“On Your Mark”
Thank You, Jesus (Chapter 14 Verses 53-65)
The high priest’s reaction (vv63-65) is again hypocritical and histrionic, designed to short-circuit the Sanhedrin’s legal process, he has the goal-mouth in front of him and it is the quickest route to that point he is heading for. If you think that a man who has manipulated and schemed with murderous intention the death of Jesus, can be genuinely shocked at what he thinks is blasphemy, you are mistaken. He is beyond shocking. He quite naturally carries the crowd with him, not a hard thing to do, and with one voice they demand the death penalty. But notice (v65) how that every ounce of common decency departs from these men. They mock the Prophet who truly and authentically prophesied even these very events (Mark 10.34; Luke 18.32), but then it is what God had planned all along (Isaiah 50.6), these men work constantly, though unwittingly, under the pressure of God’s word. They are simply instruments in God’s hand, it is the Father through their agency who hands his Son over to Pilate to judged and condemned by the state. If the Sanhedrin council here had appreciated the seriousness of their office, along with the gravity of the sentence they had just passed, they would have drawn down a veil of silence and solemnity upon their session. Instead, they laugh the seriousness and solemnity out of court. They make utter fools, thugs, reprobates of themselves.
There was no finger writing their condemnation upon the wall (Daniel 5.5; 25- 28), but long, long ago God with his finger on tablets of stone wrote their condemnation, but such laws were of no interest or concern to these. Come, rise, have your fun at the expense of Jesus the Nazarene. In Matthew’s account, along with the taunt to prophesy, they mockingly ask him, “who struck you” (Matthew 26.67-68). The real answer to that question is God did (Isaiah 53.4)! And Jesus willingly and lovingly drinks the cup his Father has given him to drink. And through bruised, blackened and blood-streaked eyes he sees his Father, and because of this, is not distracted one iota from what he knows must be done. He remains silent, but he works furiously, to bring salvation to a lost world. God is, “delivering up his Son”, “sparing him not”, “making him sin for us” (Romans 8.32; 2Corinthians 5.21). In order that we might be “the righteousness of God in him”. When did you last thank Jesus for all he endured, all he suffered in order to make you whole. Do it today. Let today be a day of thanksgiving to the Son of God.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)