Confronting Christ as Accuser

Mark 14:61-64
Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING WITH THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”
Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?
“You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

We’ve all made mistakes in our professions. Even major mistakes. Some massively major mistakes. In a book manufacturing job I bought 65,00 sheets of book cover material that were too small to use on the book for which they were ordered. In my defense the layout was drawn and approved by someone on the floor and given to me to order, but it was my name on the purchase order. I could mention other blunders but you too can recall some embarrassing errors that you and your company would just as soon forget ever happened. These professional lapses are, in today’s jargon, learning opportunities, everyone has them. In fact I remember one time letting my temper get the best of me when my boss advised me that management wanted employees to walk in the painted lines outside the buildings and I commented that my mother taught me how to walk when I was an infant. I immediately apologized for this minor outburst of of rudeness. This is what you do when you know you make a mistake.

There are mistakes, and then there are moral judgments that are diametrically opposed to one’s profession. Would you talk to your CEO or the President of your company with supreme contempt and malevolence for no justifiable reason? Would you publicly slap him and spit in his face and abuse him? I very much doubt it. You would most likely accord him the respect he deserves unless he was some diabolical son of Satan or something.

But I keep reading these verses above and am baffled. These leaders are the board of directors of the Jewish institution and they knew full well who they had standing in front of them! They had seen the miracles Jesus performed the last few years. They heard His wisdom and His teachings and knew of His power. They must have known in their hearts He was from God. I’ll bet during this interrogation the words of the parable of the vineyard were ringing in their ears,

“This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours!” Mark 12:7

because they knew at that time this parable was spoken that it was directed at them.

But they did have a fear. Afraid of what they would lose. They knew the end game was very near. They knew they would lose all their power and authority and standing as teachers of the Law before the Jewish people and before the Romans in Jerusalem if they allowed Jesus to continue living. Curiously they had no concern for the things of the Spirit, their concern was all about the things of the earth. And they want Him removed from the earth. It’s their audacity that amazes me. They knew in their hearts who He was and they could still look Him in the eye and say these things and act this way!

Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!” And the officers received Him with slaps in the face. Mark 14:65

Who would have the temerity, the fearlessness, the recklessness, the insanity, to do such things to the Creator of the universe! Did they think they would actually somehow get away with this? This is just beyond crazy! But the insanity continues, and no one stops it, the ball keeps rolling and picks up speed and it gets only more wild and crazy until the whole thing blows up in train wreck of horrible torture and a public, ugly, brutal death.

But of course we now know that stopping this wasn’t the plan. From the beginning Redemption was set on this exact hinge-pin described in all its gore above and continuing. As far back as Abraham who mentioned God would provide the lamb for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:8) which John the Baptist said was Jesus for taking away the sins of the world (John 1:29). For those who faced Jesus with such hostility in that initial interrogation that Last Supper night, they will have some explaining to do and there will be no words for them then.

[Scriptures taken from the New American Standard Bible © 1995]

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