The Twelve Hours Prior to Execution


JudasAfter the Passover meal with his disciples, probably about 9 pm, Jesus went to a garden to pray (John18:12). He was later arrested by Jewish religious leaders, his identity confirmed to soldiers by a kiss from Judas (Luke 22:47-48).

Religious leaders convicted him that night of blasphemy for claiming to be the Hebrew Messiah, a divinely appointed king foretold in Hebrew prophetic literature (Matt 26:63-66). This could implicate Jesus as the leader of political insurgency, considered a capital offense to the Romans. As Israel was a client kingdom of the Roman Empire, this provided a means for Jewish leaders to accuse Jesus before Roman appointed civil authorities. At daybreak, after a beating at the home of the Jewish high priest, Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate, the local Roman prefect (Matt 27:1-2).jesus with pilate

Perceiving motivations of religious jealousy, Pilate had Jesus beaten rather than summarily executed for political insurrection (Luke 23:13-15). Jesus was then beaten by a group of soldiers, and after that scourged. Pilate eventually acquiesced to the crowd’s wishes and sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion (Luke 23:21-24).

Jesus was suffering from exhaustion by the time he was taken to the execution site. He had walked during the night about 2.5 miles to trial and hearings, likely deprived of fluids, had severe beatings, and suffered severe anxiety due to premonition of impending crucifixion (Mark 14:32-36)