HANDING OVER JESUS DURING HIS TRIAL
While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day” (Mt 20:18-19). As Jesus predicted there was a series of handing over Jesus from one person or group to another during his trial.
1. Judas Iscariot handed over Jesus to the Jewish soldiers of the Temple (Mt 26:49). His goal was to get thirty silver coins for his personal gain.
2. The soldiers handed Jesus over to the chief priest and the Sanhedrin (Mt 26:57). They were obeying the commands of their religious authorities.
3. The Sanhedrin handed over Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor (Mt 27:1-1–2). Their goal was the most painful and shameful crucifixion for Jesus.
4. Pilate handed over Jesus to Herod Antipas (Lk 23:6-12). Pilate wanted to escape from crucifying an innocent man.
5. Herod returned Jesus to Pilate (Lk 23:11). Though Pilate questioned Jesus, he did not want to judge Jesus in Judea that was under Pilate’s authority.
6. Pilate handed over Jesus to the public to decide between Jesus and Barabbas (Mt 27: 17). His aim was to liberate Jesus whom he found innocent. However, he did not want to do justice using his authority for fear of the revenge against him from the opponents of Jesus.
7. Since people opted Barabbas’ liberation, Pilate handed over Jesus to his soldiers to crucify Jesus (Mt 27: 26).
Jesus predicted his disciples will also face similar situations: “they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues” (Mt 10:17).
Jesus underwent the most painful and shameful death for us. The people who took part in it had their personal interests. Because of our selfish motives, we also shall do injustice to others without caring for their struggles. Let us remember Paul’s advice: “Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ Rather, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.’ Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good” (Rom 12:19-21).