Then they all took Jesus to Pilate and began to bring up charges against him. They said, “We found this man undermining our law and order, forbidding taxes to be paid to Caesar, setting himself up as Messiah-King.” Pilate asked him, “Is this true that you’re ‘King of the Jews’?” “Those are your words, not mine,” Jesus replied. | Source: Luke 23:1-2 (The Message)
God’s plan was moving along on schedule. Jesus had been arrested and was now on trial. It was a little confusing. First to Pilate, then to Herod and then back to Pilate. Jesus was going to die and shed his blood for us. That was God’s plan and it was going to happen. Nothing could stop it.
Pilate tried to see if he could get a confession out of Jesus. Jesus wasn’t going to help him out. Jesus could have said, “Yes, I am”. Jesus turned it back on Pilate. Jesus would not be complicit in his own trial and death. And Pilate would expect a King to fight for his Kingdom. Jesus was not going to do that. Jesus was on a mission to fulfill God’s plan. He would do nothing to upset that.
Lets briefly review the sequence of events. Jesus is arrested and taken to the court of Annas, a former High Priest and father-in-law of the current High Priest Caiaphas. After some questioning he is sent to the High Priest’s palace. Gathered at the palace are those, and only those, chief priests, elders, scribes, and other religious leaders who want to see him dead. After a farce of a trial is held, complete with false witnesses, Caiaphas accuses the Lord of blasphemy. Caiaphas and all those gathered agree that he deserves death (Matthew 26:59 – 68; Mark 14:55 – 65; Luke 22:63 – 65). At 5 am another rigged trial is held before some religious leaders. He is then taken to Pontius Pilate around 6 am.
The original charge of blasphemy against Christ is CHANGED by the Jewish leaders to treason against Rome when they take him to the Roman authorities.
Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?” “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?” “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight . . . (John 18:33 – 36)