Who Thought Jesus Was Innocent?

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Did anyone think Jesus was innocent of the charges that ultimately led to his crucifixion? If so, who were they? When did they declare Jesus was blameless?

The New Testament records six people who bore witness that Jesus was innocent of the charges against him that led to him receiving the death penalty. Amazingly, all six of these people revealed they felt the Lord was not guilty of a capital crime on the same day! This day was April 5 in 30 A.D., a Wednesday, the day Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified.

Judas Iscariot

Judas, after Satan the devil stopped possessing him, began to feel great remorse and sadness for his betrayal of Jesus. He decides, a few hours after taking Jewish leaders to his Master, to confront his accomplices and admit his guilt by declaring he sinned through betraying innocent blood.

Now when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He (Jesus) was condemned, he changed his mind and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, "I have sinned and have betrayed innocent blood." (Matthew 27:3 - 4, HBFV throughout).

Judas' revulsion toward his own actions leads him to commit suicide (Matthew 27:5).

Pilate's Second Interrogation of Christ
Pilate's Second Interrogation of Jesus
Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308 - 11

Pilate and Herod
Before 8 a.m.

The Jewish Sanhedrin, shortly after sunrise, escort Jesus to Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:1 - 2). After the two men have an incredibly brief conversation the Lord is sent to Herod.

Herod Antipas questions Jesus but receives no answers. After his soldiers treat the Lord with contempt and mock him he is sent back to Pilate. After another brief conversation Pilate declares both he and Herod find Christ innocent of the serious charges against him.

And when Pilate had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, He said to them, "You brought this Man to me as one who was turning away the people; and behold, I have examined Him in your presence and have found nothing blameworthy in this Man concerning the accusation which you bring against Him;

"Nor even has Herod; for I sent you to him, and observe, nothing worthy of death was done by Him" (Luke 23:13 - 15).

Pilate's Wife
8 a.m.

Pilate attempts to release Jesus by offering the people a choice between freeing him or a hardened criminal and murderer named Barabbas. Jewish religious leaders, unbeknownst to him, stir up the crowd against the Lord. Pilate, as the chants for crucifixion grow to a fever pitch, receives a message from his wife declaring Christ's innocence.

Now as he (Pilate) sat on the judgment seat, his wife sent a message to him, saying, "Let there be nothing between you and that righteous Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him." (Matthew 27:19).

A Crucified Thief
Noon to 3 p.m.

One of the two thieves crucified along with Jesus mocks him by requesting he save all three of the men. The other thief not only rebukes the man's foolishness but also reveals the Lord was innocent.

But the other one answered and rebuked him, saying, "Do not even you fear God, you who are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving due payment for what we did; but this Man did nothing wrong." (Luke 23:40 - 41).

A Roman Centurion
3 p.m.

A Roman Centurion, after he witnessed Jesus' selfless and noble death, declared he was a righteous man innocent of the charges against him.

Now after seeing the things that took place, the centurion glorified God, saying, "Truly, this Man was righteous." (Luke 23:47).

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