There are a lot of good and sincere religious
leaders.  We are grateful for that. But
sometimes there are leaders who are selfish
and want everything their own way so they
can stay leaders.

Annas was the Jews' high priest.  When he
got old, his son-in-law, Caiaphas, was
appointed high priest.  Actually, Annas
didn't quit; they really had two high priests

Annas and Caiaphas were the ones who
ordered the palace soldiers and Temple
guards to arrest Jesus.  Jesus was taken in
chains first to Annas' palace.

He hated Jesus because the last king the
Jews had many years earlier was also high
priest, and he knew the next king would also
be high priest.  If Jesus became
king-priest, then Annas would lose his job as
high priest.

It was now the middle of the night.  Jesus
was led to Annas in chains.  He questioned
Jesus over and over, but Jesus wouldn't
answer any of his questions.

Finally Jesus told Annas he had preached in
public so should be judged in public.  Of
course Annas would not allow that because
the common people would find Jesus innocent.

Next Jesus was led to the palace of
Caiaphas.  Several bad people were paid to
go to the palace and tell lies on Jesus.  But
Jesus would not defend himself.

Finally, Caiaphas asked Jesus outright, "Are
you the Son of God?"  To that Jesus
replied, "Yes."  Caiaphas replied, "You have
just insulted God.  You must be put to

Others in the room began to abuse Jesus.  
They spit on him.  Someone put a blindfold
on him and men took turns slapping him.  
Then they demanded that Jesus tell them
who hit him, like they were playing a game.

No matter what they did to Jesus, he
refused to talk.  Instead, he thought about
some of the Psalms in the Bible and repeated
them in his mind ~ like the 23rd Psalm, "The
Lord is my shepherd and he'll take care of

When they were done being mean, the high
priests turned Jesus over to the Temple
guards.  They took him to the basement of
the palace and began to beat him.

They did not want Jesus to be the Son of
God.  They did not want Jesus to be their
king or high priest or anything.  All they
wanted was for Jesus to die and go away.

Have you ever been ganged up on by some
other children?  Did they talk ugly to you?  
Did they hit you and not let you escape?  Or
do you know anyone this has happened to?

Remember that Jesus understands.  He was
treated like that.  He could have escaped
from them just by calling down angels to
rescue him.  But he chose to stay so he
could save us from our sins.