Read Mark 14:53-65
Jesus is immediately taken to the High Priest. There is no mucking around, there is no placing Jesus in a holding cell and waiting till the next day. The religious leaders knew that this needed to be dealt with in the silence of the night. So in the darkness of night, Jesus is led to the High Priest. Whilst there is no record of the other disciples, we hear that Peter continues to follow Jesus, although from a distance.
In the courtyard of the High Priest, by the warmth of a fire, the mockery of a trial begins. False witness after false witness stand up to give evidence against Jesus, yet all they do is contradict each other. You would have thought after the effort of arranging and paying for the arrest Jesus they would have bothered to get their stories straight, but instead all their accusations simply create confusion.
Some false witnesses stand up to quote Jesus out of context, claiming that Jesus said he would destroy the temple that was made with hands only to build another not made with hands three years later. But even on this accusation the witnesses accounts fail to agree.
Turning to Jesus, the High Priest demands a response: “Do you have no answer?” he asks. But rather that defending himself, Jesus remains silent, declining to answer. The High Priest tries again, asking Jesus if he was the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed one, and this time Jesus responds.
“I am” he says, “and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
This is enough for the High Priest. Enraged he tears his clothes and yells “Blasphemy”. Jesus has just claimed to be the anointed one of God and clearly the High Priest did not feel this was the case. All in attendance agreed with the High Priest and declared Jesus worthy of death. Then spitting on him, they blindfolded him and challenged him to prophesy who was harming him.
The guards then took over and began to beat Jesus. I read these passages in astonishment at Jesus’ reaction. We have the Son of God willingly submitting to a beating at the hands of the so-called followers of God. Why? The only way I can understand it is to conclude that it was his love for his Father and for us that compelled him to allow it to happen.
- What stood out for you in today’s story? Do you have any questions?
- How does Jesus show love in this passage?
- How is the way Jesus shows love different to the way you often hear other people talk about love?
- How can you act with ‘Jesus-like love’ to others this week?
- Who could you bless this week by living generously through your words or actions?
Pray For Each Other
If you get a chance during the week, catch up Mark 14:66-72 as we jump to Mark 15:1 tomorrow.