Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
— Matthew 27:1-2 NLT
The religious leaders were looking for a simple little execution done behind the scenes so they could get Jesus out of their hair and keep things the same. From their perspective, he was a disruptive problem that had to be taken care of as soon as possible. So, at the end of their mock trial, they confirmed what they had decided long ago and had been plotting for months (John 11:53). Concerning Jesus, they said, "He deserves to die!" (Matthew 26:66) While their reasons were many, they were all selfish and ungodly.
The religious leaders' deeds were cowardly and done in darkness of night, but they could not finish the deal. They had to turn to Pilate and have the Romans do their dirty work.
What am I blind about in my religious arrogance and hardheadedness? What injustice do I do to protect my power and the predictability of my "faith"? Could I have sided with these leaders and rejected Jesus so I could keep my place in the religious leadership? Mmmm!
Holy and Almighty God, forgive me when my own arrogance and religious pride get in the way of your truth and those who seek it. Please keep my heart soft to your will and open to your Spirit's work. I never want to become like the religious leaders who killed Jesus to protect themselves and their positions. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.