What Christ’s Trial Before the Sanhedrin Tells Us

by Andy Pierson

SanhedrinIt is often stated or claimed by modern scholars that Jesus never made claim to the fact of His divinity. In some cases some modern scholars believe that Jesus didn’t even realize who He was nor did He realize nor claim He was divine. We see with the likes of D.F. Strauss cynical claims that the Gospels never even happened, they are myth. Although Strauss doesn’t deny outright the existence of Jesus as a historical character, he does deny just about everything else contained in the Gospel accounts. As such these modernistic claims present the possibility that if Jesus did not fully understand His exact purposes it is possible He may have just been a misguided extremist that tried to usher in an eschatological kingdom. They see Jesus as a regular man, a revolutionary or non-violent zealot that ended up dying a criminal’s death because what He did had been misconstrued as insurrectionist in intent. If He was just a regular man then He was not divine and then couldn’t have possibly have been Resurrected. With this in mind we find in modern times that Jesus’ trial before the Sanhedrin has become a pivotal study of the Christological title that reveal Jesus’ self-cognizance and self-awareness of his divinity. I intend through the scope of this paper to show just that.

If we go back to the Old Testament we see in Daniel the Ancient of Days that had the appearance of a man/human and we know from Scripture that Jesus believed in this eschatological appearance. A being that is given dominion and glory that is God-like. Although it is not Scripture we also see in the Book of Enoch the mention of the, Son of Man (l En. 48:3-6) who ‘shall depose the kings from their thrones and kingdoms’ and shall sit "upon the throne of his glory". Similar blurbs from extra-biblical sources reside in 4 Ezra 13. In these citations we see that the idea that the Son of Man, Jesus as a divine figure would’ve been in no way anti-Jewish. As we can see from history, the Jews obviously missed the boat on this count. As noted in our text, the “Son of Man” was Jesus choice of self-reference. It was a title Jesus gave Himself having been conscious of His purposes here on earth coupled with the fact that He had a divine timeline to fulfill. As such it very well may be an acknowledgment of His divine identity albeit a veiled one that allowed for His “time” καιρός / kairos or perfect time to unfold in which He would fulfill His mission on the Cross and not a moment before then…

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