The term implies guilt. He was indeed guilty, according to the authorities.
What would’ve been your verdict?
The Sanhedrin in John 18 acted quickly to bring any possible charges to get rid of Jesus. They even acted illegally, against protocol, and in the dark of night to get their dirty deeds done. (Dirt cheap.)
They hurried to get control of the situation “before the Sabbath,” so they could “celebrate the Passover.” Their religious customs must be piously observed, regardless of method.
These “leaders” were clearly motivated by selfish gain. Jesus was a threat to their cherished positions and reputations. So in their minds, the end justified the means.
They cared more about their political ambitions than the good of their community. As religious leaders, as one commentary says, they’d “become evil.” Wow. Serious charge.
It’s easy to identify the culprits. But the disciples aren’t without responsibility. They had opportunities to speak up and didn’t. Sins of omission. And Peter infamously denied Jesus.
But I wonder at what point people “become evil?” Nobody sees themselves that way. It’s always somebody else. At what point might I have turned away from God, and “become” evil?
Jesus is on trial. Where do you stand?