And they that had laid hold on Jesus led _him_ away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were a.s.sembled. But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death. But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, _yet_ found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This _fellow_ said, I am able to destroy the temple of G.o.d, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what _is it which_ these witness against thee? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living G.o.d, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of G.o.d. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses?
behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.--_St. Matt, xxvi: 57--66._
_NOTE BY THE ARTIST_
_The outward ceremonial of the hastily convoked and Irregular tribunal before which Jesus underwent the mockery of a trial was similar to that of the ancient Sanhedrim. The members sat on a semi-circular divan, the president in the centre, and a scribe at each extremity, who recorded the evidence and the decisions of the court. It may be noted, that while laws had been carefully formulated for the conduct of such trials, almost every one of them was flagrantly violated on the present occasion in order to ensure a pre-arranged condemnation. For example, these rules provided that witnesses should be summoned, and that an advocate should plead on behalf of the accused; and they forbade that criminal trials should be conducted at night, that condemnation should be p.r.o.nounced on the day of trial or on a holy day; and, if the crime were capital, that execution should follow on the day of sentence_.
JESUS IS THRICE DENIED BY PETER
Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before _them_ all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another _maid_ saw him, and said unto them that were there, This _fellow_ was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto _him_ they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art _one_ of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, _saying_, I know not the man. And immediately the c.o.c.k crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the c.o.c.k crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.--_St. Matt, xxvi: 69-74.; St. Luke xxii: 61, 62_.
_NOTE BY THE ARTIST_
_In the East, the houses of the great and official residences usually consist of a group of separate yet connected buildings, surrounding a quadrangular paved court planted with trees and flowering shrubs, and furnished in the centre with an open cistern or fountain. Such was probably the construction of the palace of the High Priest (Caiaphas), and, apparently, this open court, across which Jesus would be conducted to or from the hall of trial, was the place where bitterness was added to his sorrow in hearing himself denied by his friend--and that man who had been the first to profess belief in his Messiahship, and who, but a few brief hours before, had stoutly sworn to stand by him, even unto death_.
« Previous My Bookmarks Chapters Next»