Jesus before Annas
It was towards midnight when Jesus reached the palace of Annas, and his guards immediately conducted him into a very large hall, where Annas, surrounded by twenty-eight councillors, was seated on a species of platform, raised a little above the level of the floor, and placed opposite to the entrance. The soldiers who first arrested Jesus now dragged him roughly to the foot of the tribunal. The room was quite full, between soldiers, the servants of Annas, a number of the mob who had been admitted, and the false witnesses who afterwards adjourned to Caiphas’s hall.
Annas was delighted at the thought of our Lord being brought before him, and was looking out for his arrival with the greatest impatience. The expression of his countenance was most repulsive, as it showed in every lineameat not only the infernal joy with which he was filled, but likewise all the cunning and duplicity of his heart. He was the president of a species of tribunal instituted for the purpose of examining persons accused of teaching false doctrines; and if convicted there, they were then taken before the High Priest.
Jesus stood before Annas. He looked exhausted and haggard; his garments were covered with mud, his hands manacled, his head bowed down, and he spoke not a word. Annas was a thin ill-humoured-looking old man, with a scraggy beard. His pride and arrogance were great; and as he seated himself he smiled ironically, pretending that he knew nothing at all, and that he was perfectly astonished at finding that the prisoner whom he had just been informed was to be brought before him, was no other than Jesus of Nazareth. ‘ Is it possible, said he ‘is it possible that thou art Jesus of Nazareth? Where are thy disciples, thy numerous followers? Where is thy kingdom? I fear affairs have not turned out as thou didst expect. The authorities, I presume, discovered that it was quite time to put a stop to thy conduct, disrespectful as it was towards God and his priests, and to such violations of the Sabbath. What disciples hast thou now? Where are they all gone? Thou art silent! Speak out, seducer! speak out, thou inciter of rebellion! Didst thou not eat the Paschal lamb in an unlawful manner, at an improper time, and in an improper place? Dost thou not desire to introduce new doctrines? Who gave thee the right of preaching? Where didst thou study? Speak, what are the tenets of thy religion?
Jesus then raised his weary head, looked at Annas, and said, ‘I have spoken openly to the world;I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the Temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in secret I have spoken nothing. Why askest thou me? Ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them; behold, they know what things I have said.’
At this answer of Jesus the countenance of Annas flushed with fury and indignation. A base menial who was standing near perceived this, and he immediately struck our Lord on the face with his iron gauntlet, exclaiming at the same moment, ‘Answerest thou the High Priest so?’ Jesus was so nearly prostrated by the violence of the blow, that when the guards likewise reviled and struck him, he fell quite down, and blood trickled from his face on to the floor. Laughter, insults, and bitter words resounded through the hall. The archers dragged him roughly up again, and he mildly answered, ‘If 1 have spoken evil. give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me?’
Annas became still more enraged when he saw the calm demeanour of Jesus, and, turning to the witnesses, he desired them to bring forward their accusations. They all began to speak at once:—‘He has called himself king; he says that God is his Father; that the Pharisees are an adulterous generation. He causes insurrection among the people; he cures the sick by the help of the devil on the Sabbath-day. The inhabitants of Ophel assembled round him a short time ago, and addressed him by the titles of Saviour and Prophet. He lets himself be called the Son of God; he says that he is sent by God; he predicts the destruction of Jerusalem. He does not fast; he eats with sinners, with pagans, and with publicans, and associates with women of evil repute. A short time ago he said to a man who gave him some water to drink at the gates of Ophel, “that he would give unto him the waters of eternal life, after drinking which he would thirst no more.” He seduces the people by words of double meaning.
These accusations were all vociferated at once; some of the witnesses stood before Jesus and insulted him while they spoke by derisive gestures, and the archers went so far as even to strike him, saying at the same time, ‘Speak; why dost thou not answer?’ Annas and his adherents added mockery to insult, exclaiming at every pause in the accusations, ‘This is thy doctrine, then, is it? What canst thou answer to this? Issue thy orders, great King; man sent by God, give proofs of thy mission.’ ‘Who art thou?’ continued Annas, in a tone of cutting contempt; ‘by whom art thou sent? Art thou the son of an obscure carpenter, or art thou Elias, who was carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot? He is said to be still living, and I have been told that thou canst make thyself invisible when thou pleasest. Perhaps thou art the prophet Malachy, whose words thou dost so frequently quote. Some say that an angel was his father, and that he likewise is still alive. An impostor as thou art could not have a finer opportunity of taking persons in than by passing thyself off as this prophet. Tell me, without farther preamble, to what order of kings thou dost belong? Thou art greater than Solomon,—at least thou pretendest so to be, and dost even expect to be believed. Be easy, I will no longer refuse the title and the sceptre which are so justly thy due.’
Annas then called for the sheet of parchment, about a yard in length, and six inches in width; on this he wrote a series of words in large letters, and each word expressed some different accusation which had been brought against our Lord. He then rolled it up, placed it in a little hollow tube, fastened it carefully on the top of a reed, and presented this reed to Jesus, saying at the same time, with a contemptuous sneer, ‘Behold the sceptre of thy kingdom; it contains thy titles, as also the account of the honours to which thou art entitled, and of thy right to the throne. Take them to the High Priest, in order that he may acknowledge thy regal dignity, and treat thee according to thy deserts. Tie the hands of this king, and take him before the High Priest.’
The hands of Jesus, which had been loosened, were then tied across his breast in such a manner as to make him hold the pretended sceptre, which contained the accusations of Annas, and he was led to the Court of Caiphas, amidst the hisses, shouts, and blows lavished upon him by the brutal mob.
The house of Annas was not more than three hundred steps from that of Caiphas; there were high walls and common-looking houses on each side of the road, which were lighted up by torches and lanterns placed on poles, and there were numbers of Jews standing about talking in an angry excited manner. The soldiers could scarcely make their way through the crowd, and those who had behaved so shamefully to Jesus at the Court of Annas continued their insults and base usage during the whole of the time spent in walking to the house of Caiphas. I saw money given to those who behaved the worst to Jesus by armed men belonging to the tribunal, and I saw them push out of the way all who looked compassionately at him. The former were allowed to enter the Court of Caiphas.
The Tribunal of Caiphas
To enter Caiphas’s tribunal persons had to pass through a large court, which may be called the exterior court; from thence they entered into an inner court, which extended all round the building. The building itself was of far greater length than breadth, and in the front there was a kind of open vestibule surrounded on three sides by columns of no great height. On the fourth side the columns were higher, and behind them was a room almost as large as the vestibule itself, where the seats of the members of the Council were placed on a species of round platform raised above the level of the floor. That assigned to the High Priest was elevated above the others; the criminal to be tried stood in the centre of the half-circle formed by the seats. The witnesses and accusers stood either by the side or behind the prisoner. There were three doors at the back of the judges’ seats which led into another apartment, filled likewise with seats. This room was used for secret consultation. Entrances placed on the right and left hand sides of this room opened into the interior court, which was round, like the back of the building. Those who left the room by the door on the right-hand side saw on the left-hand side of the court the gate which led to a subterranean prison excavated under the room. There were many underground prisons there, and it was in one of these that Peter and John were confined a whole night, when they had cured the lame man in the Temple after Pentecost. Both the house and the courts were filled with torches and lamps, which made them as light as day. There was a large fire lighted in the middle of the porch, on each side of which were hollow pipes to serve as chimneys for the smoke, and round this fire were standing soldiers, menial servants, and witnesses of the lowest class who had received bribes for giving their false testimony. A few women were there likewise, whose employment was to pour out a species of red beverage for the soldiers, and to bake cakes, for which services they received a small compensation.
The majority of the judges were already seated around Caiphas, the others came in shortly afterwards, and the porch was almost filled, between true and false witnesses, while many other persons likewise endeavoured to come in to gratify their curiosity, but were prevented. Peter and John entered the outer court, in the dress of travellers, a short time before Jesus was led through, and John succeeded in penetrating into the inner court, by means of a servant with whom he was acquainted. The door was instantly closed after him, therefore Peter, who was a little behind, was shut out. He begged the maid-servant to open the door for him, but she refused both his entreaties and those of John, and he must have remained on the outside had not Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who came up at this moment, taken him with them. The two Apostles then returned the cloaks which they had borrowed, and stationed themselves in a place from whence they could see the judges, and hear everything that was going on. Caiphas was seated in the centre of the raised platform, and seventy of the members of the Sanhedrim were placed around him, while the public officers, the Scribes, and the ancients were standing on either side, and the false witnesses behind them. Soldiers were posted from the base of the platform to the door of the vestibule through which Jesus was to enter. The countenance of Caiphas was solemn in the extreme, but the gravity was accompanied by unmistakable signs of suppressed rage and sinister intentions. He wore a long mantle of a dull red colour, embroidered in flowers and trimmed with golden fringe; it was fastened at the shoulders and on the chest, besides being ornamented in the front with gold clasps. His head-attire was high, and adorned with hanging ribbons, the sides were open, and it rather resembled a bishop’s mitre. Caiphas had been waiting with his adherents belonging to the Great Council for some time, and so impatient was he that he arose several times, went into the outer court in his magnificent dress, and asked angrily whether Jesus of Nazareth was come. When he saw the procession drawing near he returned to his seat.
Jesus before Caiphas
Jesus was led across the court, and the mob received him with groans and hisses. As he passed by Peter and John, he looked at them, but without turning his head, for fear of betraying them. Scarcely had he reached the council-chamber, than Caiphas exclaimed in a loud tone, ‘Thou art come, then, at last, thou enemy of God, thou blasphemer, who dost disturb the peace of this holy night!’ The tube which contained the accusations of Annas, and was fastened to the pretended sceptre in the hands of Jesus, was instantly opened and read.
Caiphas made use of the most insulting language, and the archers again struck and abused our Lord, vociferating at the same time, ‘Answer at once! Speak out! Art thou dumb?’ Caiphas, whose temper was indescribably proud and arrogant, became even more enraged than Annas had been, and asked a thousand questions one after the other, but Jesus stood before him in silence, and with his eyes cast down. The archers endeavoured to force him to speak by repeated blows, and a malicious child pressed his thumb into his lips, tauntingly bidding him to bite. The witnesses were then called for. The first were persons of the lowest class, whose accusations were as incoherent and inconsistent as those brought forward at the court of Annas, and nothing could be made out of them; Caiphas therefore turned to the principal witnesses, the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who had assembled from all parts of the country. They endeavoured to speak calmly, but their faces and manner betrayed the virulent envy and hatred with which their hearts were overflowing, and they repeated over and over again the same accusations, to which he had already replied so many times: ‘That he cured the sick, and cast out devils, by the help of devils—that he profaned the Sabbath—incited the people to rebel—called the Pharisees a race of vipers and adulterers—predicted the destruction of Jerusalem—frequented the society of publicans and sinners—assembled the people and gave himself out as a king, a prophet, and the Son of God.’ They deposed ‘that he was constantly speaking of his kingdom,—that he forbade divorce,—called himself the Bread of Life, and said that whoever did not eat his flesh and drink his blood would not have eternal life.
Thus did they distort and misinterpret the words he had uttered, the instructions he had given, and the parables by which he had illustrated his instructions, giving them the semblance of crimes. But these witnesses could not agree in their depositions, for one said, ‘He calls himself king;’ and a second instantly contradicted, saying, ‘No, he allows persons to call him so; but directly they attempted to proclaim him, he fled.’ Another said, ‘He calls himself the Son of God,’ but he was interrupted by a fourth, who exclaimed, ‘No, he only styles himself the Son of God because he does the will of his Heavenly Father.’ Some of the witnesses stated that he had cured them, but that their diseases had returned, and that his pretended cures were only performed by magic. They spoke likewise of the cure of the paralytic man at the pool of Bethsaida, but they distorted the facts so as to give them the semblance of crimes, and even in these accusations they could not agree, contradicting one another. The Pharisees of Sephoris, with whom he had once had a discussion on the subject of divorces, accused him of teaching false doctrines, and a young man of Nazareth, whom he had refused to allow to become one of his disciples, was likewise base enough to bear witness against him.
It was found to be utterly impossible to prove a single fact, and the witnesses appeared to come forward for the sole purpose of insulting Jesus, rather than to demonstrate the truth of their statements. Whilst they were disputing with one another, Caiphas and some of the other members of the Council employed themselves in questioning Jesus, and turning his answers into derision. ‘What species of king art thou? Give proofs of thy power! Call the legions of angels of whom thou didst speak in the Garden of Olives! What hast thou done with the money given unto thee by the widows, and other simpletons whom thou didst seduce by thy false doctrines? Answer at once: speak out,—art thou dumb? Thou wouldst have been far wiser to have kept silence when in the midst of the foolish mob: there thou didst speak far too much.’
All these questions were accompanied by blows from the under-servants of the members of the tribunal, and had our Lord not been supported from above, he could not have survived this treatment. Some of the base witnesses endeavoured to prove that he was an illegitimate son; but others declared that his mother was a pious Virgin, belonging to the Temple, and that they afterwards saw her betrothed to a man who feared God. The witnesses upbraided Jesus and his disciples with not having offered sacrifice in the Temple. It is true that I never did see either Jesus or his disciples offer any sacrifice in the Temple, excepting the Paschal lamb; but Joseph and Anna used frequently during their lifetime to offer sacrifice for the Child Jesus. However, even this accusation was puerile, for the Essenians never offered sacrifice, and no one thought the less well of them for not doing so. The enemies of Jesus still continued to accuse him of being a sorcerer, and Caiphas affirmed several times that the confusion in the statements of the witnesses was caused solely by witchcraft.
Some said that he had eaten the Paschal Iamb on thc previous day, which was contrary to the law, and that the year before he had made different alterations in the manner of celebrating this ceremony. But the witnesses contradicted one another to such a degree that Caiphas and his adherents found, to their very great annoyance and anger, that not one accusation could be really proved. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea were called up, and being commanded to say how it happened that they had allowed him to eat the Pasch on the wrong day in a room which belonged to them, they proved from ancient documents that from time immemorial the Galileans had been allowed to eat the Pasch a day earlier than the rest of the Jews. They added that every other part of the ceremony had been performed according to the directions given in the law, and that persons belonging to the Temple were present at the supper. This quite puzzled the witnesses, and Nicodemus increased the rage of the enemies of Jesus by painting out the passages in the archives which proved the right of the Galileans, and gave the reason for which this privilege was granted. The reason was this: the sacrifices would not have been finished by the Sabbath if the immense multitudes who congregated together for that purpose had all been obliged to perform the ceremony on the same day; and although the Galileans had not always profited by this right, yet its existence was incontestably proved by Nicodemus; and the anger of the Pharisees was heightened by his remarking that the members of the Council had cause to be greatly offended at the gross contradictions in the statements of the witnesses, and that the extraordinary and hurried manner in which the whole affair had been conducted showed that malice and envy were the sole motives which induced the accusers, and made them bring the case forward at a moment when all were busied in the preparations for the most solemn feast of the year. They looked at Nicodemus furiously, and could not reply, but continued to question the witnesses in a still more precipitate and imprudent manner. Two witnesses at last came forward, who said, ‘This man said, “I will destroy this Temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands.”’ However, even these witnesses did not agree in their statements, for one said that the accused wished to build a new Temple, and that he had eaten the Pasch in an unusual place, because he desired the destruction of the ancient Temple; but the other said, ‘Not so: the edifice where he ate the Pasch was built by human hands, therefore he could not have referred to that.’
The wrath of Caiphas was indescribable; for the cruel treatment which Jesus had suffered, his Divine patience, and the contradictions of the witnesses, were beginning to make a great impression on many persons present, a few hisses were heard, and the hearts of some were so touched that they could not silence the voice of their consciences. Ten soldiers left the court under pretext of indisposition, but in reality overcome by their feelings. As they passed by the place where Peter and John were standing, they exclaimed, ‘The silence of Jesus of Nazareth, in the midst of such cruel treatment, is superhuman: it would melt a heart of iron: the wonder is, that the earth does not open and swallow such reprobates as his accusers must be. But tell us, where must we go?’ The two Apostles either mistrusted the soldiers, and thought they were only seeking to betray them, or they were fearful of being recognised by those around and denounced as disciples of Jesus, for they only made answer in a melancholy tone: ‘If truth calls you, follow it, and all will come right of itself.’ The soldiers instantly went out of the room, and left Jerusalem soon after. They met persons on the outskirts of the town, who directed them to the caverns which lay to the south of Jerusalem, on the other side of Mount Sion, where many of the Apostles had taken refuge. These latter were at first alarmed at seeing strangers enter their hiding-place; but the soldiers soon dispelled all fear, and gave them an account of the sufferings of Jesus.
The temper of Caiphas, which was already perturbed, became quite infuriated by the contradictory statements of the two last witnesses, and rising from his seat he approached Jesus, and said: ‘Answerest thou nothing to the things which these witness against thee?’
Jesus neither raised his head nor looked at the High Priest, which increased the anger of the latter to the greatest degree; and the archers perceiving this seized our Lord by the hair, pulled his head back, and gave him blows under the chin; but he still kept his eyes cast down. Caiphas raised his hands, and exclaimed in an enraged tone: ‘I adjure thee by the living God that thou tell us if thou be Christ the Messiah, the son of the living God?’
A momentary and solemn pause ensued. Then Jesus in a majestic and superhuman voice replied, ‘Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of Heaven.’ Whilst Jesus was pronouncing these words, a bright light appeared to me to surround him; Heaven was opened above his head; I saw the Eternal Father; but no words from a human pen can describe the intuitive view that was then vouchsafed me of him. I likewise saw the angels, and the prayers of the just ascending to the throne of God.
At the same moment I perceived the yawning abyss of hell like a fiery meteor at the feet of Caiphas; it was filled with horrible devils; a slight gauze alone appeared to separate him from its dark flames. I could see the demoniacal fury with which his heart was overflowing, and the whole house looked to me like hell. At the moment that our Lord pronounced the solemn words, ‘I am the Christ, the Son of the living God,’ hell appeared to be shaken from one extremity to the other, and then, as it were, to burst forth and inundate every person in the house of Caiphas with feelings of redoubled hatred towards our Lord. These things are always shown to me under the appearance of some material object, which renders them less difficult of comprehension, and impresses them in a more clear and forcible manner on the mind, because we ourselves being material beings, facts are more easily illustrated in our regard if manifested through the medium of the senses. The despair and fury which these words produced in hell were shown to me under the appearance of a thousand terrific figures in different places. I remember seeing, among other frightful things, a number of little black objects, like dogs with claws, which walked on their hind legs; I knew at the time what kind of wickedness was indicated by this apparition, but I cannot remember now. I saw these horrible phantoms enter into the bodies of the greatest part of the bystanders, or else place themselves on their head or shoulders. I likewise at this moment saw frightful spectres come out of the sepulchres on the other side of Sion; I believe they were evil spirits. I saw in the neighbourhood of the Temple many other apparitions, which resembled prisoners loaded with chains: I do not know whether they were demons, or souls condemned to remain in some particular part of the earth, and who were then going to Limbo, which our Lord’s condemnation to death had opened to them.
It is extremely difficult to explain these facts, for fear of scandalising those who have no knowledge of such things; but persons who see feel them, and they often cause the very hair to stand on end on the head. I think that John saw some of these apparitions, for I heard him speak about them afterwards. All whose hearts were not radically corrupted felt excessively terrified at these events, but the hardened were sensible of nothing but an increase of hatred and anger against our Lord.
Caiphas then arose, and, urged on by Satan, took up the end of his mantle, pierced it with his knife, and rent it from one end to the other, exclaiming at the same time, in a loud voice, ‘He hath blasphemed. what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy: what think you?’ All who were then present arose, and exclaimed with astounding malignancy, ‘He is guilty of death!’
During the whole of this frightful scene, the devils were in the most tremendous state of excitement; they appeared to have complete possession not only of the enemies of Jesus, but likewise of their partisans and cowardly followers. The powers of darkness seemed to me to proclaim a triumph over the light, and the few among the spectators whose hearts still retained a glimmering of light were filled with such consternation that, covering their heads, they instantly departed. The witnesses who belonged to the upper classes were less hardened than the others; their consciences were racked with remorse, and they followed the example given by the persons mentioned above, and left the room as quickly as possible, while the rest crowded round the fire in the vestibule, and ate and drank after receiving full pay for their services. The High Priest then addressed the archers, and said, ‘I deliver this king up into your hands; render the blasphemer the honours which are his due.’ After these words he retired with the members of his Council into the round room I behind the tribunal, which could not be seen from the vestibule.
In the midst of the bitter affliction which inundated the heart of John, his thoughts were with the Mother of Jesus; he feared that the dreadful news of the condemnation of her Son might be communicated to her suddenly or that perhaps some enemy might give the information in a heartless manner. He therefore looked at Jesus, and saying in a low voice, ‘Lord, thou knowest why I leave thee,’ went away quickly to seek the Blessed Virgin, as he had been sent by Jesus himself. Peter was quite overcome between anxiety and sorrow, which, joined to fatigue, made him chilly; therefore, as the morning was cold, he went up to the fire where many of the common people were warming themselves. He did his best to hide his grief in their presence, as he could not make up his mind to go home and leave his beloved Master.
The Insults received by Jesus in the Court of Caiphas
No sooner did Caiphas, with the other members of the Council, leave the tribunal than a crowd of miscreants— the very scum of the people—surrounded Jesus like a swarm of infuriated wasps, and began to heap every imaginable insult upon him. Even during the trial, whilst the witnesses were speaking, the archers and some others could nor restrain their cruel inclinations, but pulled out handfuls of his hair and beard, spat upon him, struck him with their fists, wounded him with sharp-pointed sticks, and even ran needles into his body; but when Caiphas left the hall they set no bounds to their barbarity. They first placed a crown, made of straw and the bark of trees, upon his head, and then took it off, saluting him at the same time with insulting expressions, like the following: ‘Behold the Son of David wearing the crown of his father.’ ‘A greater than Solomon is here; this is the king who is preparing a wedding feast for his son.’ Thus did they turn into ridicule those eternal truths which he had taught under the form of parable to those whom he came from heaven to save; and whilst repeating these scoffing words, they continued to strike him with their fists and sticks, and to spit in his face. Next they put a crown of reeds upon his head, took off his robe and scapular, and then threw an old torn mantle, which scarcely reached his knees, over his shoulders; around his neck they hung a long iron chain, with an iron ring at each end, studded with sharp points, which bruised and tore his knees as be walked. They again pinioned his arms, put a reed into his hand, and covered his Divine countenance with spittle. They had already thrown all sorts of filth over his hair, as well as over his chest, and upon the old mantle. They bound his eyes with a dirty rag, and struck him, crying out at the same time in loud tones, ‘Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck thee?’ He answered not one word, but sighed, and prayed inwardly for them.
After many many insults, they seized the chain which was hanging on his neck, dragged him towards the room into which the Council had withdrawn, and with their sticks forced him in, vociferating at the same time, ‘March forward, thou King of Straw! Show thyself to the Council with the insignia of the regal honour; we have rendered unto thee.’ A large body of councillors, with Caiphas at their head, were still in the room, and they looked with both delight and approbation at the shameful scene which was enacted, beholding with pleasure the most sacred ceremonies turned into derision. The pitiless guards covered him with mud and spittle, and with mock gravity exclaimed, ‘Receive the prophetic unction—the regal unction.’ Then they impiously parodied the baptismal ceremonies, and the pious act of Magdalen in emptying the vase of perfume on his head. ‘How canst thou presume,’ they exclaimed, ‘to appear before the Council in such a condition? Thou dost purify others, and thou art not pure thyself; but we will soon purify thee.’ They fetched a basin of dirty water, which they poured over his face and shoulders, whilst they bent their knees before him, and exclaimed, ‘Behold thy precious unction, behold the spikenard worth three hundred pence; thou hast been baptised in the pool of Bethsaida.’ They intended by this to throw into ridicule the act of respect and veneration shown by Magdalen, when she poured the precious ointment over his head, at the house of the Pharisee.
By their derisive words concerning his baptism in the pool of Bethsaida, they pointed out, although unintentionally, the resemblance between Jesus and the Paschal lamb, for the lambs were washed in the first place in the pond near the Probatica gate, and then brought to the pool of Bethsaida, where they underwent another purification before being taken to the Temple to be sacrificed. The enemies of Jesus likewise alluded to the man who had been infirm for thirty-eight years, and who was cured by Jesus at the pool of Bethsaida; for I saw this man either washed or baptised there; I say either washed or baptised, because I do not exactly remember the circumstances.
They then dragged Jesus round the room, before all the members of the Council, who continued to address him in reproachful and abusive language. Every countenance looked diabolical and enraged, and all around was dark, confused, and terrific. Our Lord, on the contrary, was from the moment that he declared himself to be the Son of God, generally surrounded with a halo of light. Many of the assembly appeared to have a confused knowledge of this fact, and to be filled with consternation at perceiving that neither outrages nor ignominies could alter the majestic expression of his countenance.
The halo which shone around Jesus from the moment he declared himself to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God, served but to incite his enemies to greater fury, and yet it was so resplendent that they could not look at it, and I believe their intention in throwing the dirty rag over his head was to deaden its brightness.