HOST: Ron House
And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
To properly understand the events that led to Jesus’ death, we must consider the circumstances of His trials. In yesterday’s reading, we considered the hatred the Jews felt toward Jesus and the hard-hearted determination with which they pursued His death. But to fully realize the lengths to which they were willing to go, we must remember that these religious leaders and teachers of the day were in violation of their own laws with practically every action on the night of Jesus’ arrest. From trying Jesus at night, to the involvement of Annas and Caiaphas, to the lack of opportunity for defense to the physical abuse that Jesus suffered—every element of these trials was a travesty of justice. It boggles the mind to consider how these men who had devoted their lives to upholding the law of God could, on this occasion, treat it with such abuse and disregard. It is a testament to the depths of depravity to which greed and jealousy had taken them, and it serves to warn us against allowing those same attitudes to take root in our hearts.
Why did the Jewish leaders feel such hatred toward Jesus?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!