February 28

Bible Reading: Mark 14

Mark 14:55, “Now the chief priests and the whole Counsel were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none.” 

Mark 14:61, “But he remained silent and made no answer.”

The trial of Jesus was a sham.  Jewish law set forth certain legal requirements for such trials:

  • No trials were to be conducted at night.
  • The admission of conflicting testimonies was not allowed.
  • The use of false witnesses was not permissible.
  • Witnesses were to be interviewed separately.
  • Charges were to be based on a plurality of corroborating witnesses.
  • The judges were to act impartially.

But in a frenzied passion of hate-inspired rage, the Counsel abandoned all judicial restraint. The truth was irrelevant and would not deter them from their evil cause. Jesus’ crime was that He had committed no crime. The light of His righteous nature and deeds had exposed the darkness of their hard and evil hearts and their religious hypocrisy. The only solution, as far as they were concerned, was to put Jesus to death.

Behold the audacity of sin!  Sin entered the world via the Devil’s deceitful indictment of God.  He undermined the truth and planted a seed of doubt regarding God’s integrity and love (Genesis 3:1-5).  That seed of doubt bore an ugly and damning fruit in the lives of Adam and Eve and all their kin (Romans 5:12).  We are sin-rebels all.  In Adam, born to an innate hostility towards our Creator God (Colossians 1:21; Romans 5:10).  The full measure of man’s depravity was vividly put on display for all to see at the trial and cross of Jesus.  But that same cross shows both the extent and depth of God’s great love and mercy.

That Jesus willingly subjected Himself to such injustice is a matter of profound wonder.  He who heard nothing but eternal praise from an angelic host was subjected to the taunts and false accusations of a murderous mob.  The Lawgiver Himself was indicted by the lawless for imagined crimes.  He who would judge the living and the dead allowed for His own interrogation and condemnation.  God was on trial, and He made no defense!

Jesus willingly subjected Himself to it all.  Why?  1 Peter 2:22-24 explains, “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him how judges justly.  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

“Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). In complete subjection to the Father, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). God was tried and found guilty. Condemned, the “just” died for the “unjust” that “he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). He remained silent so that He might work to rescue rebel sinners and unleash their sin-bound tongues to sing a better song!

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”—2 Corinthians 5:21

Man of sorrows what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned he stood,
sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Guilty, helpless, lost were we;
blameless Lamb of God was he,
sacrificed to set us free:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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