The Mistrial of the Ages
Mistrial: A trial that becomes invalid, is essentially canceled, because of a mistake in procedure.
During the time leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, He was led before the Jewish Sanhedrin to face formal charges as they were brought against him. It was at this trial that they ultimately determined his guilty verdict and decided to implement capital punishment. Yet a careful examination of that trial will reveal that it was in violation of many Jewish laws by which the Sanhedrin were directed to follow. It is my intention in this article to prove to you that even if Christ were guilty of the charges he faced his trial was still completely bogus. The laws of justice by which the Sanhedrin were so famous for following were completely thrown out the window as Yeshua or Jesus Christ was led to his crucifixion.
The Great Sanhedrin was an assembly of Jewish judges who comprised the Jewish court of law. This panel included a leader called a Nasi, a High Priest, a vice-chief justice and sixty-nine general members. These Jewish leaders were considered experts in many fields. They were well versed in Science, medicine, chemistry and foreign languages. The priests were experts in the moral law, the elders in the civil law, and the scribes in the ceremonial law.
The Sanhedrin imposed strict regulations upon itself in order to maintain such a high standard and to protect an innocent man from ever being wrongly accused of guilt. This standard, or law code, was called the Mishna. It was this law code that was completely ignored during the trying of Jesus Christ and it is this law code that invalidates any claim at the Sanhedrin's authority to determine whether Jesus was or was not the Messiah.
- The Sanhedrin met before the morning sacrifice. This was illegal. The purpose of this self-imposed regulations was to ensure that the counsel had taken the proper time to prepare themselves spiritually for such a decision. This helped to ensure that the men were "right with God" when handing down important verdicts.
- The Sanhedrin met prior to the Sabbath and prior to a feast day. This was illegal. The Sanhedrin were not allowed to meet on these days regarding any matter related to capital punishment. Since the Sanhedrin were required to reconvene on the day following any capital punishment decision, they imposed this law to ensure that they would not have to meet on a Sabbath or on a feast day.
- The witnesses did not agree. This was illegal. The Bible is very clear about the consequences of perjury before the court of law. "Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you." (Deut. 19:19). Jesus should not have been crucified that day. Those who witnessed against him should have been nailed to that cross!
- Christ's defense was never allowed. This was illegal. The accused could testify before the Sanhedrin but it was not required. The accused individual's confession was not enough to condemn them. This ensured that he was not coerced into a confession.
- The Sanhedrin continually changed their charges against him. This was illegal. The Sanhedrin began by accusing him of sedition (Mark 14:58; John 2:19). When that was not effective they moved to charge him with blasphemy(Mark 14:63-64). Finally, when they could not get a capital punishment charge based on either of those charges, they appealed to the Romans with the accusation of treason (Luke 23:1-2).
- The Sanhedrin presented a unanimous vote. This was illegal. According to Jewish law, a unanimous verdict of guilt required that the prisoner be released. This was an added precaution to safeguard against the counsel not taking the proper deliberations and giving a fair trial. This was also implemented to ensure that a conspiracy was not taking place.
- The Sanhedrin never reconvened the next day. This was illegal. The Sanhedrin were required to reconvene twenty-four hours later on all trials that included capital punishment. A member of the panel could change a 'guilty' vote to a 'not guilty' but a person could not change a 'not guilty' to a 'guilty.' This was an effort to protect the accused in that a member would sometimes see things more clearly after a good night's rest and perhaps would be more benevolent.
The above violations are only a few of the many clear infringements on Jewish law and justice that took place during what I have come to call 'The Mistrial of the Ages.' Any assertion to the authority of the Sanhedrin in these matters become null and void. They have forfeit any credence that they may like to claim concerning the Messiah. I have laid out the evidence clearly and truthfully. You decide what to do with it!