The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
The Children of Israel couldn’t bear to hear the Holy Voice (Exodus 20:18-21). Who can blame them? Could you? (If you answered yes to this question you may need to go back to the ‘drawing board’ in order to understand who God is and your relationship with Him).
As the people stood at distance, Moses received rulings just as valid and pertinent as those he received from the time God started speaking (Exodus 21-23). These rulings took on the judicial tone of civil cases. We must here come to a certain realization. In order to justify their theology, modern-day believers have divided God’s rulings into three categories: civil, moral, and ceremonial. We must realize that this categorization does not appear anywhere in the Biblical text. In the eyes of God, everything is religious; everything is His Torah, period! In fact, the division of God’s rulings into these categories seems to be a reflection of our modern society where some things are civil (secular) and others religious. In the days of the giving of this Torah, everything was religious. In fact, for most of History, atheism was unheard of, and at certain times and places was even a crime.
The Hebrew text tells us that God was the One giving before Whom the Children were to appear for any and all cases (Exodus 21:6; 22:7-8). We do not realize this because the English text uses the word: ‘Judges’ when the Hebrew says, ‘Ha’elohim’ meaning ‘God’. We then see that all cases are of a religious nature. The reason the translators used the word ‘Judges’, is because as the people appeared before the Sanhedrin court established through Jethro’s council (Exodus 18), it is as if they appeared before God. Later, we are told that disobedience to this court is liable to a death penalty.
This puts a heavy responsibility on these men. No wonder Sanhedrins shied away from the death penalty. It is told that a Sanhedrin who would rule in favor of a death penalty even once in seven years would be considered murderous. Because of this heavy responsibility, Jewish law-makers only accepted eyewitness testimony. They refused circumstantial evidence.
The Sanhedrin that convicted the master was a ‘Kangaroo-court’ held in contempt of all the safeguards applied in Jewish courts. The Sadducees wanted Yeshua dead; they did not even allow the Pharisees in the court as they would have stopped the process.
Human courts are bound to make mistakes. This is the nature of humanity. One day, our Messiah will return and it to Him judgment has been given (John 5:22). He will judge righteously (Isaiah 11:1-5). Let there be no mistakes though. We cannot say, ‘I will obey God only’ and with that attitude defy every human authority. We learn to obey God by learning to submit to men appointed by God. That is why the Exodus text speaks of appearing before ‘Ha’elohim’ when appearing before the judges appointed by God.