voice will prevail tonight.

Would yours be one of the voices in that crowd?