At the High Priest's House

When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was taken to the house of the High Priest, Caiaphas. The Jewish ruling council, the Sanhedrin, convened and put Him on trial for blasphemy.

The Sanhedrin needed to be rid of Jesus. He was teaching the people that they had lost the spirit of the Law and were only keeping the letter of the Law. In Matthew 23:27, we find Jesus throwing this bomb at them: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean."

At the High Priest's house the Sanhedrin enlisted witnesses against Jesus, but their testimony did not agree with each other, so they were useless in making a death penalty case against Him. The Law of Moses required the testimony of two or three witnesses to find a person guilty of a capital offense.

Finally, they tried self-incrimination, with Caiaphas asking Jesus directly, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61 NIV)

“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:62 NIV)

Jesus had affirmed who He was on several occasions with His interactions with the teachers of the Law. Once when the Jews asked Him to say plainly if He was the Messiah, Jesus answered, "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30 NIV) Another time He affirmed His divine nature, telling the Jewish inquisitors, "Before Abraham was born, I AM." (John 8:58 NIV) In saying this, Jesus both affirmed His eternal being and also used the name "I AM," which God revealed to Moses as His own name. On that occasion, they took up stones to put Him to death for blasphemy.

Now, finally, in a trumped-up trial that was not seeking the truth but seeking to put an end to Him, Jesus gives the only true testimony that was spoken. "Are you the Messiah?" asked the High Priest. "I am," replied Jesus.

Jesus is more than a dead Rabbi who taught some great moral truth over 2,000 years ago. He is more than a rabble-rouser who stood up to the sanctimonious power of the legalist Jewish leaders. He is more than a flash-in-the-pan miracle worker.

Jesus is the Messiah - the anointed One of God - who had been promised centuries before by the Prophets and who would go to the Cross and redeem humanity from sin and death. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords who will come again in glory to establish a Kingdom of righteousness and peace that will be eternal.

And Jesus is the Savior and Lord of the lives of all who trust Him for forgiveness of sin and follow Him as Lord of their lives. He is the One in whom I have placed my hope. He is the One who has forgiven my sin. Jesus is the One who will receive me into eternity when I pass from this earthly life. He is worthy of my love and thanks and worship and consecration.

At the High Priest's house, Jesus claimed His place as Messiah. He is the very One in whom the Sanhedrin should have been trusting. He is the very One they should have worshiped. Instead, they declared Him guilty of blasphemy (falsely claiming to be God). And they sent Him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, hoping to have Him condemned to death. They rejected the Son of God. Lord, have mercy.

Truth is, we are tempted to put Jesus on trial in our own lives. In the midst of hardship and pain, it can be easy to cry out accusingly, "So where are you now, Jesus? Why is this happening to me? I thought you loved me. Are you the Messiah? Are you really?" These may be the desperate cries of a broken heart, or they may be the accusing tirade of a rebellious one. The glorious truth of the Gospel is, Jesus meets us with grace. He understands our brokenness and never stops loving us.

Trust Him. Walk with Him. Follow Him. He is the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One!

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