It's not credible that the Sanhedrin had the trial at night since Jewish law mandates it must be held during daytime so I don't find the Christian version of events to be believable.
That's interesting, but how do we know what they would do at that time in ordinary or extraordinary circumstances? I think they were afraid of another messianic rebellion that would lead to a bloody Roman suppression. (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 2.433 and Jewish Antiquities 18.1-10 and 18.23; Acts of the apostles 5.37.)
ďSome time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men rallied to him. He was killed, all his followers were dispersed, and it all came to nothing. After him, Judas the Galilean appeared in the days of the census and led a band of people in revolt. He too was killed, and all his followers were scattered. [Luke, Acts of the apostles 5.36-37]Ē
According to Flavius Josephus, "...there were many people during the governorship of Festus who deceived and deluded the people under pretense of Divine inspiration, but were in fact for procuring innovations and changes of the government. These men prevailed with the multitude to act like madmen, and went before them into the wilderness, pretending that God would there show them the signals of liberty. [Flavius Josephus, Jewish War 2.259]
Sometimes under difficult political circumstances what people do is very different from what the rules tell them to do. Or, maybe this wasnít an official meeting of all members, as its purpose was predetermined to get rid of Jesus for the sake of the nation. Josephus has other examples of the many rebellions in those days (like the Zealots) and one more could ignite a catastrophe. And I think that would explain why they took such a course of action.