(22:63-65) They mock Jesus. How can this be? People are cruel, and cruel authority is cruelest of all. If they do such things when the trees are green, what will they do when it is dry? If they treat the Master in this way, how will they treat his servants? Let us pray for those followers of Jesus who are being persecuted today, and do what we can to care for those Christians thrown in prison, beaten and mocked. And let us also rejoice—with sheer amazement—at the Christ who suffered all the pain and degradation that we deserved, that we might go free.
(22:66-70) How frightening that a body of religious people, religious leaders no less, meeting in authoritative council, could act in such a way. Yet is the testimony of history that false believers have often treated real believers far worse than has secular society. The church of name only, but not of reality, the false adherents of Christianity who are inwardly hypocrites, has persecuted real Christians throughout the centuries. There is no fury like the fury of a religious, prideful hypocrite, exposed before the righteousness of the humble Son of God. Let us pray that we would be true in doctrine and in life, in profession and in practice.
(22:67-69) They ask Jesus for what looks like a straightforward reply—as they take down their notes to see if they can record Jesus tripping up over his words that they might condemn him. Jesus’ answer is revealing: if he told them, they would not believe, and if he asked, they would not answer. Note: not all questioners are genuine, and sometimes the wisest course is to avoid answering the question altogether.
(22:70) Once more they ask, yet more directly, a question that is to the same effect. Jesus now answers more directly, but exposing again their hypocrisy by revealing that the very nature of the questions they are asking suggests that they are fearful that the answer is that he is the Christ, the Son of God. “You say that I am.” In other words, think even as you attack me you protesteth too much, and are really showing how much you are scared that truly Jesus is the Christ.
(22:71) Having received what they wanted, they go ahead and move forward with their kangaroo court and jumped-up illegal legal process.
And all the while, Jesus is suffering and will be killed that we might be freed from all pain and tears in glory and rise to new life. Think of all that he did for you, Christian. Think, and mourn for your sin that hung him there. Think, and rejoice that that sin is now taken away through his suffering, death and resurrection!
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