THE LIFE OF JESUS

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The temple-rulers in Jerusalem knew that their privileges depended on continued cooperation with the Roman power, but the common people would have welcomed a deliverer to defeat Rome.

Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension.
Image source: © Carta, Jerusalem

Within the next few days it became plain that Jesus had no intention of being that kind of deliverer. He would not even denounce the payment of taxes to the Roman Emperor (which was a token of submission to his rule). He did indeed expel traders from the outer court of the temple, but this was the action of a prophet, not of a rebel leader. Popular enthusiasm for him quickly cooled, but the chief priests, for fear that he might provoke a rising, had already arranged to have him arrested.

One of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, had promised to show them where to lay hands on him without danger of a riot.

Accordingly, on the Thursday evening of Passover Week Jesus was arrested, tried early next morning before the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, and condemned to death for encouraging rebellion and claiming to be “king of the Jews”. The death-sentence was carried out by crucifixion, and it looked as if the movement led by Jesus had gone the same way as other ill-fated movements which were started in Judea under the Romans.