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Lenten Journey of Release & Renewal (Day Thirty-Seven)




Day Thirty-Seven



Scripture: Mark 14:53-65

53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.”’ 59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ 61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ 62 Jesus said, ‘I am; and “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power”, and “coming with the clouds of heaven.”’

63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ The guards also took him over and beat him.



Observation:



The chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimonies against Jesus to put him to death. That’s not usually how a court works; you need to hear from both sides. In this religious court, there was no principle of presumption of innocence. I wonder if Peter was there looking for an opportunity to speak for Jesus. Soon, he must have realized that he had no chance; they had already concluded that Jesus had to die. The court was just a formality to execute their plan.


Initially, the plan didn’t go well. Those who stood up to give testimony against Jesus failed to provide crucial evidence to sentence him to death. Their testimonies didn’t match. An opportunity for the high priest came when he directly asked him: “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” To that question, Jesus, who had been silent throughout the trial, finally answered, “I am.” That was the moment they were waiting for.


“Blasphemy!” he shouted. The high priest tore his clothes to demonstrate to everyone how incredibly horrible Jesus’ sin was. With that dramatic action, he successfully agitated the crowd to condemn Jesus not just by words but by spitting, mocking, and beating. They blindfolded him and hit him, saying, “Prophesy (about who hit you).” No one protected him from this madness.


Meanwhile, when Jesus answered, “you will see the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven,” he was not talking about what was going to happen in the future. Instead, he was quoting Daniel 7:13. The context of Daniel 7 is God’s vindication of the people from the oppression of the Four Beasts, which symbolized four kingdoms. On the one hand, Jesus was accusing them of being the beast Daniel saw in his vision: a brutal oppressor of the people of God. On the other hand, he was proclaiming that the suffering of the Messiah meant God’s time for the salvation of all was about to be fulfilled as promised.


What an irony that they wanted to kill him with the accusation that he insulted God when he was the One they had been waiting for ever since they heard the prophecy. “Prophesy,” they said while beating him, not knowing he was the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy. Nevertheless, Jesus stood there like a lamb, still doing what he had been doing: proclaiming the good news for the oppressed.


Application:

  1. Who are the people often falsely accused by public media nowadays? Why do you think this still happens today?

  2. Pray for peace.


Prayer / Reflection:

Song of Reflection: Jesus Shed Hi Blood for Me (Ocarina)





















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