John 18. 29-32 cont.
29 Then Pilate went outside and said to them: “What accusations do you bring against this Man?”
30 They answered and said: “If He was not doing evil we would not have handed Him over to you.”
31 Then Pilate said to them: “ You take Him and judge Him according to your Law.” They said to Him: “It is not lawful for us to kill anyone.”
32 This fulfilled the word of Jesus said when He spoke about the kind of death He was to die.
Miscarriages of justice do happen, and innocent people do get convicted and either fined or sent to prison. It is said that most people in prison protest their innocence, believing that they have been wrongly convicted.
It is also true that there are many people who are encouraged to plead guilty to a charge in order to get a lesser sentence. They may be innocent, but by pleading guilty to a charge they are more likely to get a reduced sentence than if they plead not guilty, because a not guilty plea looks better than a guilty plea. In such cases the truth is sacrificed for a reduced sentence.
The Jews had no real charge to bring against Jesus.
In their own trial of Jesus they could not get two witnesses to agree about any charge. They had sacrificed the truth by trying to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus, but they did not succeed. In the end we know that they charged Him with blasphemy because of what happened with Jesus before the Sanhedrin:
70 Then they all said: “Are you then the Son of God?” And He replied: “That is what you say, because I Am”.
71 Then they said: “Why do we have need of more witness? We have heard it from His own mouth” – Luke 22.70.71.
The Jews were not interested in a miscarriage of justice. Their objective was to have Jesus condemned to death by Pilate. However, they were ill prepared to give a reason as to why Pilate should do this, which is seen in their reply to Pilate:
“If He was not doing evil we would not have handed Him over to you.”
This is a little like a barrister for the prosecution standing up in court, but having no evidence to put before the court.
Jesus warns us that there will be those times when those who follow Him will be brought before courts:
“But look out for yourselves; you will be handed over to the authorities (councils) and you will be beaten in the synagogues and, because of Me you will stand before rulers and kings to witness to them” – Mark 13.9.
Let it be that the only charge that can be brought against us is that of following Jesus.