April 1, 2020 | by: 4 Comments|
Last week we spent our time reading about the events in the garden of Gethsemane. At the end of chapter four, Jesus was arrested and lead away to be tried. Jesus, in his obedience and humility, allowed these things to take place. We cannot forget that this is God we are talking about. “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord…” (John 10:18)
Chapter 5: The Dumb Lamb
Jesus now stands before the “brood of vipers” (Matthew 12:34; 23:33) that had one desire, to kill him. Leahy makes the clear distinction here that the desire to have Jesus killed completely overtook any desire for truth. For the Sanhedrin to have any case against Jesus, false witnesses would be required. How else could “the truth” (John 14:6) be convicted?
Christ’s silence during his trial came as a judgment on the Sanhedrin. As Satan and his children always do, they twisted Jesus’ words. Christ could have corrected them and revealed all the secrets that lie in his temple riddle. Instead, he left the priest to perform what was their duty before God. They failed to do this, for their pride overtook them.
Chapter 6: Taking the Oath
Here, Leahy begins with the point that this is the last time the Sanhedrin would legitimately meet. Once Christ completed his work “… the curtain of the temple was torn in two…” (Matthew 27:51), rendering the priesthood unnecessary. As Leahy states “It would be left stranded in the blind alley of its willful rejection of the truth.”
Caiaphas now puts Jesus under oath, insulting the One whose “word is truth” (John 17:17). To put Jesus under this oath would be to assume that he had ever spoken a lie. The darkness in Caiaphas’ heart, it was truly in vain that he would ever use God’s name in this way. This would also come as judgment on Caiaphas. He was now bound in the name of God to judge correctly what Jesus claimed. Christ then proclaims the truth of his Messiahship. Caiaphas’ denial reveals his lacking of truth and his being filled with corruption.
Chapter 7: Sentenced to Death
Some will say that Jesus was only a “good teacher”. The problem with that argument is that if you do not believe in the deity of Christ, then you cannot believe he was a good teacher. No “good teacher” claims to be God. The verdict from the court made it clear that Jesus’ claim was to deity. The good news for believers, is that his claim is the truth!
With the verdict of death decided, Caiaphas’ words would be brought to a culmination in that “…it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” (John 11:50) Little did he know of the underlying meaning his words would have as Jesus “…appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Hebrews 9:26).
Chapter 8: The Butt of Mockery
In this chapter Leahy revisits a most important, however often overlooked, point. He quotes Dr. Geerhardus Vos in saying that Jesus “accepted the cross out of a motive of love for God even more than, and before, He accepted it because of His love for man.” Christ life was always and completely God-centered. His will was to do the will of the Father in total obedience, and to bring glory to His name.
In this humiliation, we may be tempted to say with Peter “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” (Matthew 16:22), but we must remember Jesus’ rebuke of him in that he was setting his mind “on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:23). As Isaiah 53 says, “…the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” and “…it was the will of the Lord to crush him…” It would be foolish for us to want anything other than the will of God to be done. All these things were necessary because “with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).
As we see the total submission and humility of Christ in this joke of a trial and the mockery that followed, let us look at ourselves. What have we done with Jesus’ question “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15; Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20). Do we regard Jesus as the “Christ of God” (Luke 9:20) or just a “good teacher”? And if you claim that Jesus Christ is Lord, does your life back that up?
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