Topic: Guilty IIa - A Kangaroo Court
Series: The Super Mario Brothers Super Show
Episode: Escape From Koopatraz
Lesson PDF link: 46b(a).pdf
In our last lesson, we discussed crime and punishment our way Vs. God's way. We even talked in passing about going to court and having to admit guilt (if guilty) and having to pay the price for a crime. However, there are times when there is no guilt and the trial for the accused for a crime is as phoney as it can get.
Today we are discussing what is called a “Kangaroo Court”. In this kind of trial, the prisoner doesn't get a fair trial, the charges against a prisoner are a lot of times staged like the trial, and the guilt of a person is judged before true evidence is presented.
According to dictionary.com a Kangaroo Court is defined like this:
1. a self-appointed or mob-operated tribunal that disregards or parodies existing principles of law or human rights, especially one in a frontier area or among criminals in prison.
2. any crudely or irregularly operated court, especially one so controlled as to render a fair trial impossible.
In the American Heritage Dictionary Of Cultural Literacy, Kangaroo Court is defined like this:
A court that ignores principles of justice; a court characterized by incompetence and dishonesty.
Cartoon Show "Escape From Koopatraz" (Super Mario Bros. Super Show):
What do you think about the phoney trial and our heroes' sentences? Imagine what this would be like, how would you handle this situation in your life?
Jesus had this problem, meaning a rigged trial. Our Lord was brought in for a trial in front of Governor Pilate. The crowd however (as you will see), is the real bad guy here.
We are going to do this a little bit differently for this lesson. We will take pieces of each Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and we are going to piece the account of this trial beginning to end. All Gospels carry a lot of the same information, but they each carry a piece or more of different information. This will make this account more streamlined.
The Bible States in Luke: 22: 66--23: 3, John 18: 34-38, Matthew 27: 12-19, Mark 15: 6-14, Luke 23: 4-22, John 19: 1-15, Matthew 27: 24-25, John 19: 16
Luke: 22: 66--23: 3 (ISV):
Luk 22:66 As soon as day came, the elders of the people, the high priests, and the scribes assembled and brought him before their Council.
Luk 22:67 They said, "If you are the Messiah, tell us." But he told them, "If I tell you, you won't believe me,
Luk 22:68 and if I ask you a question, you won't answer me.
Luk 22:69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God."
Luk 22:70 Then they all asked, "Are you, then, the Son of God?" He answered them, "You said it, I AM."
Luk 22:71 "Why do we need any more testimony?" they asked. "We have heard it ourselves from his own mouth!"
Luk 23:1 Then the whole crowd got up and took him to Pilate.
Luk 23:2 They began to accuse him, "We found this man corrupting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that he is the Messiah, a king."
Luk 23:3 Then Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He answered, "You say so."
John 18: 34-38 (ISV):
Joh 18:34 Jesus replied, "Are you asking this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about me?"
Joh 18:35 Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? It is your own nation and high priests who have handed you over to me. What have you done?"
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my servants would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But for now my kingdom is not from here."
Joh 18:37 Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. I was born for this, and I came into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is committed to the truth listens to my voice."
Joh 18:38 Pilate asked him, "What is 'truth'?" After he said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, "I find no basis for a charge against him.
Matthew 27: 12-19 (ISV):
Mat 27:12 While Jesus was being accused by the high priests and elders, he made no reply.
Mat 27:13 Then Pilate asked him, "Don't you hear how many charges they're bringing against you?"
Mat 27:14 But Jesus did not reply at all, so that the governor was very surprised.
Mat 27:15 At every festival the governor had a custom of releasing to the crowd any prisoner whom they wanted.
Mat 27:16 At that time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas.
Mat 27:17 So when the people had gathered, Pilate asked them, "Which man do you want me to release for you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?"
Mat 27:18 He did this because he knew that they had handed him over out of jealousy.
Mat 27:19 While he was sitting on the judge's seat, his wife sent him a message. It said, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, because today I have suffered terribly due to a dream I had about him."
Mark 15: 6-14 (ISV):
Mar 15:6 At every festival Pilate would release any one prisoner whom the people requested.
Mar 15:7 Now there was a man in prison named Barabbas. He had been with the insurgents who had committed murder during the rebellion.
Mar 15:8 So the crowd came and began to request that Pilate do for them what he always did.
Mar 15:9 Pilate answered them, "Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?"
Mar 15:10 because he knew that the high priests had handed him over due to jealousy.
Mar 15:11 But the high priests stirred up the crowd to get him to release Barabbas for them instead.
Mar 15:12 So Pilate asked them again, "Then what should I do with the man you call 'the King of the Jews'?"
Mar 15:13 They shouted back, "Crucify him!"
Mar 15:14 Pilate asked them, "Why? What has he done wrong?" But they shouted even louder, "Crucify him!"
Luke 23: 4-22 (ISV):
Luk 23:4 Then Pilate told the high priests and crowds, "I do not find anything chargeable in this man."
Luk 23:5 But they kept insisting, "He is stirring up the people with what he teaches all over Judea, from where he started in Galilee to this place."
Luk 23:6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.
Luk 23:7 When he learned with certainty that Jesus came from Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time.
Luk 23:8 Now Herod was very glad to see Jesus, because he had been wanting to see him for a long time on account of what he had heard about him. He was also hoping to see some sign done by him.
Luk 23:9 So he continued to question him for a long time, but Jesus gave him no answer at all.
Luk 23:10 Meanwhile, the high priests and the scribes stood nearby and continued to accuse him vehemently.
Luk 23:11 Even Herod and his soldiers treated him with contempt and made fun of him. He put a magnificent robe on Jesus and sent him back to Pilate.
Luk 23:12 So Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day. Before this they had been enemies.
Luk 23:13 Then Pilate called the high priests, the other leaders, and the people together
Luk 23:14 and told them, "You brought this man to me as one who turns the people against the government. And here in your presence I have examined him and have found him "Not Guilty" of the charges you make against him.
Luk 23:15 Nor does Herod, because he sent him back to us. Indeed, this man has done nothing to deserve death.
Luk 23:16 So I will punish him and let him go."
Luk 23:17 Now he was obligated to release someone for them at the festival.
Luk 23:18 But they all shouted out together, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas for us!"
Luk 23:19 (This man had been put in prison for murder and for a revolt that had taken place in the city.)
Luk 23:20 But Pilate wanted to let Jesus go, so he appealed to them again,
Luk 23:21 but they continued to shout, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
Luk 23:22 Then he spoke to them a third time: "What has he done wrong? I have found nothing in him worthy of death. So I will punish him and let him go."
John 19: 1-15 (ISV):
Joh 19:1 Then Pilate had Jesus taken away and whipped.
Joh 19:2 The soldiers twisted some thorns into a victor's crown, put it on his head, and threw a purple robe on him.
Joh 19:3 They kept coming up to him and saying, "Long live the king of the Jews!" Then they began to slap him on the face.
Joh 19:4 Pilate went outside again and told the Jews, "Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him."
Joh 19:5 Then Jesus came outside, wearing the victor's crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate told them, "Here is the man!"
Joh 19:6 When the high priests and the officials saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate told them, "You take him and crucify him. I find no basis for a charge against him."
Joh 19:7 The Jews answered Pilate, "We have a law, and according to that Law he must die because he made himself out to be the Son of God."
Joh 19:8 When Pilate heard this, he became even more afraid.
Joh 19:9 Returning to his headquarters, he asked Jesus, "Where are you from?" But Jesus did not answer him.
Joh 19:10 So Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to speak to me? You realize, don't you, that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?"
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered him, "You have no authority over me at all, except what was given to you from above. That's why the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."
Joh 19:12 From then on, Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews kept shouting, "If you release this fellow, you're not a friend of Caesar! Anyone who claims to be a king is defying Caesar!"
Joh 19:13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat down on the judgment seat in a place called The Pavement, which in Hebrew is called Gabbatha.
Joh 19:14 Now it was the Preparation Day for the Passover, about noon. He told the Jews, "Here is your king!"
Joh 19:15 Then they shouted, "Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Should I crucify your king?" The high priests responded, "We have no king but Caesar!"
Matthew 27: 24-25 (ISV):
Mat 27:24 Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was about to break out instead. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. Attend to that yourselves."
Mat 27:25 All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and our children!"
John 19: 16 (ISV):
Joh 19:16 Then Pilate handed him over to be crucified, and they took Jesus away.
How would you like to be much less valuable than even a murderer?
In the cartoon, Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad were being put on trial by King Koopa. I want you to look at the jury; it consists of a Phanto, a Birdo, a Shyguy, and a Pokey - these are all sworn enemies of our heroes (although there might be a few good Birdos, but not this one). This is not unlike what happened to Jesus. Our good guys in the cartoon were also sentenced with a seemingly unmanageable punishment to a place that seemingly had no escape and for crimes that were not crimes and in the case of our cartoon heroes, the crime of “Disturbing The Koopa” is the only charge that could stick (although even that is a stretch considering Mario, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad defend against the raids on the Mushroom Kingdom by the evil king - but haven't attacked him personally). In short, King Koopa just doesn't like these heroes and will do anything to keep them away. This is much like the bad religious leaders (most of the Pharisees and Sadducees).
What have we learned?
When we are in a tight spot like our heroes and of course, our Lord, we need to remember to keep our faith strong in the One that saves. This isn't easy a lot of times, but this is worth it.
Now, before we get to the Good News, we have a measure of seemingly bad news. Jesus died on the cross to give us the opportunity to escape too and be saved. This is our truth, however it sure didn't look like that at the time.
We will see “The Sacrifice” in our next installment of our current lesson series called “Guilty.”