The Travesty of His Trial

Bible Book: Matthew  27 : 11-23
Subject: Cross; Trial of Jesus
Series: Easter - Owen

This morning, I want you to begin a journey with me that will lead us to an empty tomb. This journey doesn’t begin well, nor does it proceed well, but it does end well.

The first stage of our journey this morning will be a consideration of Jesus and The Travesty Of His Trial. Next week, we will go on to consider Jesus and The Tortures On His Tree. Then on Easter Sunday morning we will conclude this journey by considering Jesus and The Triumph Over His Tomb.

In 1999 over 3800 (3857 respondents) MSNBC readers responded to the question: What do you think is the “trial of the century?”

24% said it was the 1995 Trial of O.J. Simpson.

21% said it was the 1946 Nazi War Crimes Trial.

20% said it was the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial.

14% said it was the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial.

7% said it was the 1935 Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial.


Doug Linder, Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School when asked to pick THE greatest trial of the twentieth century said, “That honor, of course, must go to the ‘Monkey Trial’ of 1925, which considered whether Tennessee could prosecute John Scopes for teaching the theory of evolution in a public school science class.” (

But if we would consider the entire history of jurisprudence, we would have to agree that “THE greatest trial of all time” was the trial of Jesus. This morning as we study the Biblical account of this trial, let’s think first about…

I. The Variations Of His Trial

A. Consider The Religious Trial

1. Jesus’ Anticipation Of This Trial Matthew 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:17-19

2. Jesus’ Arrest For This Trial Matthew 26:1-5,14-16

(John 18:3) Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

(Mark 14:44-46) And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. {45} And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. {46} And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

3. Jesus’ Accusation In This Trial

a. He Was Falsely Accused Of Insurrection Matthew 26:59-62

(Mark 14:59) But neither so did their witness agree together.

This is a distorted account of what our Lord said at his first purgation of the temple, when asked to give a sign in proof of his authority: Jn 2:19. - Something more definite must be secured before any formal appeal could be made to the Sanhedrin or the procurator. (The Pulpit Commentary) Therefore…

b. He Was Falsely Accused Of Irreverence (Blasphemy) Matthew 26:63-66

So that the Roman officials might do the Jews’ dirty work and execute Him…

c. He Was Further Accused Of Treason

(Luke 23:1-2) And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. {2} And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.

B. Consider The Roman Trial

1. Consider The Release To This Magistrate John 18:28-30

2. Consider The Reason For This Move John 18:31-32

3. Consider The Reluctance Of This Man (Pilate)

Throughout the trial this is evident, but Simon Peter stated this in a summarized way in Acts 3:13 when he said, “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.”

Why the hesitance? (Matthew 27:18) For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

II. The Voices At His Trial

Let’s read the court transcript and hear …

A. The Voice Of The Prosecution

1. A Word From Priestly Pride John 18:28-30

“Jesus is guilty – I am innocent”

2. A Word From Perdition’s Pit Matthew 27:3-5

“Jesus is innocent – I am guilty”

3. A Word From Pilate’s Perspective Matthew 27:22-24

“Jesus is innocent – So am I”

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 53:7 that “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” However, during the course of this trial, there are some interesting statements as we listen to …

B. The Voice Of The Prisoner

1. A Word Of Promise Mark 14:61-62

2. A Word Of Purpose John 18:33-38

3. A Word Of Power John 19:5-11

III. The Verdict Of His Trial

A. The Verdict Of Death

1. This Was A Projected Verdict

(Revelation 13:8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

2. This Was A Planned Verdict John 11:46-52

3. This Was A Persistent Verdict Luke 23:13-24

B. The Verdict Of Deliverance

1. Deliverance From Burning

(Romans 8:2-3) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

2. Deliverance From Blame

(Colossians 1:20-22) And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. {21} And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled {22} In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

3. Deliverance From Bondage

(Hebrews 2:14-15) Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; {15} And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

He received a verdict of death so that I might receive a verdict of deliverance.


In the December 17, 2000, issue of the Los Angeles Times, a reporter commented on the McMartin child abuse case – one of the longest trials in U.S. history. He said, “Nothing about the McMartin case was simple, easy or fast. It cost taxpayers more than $13 million. The preliminary hearing alone took 18 months. The entire case took seven years to wind through the courts, and involved six judges, 17 attorneys and hundreds of witnesses.”


Today though, 2000 years since the trial began, even though the execution took place quickly, the case for Christ is still being argued in the hearts of men each week. The question that demands an answer of every man is the question of Pilate - (Matthew 27:22) Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? I ask you this morning, what is your verdict? How do you find?