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Thursday, August 19, 2010

8/20/10- Mark 14:53-65 Jesus the Mediator before the High Priest

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.

(Group from LMPC inside Caiaphas's house holding cell)
Thoughts: Those who were supposed to know better, who were to point people to the Messiah were trying to find Jesus guilty.  They, like all of us, are schooled to keep the status quo, and to hold onto their pride.  This is a lesson for all of us that religion can get in the way of God.  The ironic thing is that the high priest, who was to represent the people of God, was rejecting God.  This is a struggle for power.  Peter succombed to the power of the Sanhedrin and denied Him.  Jesus' body could not withstand their trial and cross, but His spirit lives on. 

Calvin abridged: The Jews had lost the highest jurisdiction to the Romans, but still maintained some judicial authority under the high priest.  They could not pronounce sentence, but they could give their decision to the governor.  Caiaphas was also named Joseph and was appointed high priest by Valerius Gratus the governor when Simon son of Camithus was deposed.  The high priest was a symbol of the only mediator between God and human beings; those who sat with him represented the whole people of God; yet all of them conspired to extinguish the only hope of salvation. The false witnesses did not create something new, but twisted his words.  Christ admits that he is the son of the blessed One (God).  Though they judge him now in his humble state, he will come again in royal majesty as the ultimate judge. The face of Christ that was dishonored by spitting and blows has restored the image of God in us that had been disfigured and effaced by sin. 

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