"You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.Mark 14:64(NASB)
The pre-Cross ministry of the Lord Jesus was specifically to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Both northern and southern kingdoms had failed to keep God's law and their punishment was exile from the Promised Land. First, the northern kingdom was conquered by Syria, and later, the southern kingdom was taken captive by Babylon. And although God in His grace brought many Israelites back to their homeland, Israel as a nation remained under the jurisdiction of the cruel Roman empire, because of their unbelief.
The people were taken captive into Syria and Babylon as a punishment for disobeying God's holy law, and for four hundred years, God's prophetic voice was silent. While most of God's people refused to turn from their sin and return to God, there was always a tiny remnant who waited eagerly for their Messiah to come. Finally, the appointed time for Israel's deliverance arrived and God, in His grace, raised up a horn of salvation for His people - Jesus, the Christ.
Jesus came as a sacrificial offering to put an end to sin, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to bring in everlasting righteousness. In fulfilment of Scripture, He came to His own people first, but they rejected Him. He came as the rightful King of Israel but they cried, "We will not have this Man to rule over us," and crucified Him. He came to establish God's kingdom on earth, as prophesied of old, but the kingdom had to be postponed for a season because the Jewish nation had strayed far from God's law and was not willing to repent of their apostasy.
Throughout His ministry, the Jewish leaders rejected Christ's Messianic claims, dismissed the miraculous signs and wonders He performed, and looked for ways to entrap Him and have Him killed. Finally, the hour for Him to glorify His Father, through His sacrificial death arrived, and so after having eaten the last supper with His disciples, they went into the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus was betrayed by Judas. He was falsely arrested by a religious mob and taken to an illegal trial where the chief priests and the whole Council of Jewish elders kept trying to obtain testimony against Him, to put Him to death.
There were many false testimonies levied against Jesus but no fault was found in Him, for the lying testimonies of His accusers were not consistent! So hostile were the Jewish elders against the Lord Jesus that every part of their heinous trial, which was carried out in the dead of night, broke the holy Law of Moses, which they claimed to revere. Shockingly, the Son of God was labelled a blasphemer and condemned by all to be deserving of death, and yet His accusers were carrying out the most egregious blasphemy against the Creator of the universe and God of Israel.
Jesus was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and like a dumb sheep, He opened not His mouth. However, His silence infuriated the Jewish leaders, and finally the high priest stood up and said angrily, "Do You not answer? TELL US, Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" In Matthew's Gospel, we even read that the high priest charged Jesus under an oath, to the living God, to answer: "I command you by the living God to tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God!" 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."
Jesus was incarnate TRUTH, so His testimony was true. He was God the Son Who is equal with God the Father, but His answer incensed the religious rulers and the high priest. He was the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, Whose Word stands fast forever and ever, but His trustworthy answer so enraged the high priest that he tore his priestly garments and screamed, "You have heard the blasphemy. What further need do we have for witnesses? How does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
The attitude of these religious men was so hostile towards Jesus, which conflicted with their own perceived notions that they were blinded to the truth and missed the blessing Christ was ready and willing to give. May we never allow our personal opinions and biases to blind us to the truth of the Gospel, which is found within the whole counsel of God in the Holy Scriptures.
Loving Lord and Heavenly Father, I realise how easy it is to allow my own developed perceptions and limited knowledge to colour my understanding of who You truly are and what Jesus has done for me. My great salvation is a most glorious truth and I pray that I will not become influenced by the ways of the world, deceived by satanic lies or succumb to my own fleshly thinking. Thank You that Your Word is true, unbiased, all-reaching, ever merciful, and open to all who will humble themselves and call upon You in time of need. Thank You that You are the King of Glory and Lord of my Life, and thank You that Your sufficient grace exceeds my needs. May my ears be ever open to Your voice and my heart ever-ready to do Your will. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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