Capital Punishment and Religion

Capital Punishment and Religion

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Capital Punishment and Religion

In this part of my coursework I have been asked to examine and
investigate the trials of Jesus from the time of his arrest to the
time of his death.

In my answer I should include the following; the role of Judas
Iscariot, the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin, the response by
Jesus given to the questions 'thrown' at him, and why the trial was
illegal, also I must include the trial before Pilate and how Pilate
attempted to free Jesus, and provide an outline of Jesus' punishment
and the way he was killed.

There are many reasons for why Pilate betrayed Jesus, there are a few
ideas for example in the gospels of Luke and john it is suggested that
the devil may have told Judas to betray Jesus, or it could be that
Judas was just disappointed that Jesus was not a warrior type messiah
but a peaceful messiah. This might be to do with 'Iscariot' because it
could mean 'zealot'.

The main reason suggested though that Judas betrayed Jesus because of
is that he was offered money by the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus, around
30 pieces of silver it is believed. Everybody knew that Judas like his
'fair' share of money, he regularly helped himself to the funds that
Jesus and the apostles shared.

The chief priests would have arrested Jesus earlier than they actually
did if it had not been for the feast of the Passover, they did not
want to arrest him during that time because they thought that the
people might cause riots. It was about this time that they offered
Judas the 30 pieces of silver to 'do the dirty' on Jesus.

After the Passover, Jesus was tried by the Sanhedrin, the accusation
against Jesus was that he said that he would destroy a man made
temple, and in 3 days build another temple not man made. Each
witness's evidence did not agree with the others' and so the whole of
the Sanhedrin could not find any evidence against Jesus so that they

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could put him to death.

Jesus' answer to the chief priest's question about if he had anything
to say about the accusations was . . . well there wasn't one. Jesus
remained silent. That was until Jesus was asked if he was the Christ,
to which his answer was simply 'yes, and you will see the son of man
sitting at the right hand of the father and coming on the clouds of

As this was said the priest tore his clothes, he did this because in
those days when blasphemy was heard, as a gesture of anger you were to
rip your clothes.

Jesus could then be found guilty of blasphemy; he was then spat on,
punched and beaten up by the guards, whilst he was blindfolded.

Before Jesus, by the Sanhedrin, was handed over to Pilate, he was
bound. When Pilate first saw Jesus he asked him, ' are you the king of
the Jews' Jesus replied 'Yes it is as you say' The chief priests had
accused Jesus of many things when Pilate asked if Jesus would answer
Jesus remained silent.

At this time of the year it was the usual thing to let free a prisoner
that the people actually wanted in society. Pilate asked the Jews if
they would rather barabbus ( a terrible thief etc.) or Jesus, a man
who has done no wrong. He thought it was a no contest in Jesus' favour
but he was wrong. Pilate reluctantly released barabbus to please the
crowds. He then flogged Jesus and handed him over to be crucified.

I know must answer the question of whether or not the trial before the
Sanhedrin was legal.

The witness's all gave false testimonies, which is perjury, so all of
the witness's could have been punished by death. Also the case was
completed within the day, whereas if Jesus was to be found guilty then
the case should have lasted at least two, these reasons alone can
prove that the trial was illegal.

The way Jesus was treated during and before his death was appalling.
Archaeologists and many historians provide us with information about
execution by crucifixion.

· Prisoner was beaten with cat 'o' nine tails whip.

· He was made to carry the cross to the crucifixion site.

· The prisoner was then stripped and fixed to the cross, nails were
hammered into the wrists and feet

· Prisoner was allowed drugged wine, a kind of anaesthetic to the

· On the cross was a notice telling of why the prisoner was on the

· Death was usually by suffocation rather than anything else, e.g.

· Death usually took a few days, but even this was sped up when the
centurion put a sword into Jesus' side.

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