TEXT: MARK 14:53-65
We are getting closer to the crucifixion in the record of the story of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have looked at His betrayal and arrest, the next thing is the trial. We want to look at the process of the trial today. As they arrested Him, they took Him to the high priest to be tried before handing Him over to the officers who would crucify Him.
- 53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.
54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire.
55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none.
56 For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.
57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying,
58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.
59 But neither so did their witness agree together.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?
64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands.
We can see that the religious leaders were unjust in the way they tried Jesus. They had made up their minds that this is the judgment they would pass. They had not even tried Him and no one had witnessed against Him, yet they conspired and pronounced Him guilty. It was a make belief and superficial trial. This was against the instruction God gave them that, there must be real witnesses for and against the accused. They were unjust.
Acts 2:23; 7:52. Stephen accused the Jews of being unjust to prophets sent to them by God just as they were to Jesus. Jesus is just, He did no sin or evil, it was the people accusing and judging Him that were unjust and imperfect. This was the case of the imperfect judging the perfect, the sinful judging the righteous and holy, and the unjust judging the one who is perfectly just without evil.
Matthew 27:19,24; Acts 3:14; 22:14; I Peter 3:18. Pilate’s wife sent a message to her husband to ensure he does not have a hand in condemning the just man. So, he got water and washed his hands off the case and said he was innocent of the blood of the just man. Christ suffered for us, He is the Just, while we are the unjust. He was put to death but He rose up again for our justification.
- The Contradictions Of False Witnesses Against Christ. Mark 14:53
They led Jesus to the high priest and the Sahendrin made up of the chief priests, the elders and the scribes. They sought for witnesses who would say what they want them to say as an excuse to put Him to death, they wanted to get rid of Him by all means. They were looking for legitimate reasons to give to the public to do this, but they found none.
- The Law On False Witness Against The Innocent. Mark 14:53-55
There was a law that God made on how to handle cases at judgment which these accusers said they were following (Exodus 20:12-17) In verse 16, God says no one should bear false witness against anyone. In fact, God went ahead to say that the punishment meant to be given to the falsely accused should be meted on the false witness.
Deuteronomy 19:16-19. Judgment should be carried out meticulously and diligently and it must be during the day, but surprisingly, Jesus was tried in the night. They were so much in a hurry that they could not wait for the day to break. In Jesus’ case, the false accusers of Jesus were supposed to be hanged but there was so much lawlessness at that time. Jesus was hanged instead.
- The Lawlessness Of False Witness And Injustice. Mark 14:56-60; Psalm 35:11-16
These chief priests would shout abomination if someone comes to the synagogue and is incorrectly dressed, or makes any minor mistakes. But look at it, in handling Jesus’ case, they broke several laws of God, thereby committing greater abomination.
- 16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
The rulers of the Jews lied against Christ. They misconstrued and changed His words and used them to bear false witness against Him. God hates false accusers (I Timothy 1:9-10) Laws are made for the accused, lawless and disobedient and not to condemn the righteous as these people have done to Jesus.
- The Lot Of False Witnesses For Their Iniquity. Proverbs 19:5,9
For what they have done, they will never go free, all those involved in accusing Jesus wrongly did not go unpunished. They said the blood of Jesus should be upon their heads and those of their children. They got what they said because barely 40 years later, in AD 70, General Titus came to Jerusalem, leveled the whole city, and destroyed the temple. We were told that hundreds and thousands of them were crucified at various times and locations in Rome.
Proverbs 25:18. The one who makes it a duty to bear false witness will not be unpunished. The judgment of God will come upon all false accusers. They shall not enter heaven (Revelation 21:27) False witnessing and bringing trouble to another person is abomination. A false witness is a liar, a big, dangerous and murderous liar. They bore false witnesses against Jesus and despite the fact that there were contradictions here and there, the high priest still used the false accusations to condemn Him.
- The Confirmation And Faithful Witness Of His Coming. Mark 14:61-62
The Bible says, if any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature, old things have passed away, and all things have become new. If anyone is in Christ, he would know that He has left an example for us that we should follow in His steps. We are to live by the faith, confidence and courage of the Son of God who loved and died for us.
We need to understand that as we see Jesus before the condemning world, and we see His attitude, courage, faith, firmness in confirming what He said when things were easy, when there was no persecution and false witnessing, He confirmed those things when problems came.
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