Why was the trial of Jesus the most important trial in all of history? Find out with lawyer Doug Brady on the show Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: May 24, 2020
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Dr. Reagan: Throughout history many trials have been called the trial of the century. Two examples are the trial of Socrates and the Scopes Monkey Trial. But there is one trial that is more than just the trial of the century. That’s because it is the most famous trial in all of history. The destiny of all people who have ever lived or will live is inseparably linked to its outcome. I’m speaking of course of the trial of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah. Stay tuned for a discussion of this trial with an outstanding legal expert.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope, and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. I have been joined in the studio today by our Associate Evangelist, Colonel Tim Moore, who is scheduled to take over the leadership of this ministry in September of 2021. And our special guest is an outstanding Dallas, Texas attorney by the name of Doug Brady. He is also a very gifted Bible teacher, and he teaches a class each Sunday morning at First Baptist Church here in Dallas, the church where Robert Jeffress serves as pastor. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy, brother.
Doug Brady: Dr. Reagan, it is so good to be here with you.
Dr. Reagan: Well, thank you.
Tim Moore: Folks, our purpose in this program is to discuss the legality of the judicial procedures that were applied to Jesus. Were His various trials legally sound, or was He the victim of a series of kangaroo courts? Also, we want to talk with Doug about the spiritual significance of the outcome of Jesus’ trials.
Dr. Reagan: But first, I want to ask Doug to give us a quick overview of the facts, both of the arrest of Jesus and the chronology of His subsequent trials. As Jack Webb used to say on the old “Dragnet” TV program of the 1950’s, “Just give me the facts, nothing but the facts.”
Doug Brady: Well, I would be happy to do that Dr. Reagan. Let me tell you Jesus was arrested somewhere between 7 PM and 10 PM. Many of the historians believe it was April 10th, 32 AD.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
Doug Brady: He was arrested without incident, of course except one, one of His followers swung the sword and cut off part of a man’s ear. But since Jesus replaced that ear for the man, then no charges were brought in regard to that. But He was arrested. He was then taken to the home of a man by the name of Annas, who if you do any study on that man he was really the godfather of Judea. He was in charge of all of the crime, and the corruption that was going on at the time. That he interrogated Him there. Then they sent Him over to Caiaphas’ house, who was the acting high priest at the time, He was interrogated there. And then they charged Him with blasphemy, and they had a trial before a portion of the Sanhedrin, they didn’t call everyone. They found Him guilty and found Him worthy of being put to death. But, they had a bit of a problem, they couldn’t put anybody to death for a charge of blasphemy. And so, the only way they could have Him executed was to get the Romans to do it. Also, during this trial they never gave Him an opportunity to defend Himself on the charge of blasphemy. If He had been allowed to do it He could have brought in the man who had been born blind for example, and who was given sight by Jesus, other events like the resurrection of Lazarus had never occurred in history before. But He was not given that time or allowed to present a defense. Now, they had a problem when they took it to the Roman court, Dr. Reagan, and that is really simply this: blasphemy was not considered a crime worthy of death by the Romans. So, they brought Him on charges of sedition, tax evasion, and insurrection, and there they presented those to the Roman Tribunal. Problem was He was found innocent of each of those charges. Once they found Him innocent they changed the charge to blasphemy again. He was found innocent of that. And then upon their threats of insurrection the Roman governor Pontius Pilate caved, sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.
Tim Moore: Well, based on that, Doug, you’ve talked about the sequence of events but let’s get to the legality of the various trials, and the conviction itself, and go from the arrest all the way to the last trial itself. And in that note I want folks at home to realize that we have found a book by an attorney named Richard Wellington Husband, he wrote a legal analysis in 1916 and he said, “The arrest was legal. The hearing by the Sanhedrin was legal. The course of the trial in the Roman court was legal, and the conviction was legal and was justified.” Now of course, on the other end of the spectrum we have a renowned Messianic Jewish scholar named, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, who concluded in his analysis that, “Yeshua was tried before a kangaroo court, whose proceedings arouse out of a conspiracy.” So, which was it? A legal proceeding, or a kangaroo court?
Doug Brady: Well, let me tell you when I graduated from law school I had a friend named Irv Stone and he convinced me to look into these trials and what exactly happened. And he convinced me to write something that he and I could both use in our teaching ministries. And I looked at the Hebrew. I looked at the Greek. I studied historically. And I found out that if you and I had gotten together and tried to commit as many errors as we possibly could have in a legal proceeding like this, we may not have found or been able to accomplish as many as they did.
Tim Moore: Wow.
Doug Brady: Let me tell you, there really, some scholars will tell you there were six trials; that’s because they are scholars they are not lawyers. There are really only two trials. But if you divide it between the Jewish trial and the Roman trial. In the Jewish trial there were 18 different errors that would have required reversal of the decision.
Tim Moore: Wow.
Doug Brady: Let me give you just a few. No trial was ever to commence during the hours of nighttime, and that’s in the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4.1. Trials were not to occur on the eve of a Sabbath, and of course the Passover is considered a Sabbath, and that was error. The accused is never to be forced to testify against themselves, and yet Jesus was, and they beat Him to get Him to answer. Someone was always required to be there to speak on behalf of the accused; Jesus had no one there to speak of on behalf of the accused. And the high priest was never to participate in the questioning of the witness, and yet both Annas and Caiaphas both did that. Now, what I did I wrote a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Imperial Court of Rome. I want to make that available to the ministry so that they can see it. It is also going to be on our website.
Tim Moore: And a writ of that nature means what, a Writ of Certiorari?
Doug Brady: A Writ of Certiorari is to the highest court that you can possibly go to. And it says that there are errors which are so important that the jurisprudence of that court would be injured if they don’t consider it.
Tim Moore: Kind of a Writ of Assertion to that high court.
Doug Brady: That is exactly right.
Tim Moore: Gotcha.
Doug Brady: Now, I told you there was a Jewish trial, there was also a Roman trial. It started out before Pontius Pilate when he heard that Jesus was from Galilee he thought, “I can get out of this by transferring venue up to Herod the Tetrarch,” who was responsible for Galilee and Perea. But once He got up there and Herod decided he didn’t want anything to do with it, he said that the events that they are accusing Jesus of crimes of occurred in Judea, so he transferred venue back to Pontius Pilate. But in all of this there were at least seven errors that the Roman courts committed, all of which are worthy of reversal. Now, there are some errors you can commit that aren’t reversal worthy, but all seven of these that I found were. For example, the Roman governor found Jesus not guilty on three separate occasions. How can you convict a man if you have made a finding of not guilty? When He went to Herod the accused was tortured and beaten and forced to suffer great humiliation which were against Roman procedure, and clearly against this kind of, in a capital punishment situation. So, all of those errors made this, in my opinion, the most error prone capital trial I have ever considered in my career.
Dr. Reagan: And one of the things that always impressed me about it was the fact that the very people that He was being tried in front of among the Jewish authorities, were the ones who conspiring behind His back, finding false witnesses. I mean the conspirators were the judges.
Doug Brady: Were the judges. And in fact, they had already made a decision, Dr. Reagan, that one man ought to be sacrificed for the people. And you know John tells us that although Caiaphas meant that against Jesus, it really was prophetical because that is exactly what needed to be done.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, that’s true. That’s true.
Tim Moore: So, the trial became almost political, more than legal in the sense of a calculation made beforehand. And even the Roman authorities perhaps making a calculation of appeasing the rebellion or the unrest that could have consumed the territory had they not relented to the demands of these political leaders, these religious leaders.
Doug Brady: That’s exactly right, Tim. And aren’t you glad now that you live in a country that doesn’t have politics involved in how court cases turn out?
Tim Moore: Oh, yeah, boy I wish I did, yes. Yes, sir.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, me, that is an interesting observation.
Tim Moore: And interesting observation, how things never change do they?
Doug Brady: Yes, and I think though that when we come back we ought to consider this: Really who was on trial? And who was calling the shots?
Dr. Reagan: Okay, let’s take a break and when we come back we will answer that question.
Tim Moore: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our discussion with Attorney Doug Brady about the arrest, trials, and conviction of Jesus. So, Doug before we went on break you made a fascinating statement that it wasn’t just Jesus, or really Jesus who was on trial. So, who was on trial if not Jesus Christ Himself?
Doug Brady: Jesus, Tim, was in complete control of every single thing that was happening in that trial. Every single thing that happened after the trial when He was beaten, and when He was crucified. Absolute and complete control. If you look at it the people on trial were people like Annas, Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Herod the Tetrarch, all of the Jewish leaders who were involved, even the Roman Empire was on trial. And as you think about it let me give you one example. During the trial, the Roman trial, Pontius Pilate asked Jesus four separate questions, he had four questions in the trial and that is all he asked. The second question that he asked was: “Are you really the King of the Jews?” Now, Jesus answered him, and He told him that He was born to be a king, but that His kingdom was not of this world, if it was his readers would be fighting about it. And instead He made the statement that Pontius Pilate needs to consider what’s really true, because in reality truth is first not a fact, but a person. And that person of truth was standing right before Pontius Pilate. And He told Pontius Pilate the truth. And Pontius Pilate made this statement, “What is truth?” If you look at it in the Greek it really comes across as sarcastic. The one thing I can’t tell is of course the tone of voice that Pontius Pilate said it in. And he turned to walk away. Did he turn to walk away as was saying it? Even more dismissive, or did he wait until he said it before he turned to walk away? But that was such a key event in the trial of Pontius Pilate because Pontius Pilate could have stayed there, Dave, and accepted the truth; and instead he turned around and he walked away from the truth. Walking in the blackness and darkness, going to be separated from God for the rest of his life, and thereafter for eternity.
Tim Moore: And eventually washed his own hands even of the episode that he had overseen.
Doug Brady: He thought he was washing his own hands.
Tim Moore: Yes. I love what you say about His question: What is truth? Because we have also come full circle in our own society and culture to where many people dismiss the very concept that there is truth, or that it can be known. And they would collectively ask: What is truth, or is there truth? You know I appreciate what you said about Jesus being in control because one of the scriptures I was going to read, actually two of them first from 1 John 3:16, “We know love by this; that He, Jesus Christ, laid down His life for us.” And John is really pointing back to a passage in John 10, and I’ll read verse 17 and 18, “For this reason,” Jesus is speaking, “the Father loves Me, because I lay down my life so that I may take it up again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on my own initiative. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it up again.” In other words, He was in complete control, this was not just some scheme that He was having to deal with and took the Father and the Son by surprise. Jesus Christ laid His life down willingly; that’s what you’re saying.
Doug Brady: Exactly.
Tim Moore: Very good.
Dr. Reagan: Well, tell us about the spiritual implications of the crucifixion, why is it so important?
Doug Brady: Well, there’s two reasons. Let’s talk generally first, Dr. Reagan, and then let’s talk specifically. Generally speaking, Mankind was all dead in their sin; sin is an epidemic among the human race and it can be only cured one way. And that one way is to let someone come who can live a perfect life, and then voluntarily sacrifice Himself for the others who have failed to live a perfect life. Jesus was able to accomplish that. You know some people argue: Was it more difficult for Jesus to live a perfect life for the 33 to 40 years that He lived here on earth, as opposed to going through crucifixion as a means of death? But He accomplished both voluntarily to purchase a pardon for Mankind. That’s the general part of what He did. But let me tell you specifically what He did. He made it so that any one person could choose to have their sins forgiven and receive that loving forgiveness from Jesus Himself. And then to be made a child of God, and to be able to spend eternity with Him forever.
Tim Moore: So, in that regard if we put our faith in Christ what becomes our legal status, counselor, when we stand before that judgment seat of God, because the scripture is very clear throughout that we will stand before the judgment throne of God. So, what will be our legal status?
Doug Brady: Let me look back and compare it with Pilate. Pilate choose to turn and look away.
Tim Moore: Right.
Doug Brady: I would imagine there are some people who are listening in your audience today who really are going to have make a choice, just like Pilate made. Do I stay and accept the truth of Jesus Christ, or do I turn and walk away? If they choose to turn and walk away, I just pray that they realize what they are doing. They are separating themselves from God. They are looking towards, walking towards eternal darkness, and spending forever away from God. Everything that God is, they are going experience in the opposite. If God is light; they are going to experience darkness. If God is love; they are going to experience severe rejection. If God is peace; all they will experience is tribulation. But more than that, I think it’s important for them to know how they can make that decision to choose Jesus and His truth. And it’s really, Dr. Reagan, a decision that a man or woman makes in his own heart, because God reads hearts. And in fact, if the people in our audience today have not made that decision, Tim, they ought to make it, now.
Tim Moore: Most certainly.
Doug Brady: In their heart if they would simply call out to God and say, “I recognize that I am a sinner, and I am in need of salvation. I also recognize that Jesus died for me because He loves me, and He paid the penalty for my sin. So, I want to receive His pardon right now. And I believe in His name for salvation.” You know it says in John 1:12, “But as many who have received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” And if they make that decision in their hearts speaking to God like that, the decision is made. They are now a child of God, and it lasts forever.
Tim Moore: But what about that person who says, “I’m going to use an appeal to God’s mercy. Okay, if I am going to stand before His throne someday will we be able to point to our good works?” For instance, I’ll give you an example. The former mayor of New York City who is now a presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg, has said, this and I will quote him, “I am telling you that if there is a God,” that’s his words, “when I get to Heaven I’m not going to be stopping for an interview. I am heading straight in because I have earned my place in Heaven. It is not even close.” What kind of an appeal will that be before a holy and righteous God appealing to His mercy in this case based on supposed good works?
Doug Brady: Tim, I’m going to say it this way because I want the people who are listening to understand, that kind of comment can only be made by an arrogant fool.
Dr. Reagan: Absolutely.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Doug Brady: And you know the Bible uses that word fool to describe those who say there is no God, or that God is not going to do. Think about it from this perspective.
Tim Moore: Yeah, the fool has said in his heart that there is no God.
Doug Brady: Can or should the creature even think that they can make the rules for the Creator? No, the Creator made the creature, the Creator sets the rules for the creature. And if they choose to ignore those rules they do so at their own peril. They are not going to be judged on a sliding scale. They are going to be judged in comparison to Jesus Christ. If they lived the perfect life like Jesus did, then they won’t go to Hell. But the Bible says it is very clear, and already been determined that there is no one without sin, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And if they do that, they are in peril of spending, I said that wrong, it’s not that they are in peril, they will spend eternity without God, in the place called the Lake of Fire.
Tim Moore: They already stand condemned.
Dr. Reagan: Well, I am glad that Tim raised this point because in 40 years of preaching and talking with people about their eternal destiny I have discovered what I call the great lie of Satan. And the great lie of Satan from the beginning has been: You can earn your salvation. The Mormons teach that. The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that. All the cults teach that you can earn your salvation. I’ve seen people stand on the steps of the cathedral in New York City and interview Catholics walking in and saying, “Are you going to go to Heaven?” “Well, I think that I’m a little bit better than the person down the street. And you know I’ve done this, and I’ve given this, and so forth and so on.” People believe that they are going to earn their way to Heaven. We even show a little film once in a while, it is very clever, that was made by a youth minister in Las Vegas, and it shows people standing at the judgment seat. And they say things like, “Well, you know I gave a lot of money to build a baseball park for kids.” Another guy comes up and says, “Do you take American Express?” It just goes on and on because that is what people believe. I even find people who go to Church every Sunday saying, “Well, I think I can make it.”
Tim Moore: On balance.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah, on balance.
Tim Moore: I’m better than bad. And almost the picture of the justice, scales of justice, they think, “Well, my good outweighs my bad. But you are making it very clear none of us are good enough.
Dr. Reagan: I want you to speak strongly to our viewers about the impossibility of earning salvation.
Doug Brady: You know it is a shame, Dave, when you see people who you know have believed a lie, and the effects of their belief of that lie are so grievous. But there is no question in the scripture. It is absolutely clear and certain, if you do not choose Jesus’ way you will spend eternity in Hell without God. Jesus said, “I am the Way, I am the Truth, and I am the Life, and no man comes to the Father but through Me.” Peter and John when they were before the same Sanhedrin in Acts chapter 4 made a specific statement, “That there is no other name given among men under heaven by which a man must be saved, other than the name of Jesus the Messiah.”
Dr. Reagan: Well, I am so glad you emphasized that because the number one apostasy that is just barreling through the Church today is the teaching that there are many different roads to God, and that we are intolerant to say that the Muslims don’t have their road, and the Jews don’t have their road, and the Buddhist don’t have their road. Who are we to say that we are the only way? And I always say, “I don’t say that. Jesus said it.”
Doug Brady: You know that’s the interesting thing. God’s not intolerant; God is in control. And if you don’t follow His rules you will fail.
Tim Moore: Well, John records in chapter 3, verse 36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” And part of our message is to flee from the wrath to come into the loving arms of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Doug Brady: Can you think of a better place to be, Tim?
Tim Moore: No, sir, I cannot.
Tim Moore: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy. Doug, I want to thank you for being our special guest today. You have been a real blessing. But also, I want you to tell folks how they can receive information on your recordings and your Writ of Petition.
Doug Brady: If they want a copy of the petition of the Writ of Certiorari they can get it on our website which is: believersbibleclass.com. We also have lesson materials there and audio recordings.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, wonderful recordings of his Sunday school lessons. Well, folks, that is our program for today. I hope it’s been a blessing to you, and I hope, the Lord willing, that you will be back with us next week. Until then this is Dave Regan speaking for Lamb & Lion Ministries saying, “Look up, be watchful, for our redemption is drawing near.”
End of Program