THE SECRET IS OUT
Lord, I believe that You are the Christ of God.
Read MARK 14:53–65
Jesus Before the Sanhedrin
53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54 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.
55 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. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
60 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?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “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.”
63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 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.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Give thanks that Jesus is God.
When Salman Rushdie published his novel The Satanic Verses, there was uproar throughout much of the Islamic world, which considered it an attack on the Qur’an. The report of Jesus’ words about the destruction of the temple provokes a similar reaction. The temple symbolizes Israel as the people with whom God dwells. To designate it as “made with human hands” (58) reduces it to the same level as pagan idols (Ps 115:4; cf. Acts 7:48). From John 2:21 we know that Jesus sees Himself as the
replacement for the temple. He Himself embodies the presence of God on earth.
Throughout the Gospel, Jesus has told people not to publicize his identity as the Messiah (eg., Mark 1:24, 25, 44; 8:30), but in today’s passage He states it clearly to the high priest. During His ministry, conflict with the Jewish leaders has been the norm. Central to that conflict is the question of His identity. He gets accused of claiming to be God when He forgives sins (Mark 2:7). In His last public dialogue He wanted to know how the Messiah can be both the son of David and his Lord (Mark 12:35–37). Jesus is condemned to death because He clearly identifies Himself as the Son of God. This is not the death of a mere man: it is God Himself who is crucified.
Mark begins his Gospel by stating that Jesus is the Son of God. Peter declares Him Messiah at the central point of the Gospel. The centurion will affirm it at the cross, but here we have the confession towering over them all: the Lord’s declaration of Himself as Daniel’s “Son of Man” (See Dan 7:13, 14) sitting at the right hand of God.
This is He who left that position to be condemned to death for us.
Reflect on the love and humility of Jesus in accepting condemnation by the high priest.
Lord, Your boldness to proclaim Your true identity in the face of
certain harm inspires us to act similarly.
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