Matthew 27:20 ASV:

Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

Pilate's wife knew that Jesus was righteous and told Pilate to not have anything to do with Jesus. Was there anyone from among the chief priests and elders that dissented against the plot to kill Jesus? What were the chief priests' and elders' reasons for wanting Jesus dead?

  • 1
    Not just Pilate’s wife - so did he!
    – Dave
    Apr 3 at 23:09

And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Matthew 27:16, 17,18 KJV]

The scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders, desired the chief seats in the synagogue and to be called 'Rabbi, Rabbi' and to be greeted in the market place. This was their motivation in religion - pride and self-righteousness.

When Messiah came to take the kingdom they said (in effect, as Jesus' parable recounts), This is the heir, come, let us kill him.

They envied his heritage, his inheritance, his position and his person.

And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. [Luke 20:19 KJV]

  • Were there other reasons other than envy? Apr 3 at 4:52
  • @AlexBalilo Edit made to extend the answer.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 3 at 5:01
  • 1
    Luke 23:50-52 indicates that Joseph of Arimathea was in the Jewish council but had not consented to their condemnation of Jesus. He took Jesus' corpse, with Pilate's permission, to lay it in his tomb, thus fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah 53:9 how, in his death, Messiah was with both the wicked and the rich. Would Joseph count as one of 'the elders' in the question?
    – Anne
    Apr 3 at 15:03
  • 1
    @Anne I would say not, for he was not one of those condemning at the time that Pilate adduced the envy.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 3 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Nigel Fair comment. Point taken!
    – Anne
    Apr 4 at 8:11

In addition to Nigel's excellent answer, I suggest here another motive.

John 11:47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

Caiaphas thought that he was saving the Jewish nation from the Romans. He convinced the Sanhedrin of this motive to kill Jesus.

  • Did Caiphas anticipated that everybody would believe "this man" Jesus? Apr 3 at 23:42
  • Up-voted +1. I think that our two answers, together, make a complete response.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 4 at 12:44

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