Bob Lepine, author of 12 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Easter, shares how 18 laws were broken to condemn Jesus to death on Good Friday 

In 2014, Travelodge decided to see what children knew about Easter. You know where this is going, right? It turns out that nearly half of the children in Britain had no idea that Easter was a religious holiday. A third of them said that Easter celebrates the birth of the Easter Bunny. Another 25 per cent thought Easter is somehow connected to the invention of the chocolate egg.

And, like the school children who took the survey, there are a lot of adults who don’t know much about Easter either. Fear not! From illegal hot cross buns to surviving crucifixion, 12 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Easter is here to make any reader Travelodge-survey ready. 


Read more:

Was Jesus really crucified?

Did Jesus actually rise from the dead?

NT Wright: Easter questions on the resurrection of Jesus

The cross as the ultimate symbol of deconstruction


Here’s one: 

At least 18 laws were broken to condemn Jesus to death on Good Friday

Ask an attorney to review the facts surrounding the arrest and conviction of Jesus and you’ll get a unanimous verdict. No matter how you slice it, what happened to Jesus was a politically motivated miscarriage of justice that resulted in the wrongful murder of an innocent man. 

When Jesus was arrested, he was immediately taken for questioning despite it already being past midnight. For the next four hours, under the cover of darkness, Jesus was interrogated and declared worthy of execution by the religious authorities in their kangaroo court.

No less than 18 Jewish laws, designed to protect the accused, were violated. To begin with, those who sat as judge and jury were the very ones who’d bribed Judas to betray Jesus in the first place. It was a set up from the beginning. 

Jesus should have been tried in daylight hours. He wasn’t. Capital offences couldn’t be tried on the day before a holy day. Passover began the next evening. Trials had to last more than a day to allow time for consideration. No.

Those testifying against the accused had to be examined separately and their testimony had to agree. In Jesus’ case multiple witnesses were bribed and they still couldn’t agree. Those hearing the case should attempt to poke holes in the witnesses’ stories in order to protect the accused man from false charges against him. Instead those hearing the case against Jesus had orchestrated the whole thing. The verdict could not be unanimous as this indicated a mob-like mentality among the tribunal. It was.


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According to Jewish oral tradition, if the Sanhedrin condemned a man to death as often as once every seven years, it was considered reckless. They were said to be running a slaughterhouse (See JM Boice, The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary). But anyone reading the account of Jesus’ trial, in his day or ours, would see immediately that it was designed to accomplish what the religious leaders had already determined they wanted to happen. They wanted Jesus done away with. 

The council voted, declaring Jesus worthy of death. He was beaten and spat upon by the temple guards. But there was an issue. Under Roman rule, the religious authorities had no power to put anyone to death. Cue Pontius Pilate and a whole heap of political conniving…


This is an extract taken from 12 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Easter by Bob Lepine published by 10Publishing and available to buy at