Tanja Butler (1955- )
Oil on canvas
14 x 12
Christ comes before his accusers who gather to pass judgment on the Messiah. The composition of this
scene is framed by two arches: one light and one dark; two realms divided by a judgment about the
identity of Jesus. The colors chosen by Butler create an emotional impact within the picture: the accusers
with various green tones suggest their envy and disdain for Jesus; Christ is robed in a radiant white
garment that contrasts his sinless life against the powers that be.
Matthew 26: 58-67
58But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat
down with the guards to see the outcome. 59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking
for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60But they did not find any,
though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61and declared, "This fellow
said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.' "
62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony
that these men are bringing against you?" 63But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, "I
charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." 64"Yes, it is as
you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the
right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65Then the high priest tore his
clothes and said, "He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you
have heard the blasphemy. 66What do you think?" "He is worthy of death," they answered.