They answered and said unto him, ‘If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.’ John 18:30
Those who had Jesus arrested called him a Malefactor, which means “evildoer.” They had to bribe their witnesses to lie, so Jesus’ accusers knew that He was not a Malefactor. Still they accused Him, even though Jesus was perfect and without sin. He could say to the Jews, “Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin?” (John 8:46). Pilate would testify, “I find no fault in Him” (John 19:6). Yet in the irony of this situation, the Jews accused an innocent man of being a Malefactor, when in actuality their lies made them the guilty ones. Jesus did not sin, but He was made to be sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus took on the sin of the Jews, the sin of the world and your sin.
The names that were given to Jesus reflect the roles that people projected onto Him. Jesus was a Malefactor in the eyes of those who hated Him. They hated Him because He attacked their dead religious rituals. Jesus was a rival “religious leader” because He gave the multitudes hope, which is something that the other religious leaders couldn’t do. Jesus taught the truth, lived a perfect life and established a Kingdom of peace and righteousness.
Source: Prime Time with God: Daily Reflections on the Word, Faith and Life.