The account from when Jesus was arrested to when he was crucified is the most painful memory in the bible, as we see what he had to go through to save humankind. Known as a man with no sin, bible readers are left wondering, “why was Jesus arrested?”
Jesus was arrested mainly because his hour to die for the sins of human beings had come, as Luke 22:42 tells us. To fulfill what God had sent him to do, Jesus was to die physically and could only fulfill this prophecy through his fellow human beings. Jesus was arrested after he was accused of wanting to tear down God’s temple, BlasphemyBlasphemy, and claiming that he was the King.
So, what charges did Romans have against Jesus? What charges did the Jews have against Jesus? How did Jesus get arrested? Stick to the end to learn the answers to these questions.
What charges did Romans have against Jesus?
When we read through the ministry of Jesus to the time he was crucified, we see that Romans had no issue with what he was doing as they had their own Emperor, while Herod Antipas ruled Jesus and the Jews. We see in the book of Luke 23 when the chief priests and the teachers of law took Jesus to Pilate, and he sent him to Herod when he realized he was a Galilean.
Back to our question, Romans did not have any charges against Jesus but were incited by the Jewish leaders to pass harsh judgment on Jesus. During the times of Jesus, the Jewish were not allowed to punish sinners as it was the work of the Romans. It was important for the Jewish leaders to convince Pilate of the sins Jesus had committed to get a warrant for killing Jesus.
After taking him to the Roman governor Pilate, the elders and the Pharisees accused Jesus of misleading their people by telling them to stop paying taxes to the Emperor. They also accused Jesus of declaring himself a King, which the Jewish leader knew would threaten Pilate.
Luke 23:1-2 “The whole group rose and took Jesus before Pilate, where they began to accuse him; “We caught this man misleading our people, telling them not to pay taxes to the emperor and claiming that he is the Messiah, the King.”
Pilate then questioned Jesus, receiving an answer that did not convince him that Jesus had done what they accused him of. Luke 23:4 says, “Then Pilate said to the chief priests and crowds, “I find no reason to condemn this man.”
After they realized that they did not convince Pilate that Jesus was guilty, the Pharisees and the elders made more substantial accusations and accused Jesus of sedition, as Luke 23:5 states; “But they insisted even more strongly, “With his teaching, he is starting a riot among the people, all through Judea. He began in Galilee and now has come here.” Even after making this strong accusation against Jesus, Pilate did not order the execution of Jesus and sent him to Herod after learning that he was a Galilean. Herod did the same thing and only mocked him and ordered him to be returned to Pilate. Luke 23:11 says, “Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus and treated him with contempt; then they put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate.”
After they returned from Herod, Pilate again assembled the chief priests and the elders and informed them he was only going to whip Jesus and release him, as he had not found him guilty. The cunning Jewish leaders could not have it, as they incited the crowd present to demand the killing of Jesus. The crowd then went ahead and requested Pilate to release a prisoner by the name of Barabbas.
Pilate tried multiple times to set Jesus free but was overwhelmed by the crowd and gave in to their request. Pilate later washed his hands as a sign of innocence in Jesus’ death, released Barabbas to the crowd, and handed Jesus over to be crucified. Mathew 27:24 says, “When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on, but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing!”
From the scriptures above, it is evident that the Romans had no charge against Jesus, and the Jewish leaders drove Pilate to his final decision.
What charges did the Jews have against Jesus?
The Jews were the main culprits behind the killing of Jesus, as they had been planning to secretly arrest and kill him for a while, as Mark 14:1-2 reveals; “It was now two days before the festival of Passover and Unleavened bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for a way to arrest Jesus secretly and put him to death. “We must not o it during the festival,” they said, “or the people must riot.”
After finding a perfect way to arrest Jesus, they took him to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the high priests had gathered together. The whole counsel and the chief priests then tried to come up with false accusations against Jesus to put him to death. Finally, two men came forward and accused him of wanting to destroy God’s temple.
Mathew 26:61; “Finally, two men stepped up and said, “This man said, ‘I can tear down God’s temple and three days later built it up again,’ “The high priest then stood up and wanted to know if the accusations were true. Jesus did not defend himself and kept quiet.
The high priest then questioned Jesus if he was the Messiah, the son of God. Mathew 26:63-64 says, “But Jesus kept quiet. Again, the High Priest spoke to him, “In the name of the living God, I now put you on oath: tell us if you are the Messiah, the son of God.” Jesus answered him, “So you say. But I tell all of you: from this time on, you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of heaven!”
After Jesus’ prophecy, the high priest attacked Jesus tearing his clothes down, and he accused him of Blasphemy. With this, the Jewish leaders had found the perfect accusation against Jesus and declared him guilty. Luke 26:65-66 says, “At this, the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Blasphemy! We don’t need any more witnesses! You have just heard his Blasphemy! What do you think?” They answered, “He is guilty and must die.”
How did Jesus get arrested?
Jesus was arrested in a place called Gethsemane, where he had gone to pray alongside his disciples. Jesus knew his time to die had come; by the way, he prayed in Mathew 26:39, “He went a little further on, threw himself downwards on the ground, and prayed, “My father, if is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want.”
As he was still speaking with some of his disciples, a large crowd led by Judas Iscariot arrived. Judas then approached Jesus and kissed him, just as he had told the Pharisees how he would identify Jesus for them. Luke 22:48 says, “But Jesus said, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you betray the Son of man?” Jesus knew that Judas’ kiss to him wasn’t a form of greeting and that he was giving him away through betrayal.
When the disciples of Jesus got a hint of what was happening, they immediately sprung up and asked Jesus if they could use their swords too to defend him. One even struck the High Priest’s slave, cutting off his right ear. aveThrough this, we see that the disciples did not truly understand the meaning of what was truly happening, as they tried to fight the crowd physically.
Jesus stopped what was happening and even healed the slave whose ear had been cut off. Addressing the chief priests and the Pharisees present, he asked them why they had to come to him with clubs and swords as if he was an outlaw, yet he sat with them in the temple every day, teaching them, and he was never arrested.
Luke 22:52-53 says, “Then Jesus said to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and the elders who had come there to get him, “Did you have to come with swords and clubs, as though I were an outlaw? I was with you in the temple every day, and you did not try to arrest me. But this is your hour to act when the power of darkness rules.” After he finished speaking, they squeezed him and took him to the High Priest’s house, as all his disciples fled.
- What trials did Jesus face before His Crucifixion?
- What Crimes Was Jesus Accused of?
- What were the four crimes Jesus was accused of?
- Jesus’ Arrest and Trial
- What charges did the Jews bring to Pilate against Jesus?
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.