Just as it was prophesied in Isaiah, Jesus didn't speak much during His trial(s). In fact, He never once responded to any of His accusers. Not the false witnesses at the Jewish sham trial, not the Chief Priests before Pilate or the Jews before Herod. In all these cases, He stood mute. His silence enraged the High Priest and astounded Pilate. (Mt. 26:62-63, 27:12-14) In fact, the only times Jesus spoke were in answer to direct questions from the prosecutor/judge in reference to His identity. Even then, His answers weren't what one would normally expect from a defendant. Let's examine each of the four times He spoke and then see what conclusions we can draw.
Mat 26:63-64 "But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven."" Notice that Jesus didn't merely answer in the affirmative, He went beyond that. "Seated at the right hand of Power" can only mean with God and in fact is a claim that He not only was the Christ the son of God, but that he was fully divine and equal to God. Who else could sit with Power? He adds to that statement that they will see Him coming in the clouds of heaven. Throughout the literary prophets, God coming in the clouds signified God coming in judgment to destroy a city or nation. Jesus is saying, not only am I the Christ, I'm God and I'm going to come in judgment on you! Immediately, the Sanhedrin declares that He is worthy of death for blasphemy (a charge which would have been true had anyone else uttered those words.)
Luk 22:67 ""If you are the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God." So they all said, "Are you the Son of God, then?" And he said to them, "You say that I am."" One of the proofs that this session is separate from those recorded in Matthew and Mark is that the whole line of questioning is different. There are no false witnesses, and Jesus' answer to their question is a bit different. This is the formal "official" trial, and they need to get His "blasphemy" on record. This time when they ask, He tells them there is no point in answering, because they are too stubborn (and stupid?) to believe. He then continues to say that He will be seated with God and finally confirms that He is the Son of God. They again condemn Him to death.
Mat 27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, "You have said so." John gives a much fuller account, but this is sufficient. Jesus claims to be a king to the Roman governor.
Joh 19:10-11 "So Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?" Jesus answered him, "You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin."" While there may have been some slight compassion for Pilate on Jesus' part here – after all, Pilate was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, unjust and self-interested as he was -- He seems also to be thumbing His nose at Pilate. He tells Pilate that Pilate's power and authority count for nothing when dealing with Him, that Pilate would have no authority over Him except that God had so arranged it.
Do you see a theme threading through these statements by the Lord? In every case, He said precisely what would enrage His questioners most. Before the Jews, He not only claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God, but fully divine Himself and promised that He was coming in judgment upon them. He later repeated most of that while hinting that they were too stubborn to believe the truth. Before Pilate, He claimed to be a king. What was the primary responsibility of the Roman governors? To keep the peace and stamp out insurrections before they could get started. The fastest way to earn a death sentence was to claim to be a king and to gather followers around you. John records that not only did Jesus confirm to Pilate that He was a king, He also said that He had servants who would be willing to fight if He ordered it. While Pilate seems to have considered Jesus a harmless crazy person, this claim would have caused his antennae to twitch. Finally, Jesus tells Pilate that he holds no true power over Him. For a power hungry bureaucrat, this was a serious insult. All of Jesus' answers seem to be designed to upset His judges in the worst way.
Unlike the case for most defendants, victory for Jesus entailed being convicted. His purpose was to be condemned to die. Always the master of what was going on around Him, He said exactly what He needed to in order to ensure that His condemnation came to pass. He wanted to be crucified and made sure that it happened, because that was the only way He could save us.
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