Dirty Deeds Done Cheap
Thank Jesus that, in spite of the suffering he faced, he completed his divine mission.
Read Mark 14:53-65
 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together.  Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.  The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any.  Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.  Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:  “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.'”  Yet even then their testimony did not agree.  Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”  But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”  “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.”  The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked.  “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death.  Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was this trial such a sham, so unjust?
I picture secretive, dark-cloaked figures hurrying to the courthouse; their minds dwelling on the danger of getting this matter wrong. They must secure the maximum penalty. Mark blames Jesus’ unlawful execution on the religious leaders. The “trial” broke many rules, a sign of how prejudiced they had become (55). First, they couldn’t find witnesses who agreed, and even when some of them spoke together, their testimonies conflicted. A change of tactic was required to secure their desired verdict. The High Priest posed leading questions (60,61) aimed at making Jesus utter blasphemous words with which he could be condemned (55). He answered carefully, avoiding any reference to the holy name, and instead used “Son of Man” to link him to the suffering servant of Isaiah (62). That was enough! The sentence of death was pronounced and confirmed (63,64). Again, this was against the law, which required that the sentence be confirmed the following day. They wanted to be rid of him so badly that they violated their own laws! The violence towards Jesus and their mockery of him as a false prophet began the execution process (65).
Jesus willingly stepped towards his destiny with a higher purpose in mind. What should you be stepping towards?
Lord Jesus, I want the insight to see the purpose You have for me and the courage to willingly fulfill it.