Jesus before the high priest

TEXT: MATTHEW 26:57-68

Jesus has been taken prisoner in or near the garden at Gethsemane, and now He now must face the Jewish high priest for that year, whose name was Caiaphas. Not coincidentally, also waiting at Caiaphas' residence are all of the Jewish chief priests and elders of the people - all the major figures in that nation of Israel's religious think tank.

This was the Jewish religious establishment of the day, descendants of those who were charged with bringing the knowledge and light of God to the world, who had now gathered together to bring false witnesses against the Son of God - from a plot they had purposed to enter into at Matthew 26:3-5.

THE GLORY DEPARTED FROM ISRAEL

Indeed, the glory of God that once shone on Mount Horeb (Sinai), that we read about in the book of Exodus had, in Jesus' time, faded into a lightless valley of religious tradition and the substitution of God's 10 Commandments at Horeb with the commandments of men in the cities of Israel.

The religious leaders of the chosen people of God no longer wished to behold the Light and Glory of God or hear, read or receive His word - not even that Word which was "made flesh and dwelt among us" (REFERENCE: John 1:14) and which was literally staring them in the face at his trial.

These wicked husbandmen of the * vineyard (REFERENCE: Matthew 21:33-46) could not silence the Word, but had purposed to kill him. Their callous spirits could not perceive that, although they could kill the flesh of the man that God had clothed Himself with, they could not kill the God in that man we called "Jesus." (REFERENCE: Matthew 10:28)

 THE NATURAL MAN

"Witnesses" against Jesus at Caiphas' residence misquoted what Jesus had taught. It is no wonder, since spiritual things must be spiritually discerned - as Peter was taught in Matthew 16:17, and which was expounded upon by Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:14.

These witnesses were using their memories of what they thought Jesus had said, and then applied their human understanding to what He had actually spoken - as a result, they failed miserably in their understanding, because their inner "Adamic Nature" was both blind and hard of hearing. When man fell in the Garden of Eden, his understanding of God fell with it, and no amount of human, "fallen nature" logic or reason can change that - only a revelation of God from his Holy Spirit can !

Witnesses against Jesus, then, only repeated what they thought Jesus had said during His earthly ministry, not what He actually had said. The "testimony" of two witnesses in Matthew 26:61 is a homogenization of the "not ... one stone upon another" of Matthew 24:2 and the "third day" of Matthew 20:19.

And it is no doubt that these "witnesses" were not "civilians" - but, rather, scribes, Sadducees and/or Pharisees ... and there is also no doubt that they had followed as shadow "commoners" in the crowds that regularly tagged along with Jesus, posing as interested "believers." (And they didn't die in Jesus time - they're still "following Jesus" in today's congregations - let Jesus' followers who are reading this understand)

 MAN'S JUDGMENTS

True to his hypocritical nature, Caiaphas, the Jews' high priest, sentenced Jesus,, God's High Priest, to death using Leviticus 24:16 as justification.

Aside from the fact that God, the Son, would never blaspheme His Father, Jehovah or His Comforter, the Holy Spirit, we see an un-redeemed priest making judgment out of his Adamic Nature using his "fallen" understanding of the word of God.

Man often thinks "God is on his side," but the real truth is that man must be on God's "side," or face judgment. Man cannot, as Caiaphas did, use God's word as justification for venting man's wrath upon another of God's Creation, which is what he and his religious peers did from the very beginning with regard to Jesus' teachings, without any witnesses at all to "wrongdoing" - just based on judgments they had taken out of their hearts' own "treasures" (REFERENCE: Matthew 12:35) and applied to Jesus.

Why didn't these "me of God" consider that, if what Jesus had taught were true (and it was), that what they were doing was, in itself, a worse blasphemy - putting God's word on trial in man's court.

The Evil One must have considered this irony during this charade of "justice," and that here was man condemning his own Redeemer to death - and cementing man's eternal separation from Him. Thank God that the Evil One was wrong, too, and his lies proven wrong when Jesus was raised from the dead and was seated at the right hand of God, as said by Jesus ... in that very same trial (REFERENCE: Matthew 26:64).

And note that Jesus also tells all of His accusers at His trial that THEY will SEE His Coming. You can also bet that the Evil One also heard it. No - the end of man's - or the Evil One's existence - isn't in the grave

The grave will give up its dead, and the one judging all will be this same Jesus. (REFERENCES: Acts 10:42; Hebrews 9:27; 1 Peter 4:5; Revelation 20: 11-15).

GOD IS JUST; NOT VINDICTIVE

Nowhere in Leviticus 24:16 or surrounding verses is there a demand by God that an accused person be struck with fists, slapped, spit upon or be made to prophesy. But that is exactly what these Jewish religious leaders did - and Caiaphas, their high priest, did nothing to stop them.

You cannot find an instance in the Bible where God bases his judgments on pettiness, vindictiveness and the imposition of utter humiliation upon those whom He judges. God, in fact, loves His Creation, and so much so that He sent Jesus to save man from man's fallen nature (REFERENCE: John 3:16-17). Even Christ, God's son, never humiliated anyone during his earthly ministry, nor was he petty or vindictive.

We act like our fathers - Jesus acted like His, and the Jewish leaders judging Jesus acted like theirs.

FUTURE STUDY, SHOULD YOU WISH:

The linked study above will show you the future judgments of the believer, the non-believer, the angels and the Evil One.

 

SO YOU KNOW:

  • The first vineyard mentioned in the Bible: Exodus 9:20-27
  • The last vineyard mentioned in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 9:7.