False witness – this word earns a new meaning as it emerges in the Easter story.
In Mark 14, the high priest Caiphas questions Jesus and accuses him of blasphemy.
But, we know the truth.
These Bible verses introduce the beginning of passion week.
In this study lesson from Mark, we can see there were many witnesses who testified against Christ.
But, none were credible.
Passion Week Begins – Caiphas Questions Jesus
“They led Jesus away to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together.
Peter had followed Him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the officers and warming himself at the fire.
Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any.
For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent.
Some stood up and began to give false testimony against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’”
Not even in this respect was their testimony consistent.
The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned Jesus, saying, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?”
But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
And Jesus said, “I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Tearing his clothes, the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?”
And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
Some began to spit at Him, and to blindfold Him, and to beat Him with their fists, and to say to Him, “Prophesy!”
And the officers received Him with slaps in the face.” – Mark 14:53-65 NASB
Christ is Interrogated by Caisphas and Beaten
These are the days of Passion Week. This is the week leading up to the crucifixion of Christ.
Power Vs. Belief
Even though the high priest should have recognized Jesus as the Christ, he and the other religious leaders (The Sanhedrin) were more concerned with holding on to their power here on earth than gathering rewards in heaven.
Now, it’s easy for us to determine the trial was fixed. The witnesses against Jesus were weak and their testimony was mostly hearsay.
But, we know the religious leaders desperately needed Jesus killed to preserve their way of life.
So, at first the Sanhedrin looked to the witnesses for damaging evidence — They found none.
So, What Did Jesus Really Say?
In verse 58, the hearsay testimony is evident.
Regardless of the testimony, Jesus did not say ”I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.”
In reality, He said,
“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19).
This is only one example of the false testimony building up against him.
The “Real” Temple
The temple Jesus spoke of in John 2:19 was not the brick and mortar church.
It was His body which was destroyed on the cross and was raised again on Easter Sunday.
Christ knew what was to come. And yet, He did not flee.
Even with the treatment Jesus received, and the disbelief of the high priest, He still chose to die in order that we might be saved.
Isn’t God remarkable?
Love in Christ
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