Tuesday March 15- The Trouble with Jesus
Spend five minutes focusing on a couple of things you appreciate and thank God for them.
Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. But they couldn’t find any. Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’” But even then they didn’t get their stories straight! Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply.
Here is the situation. Palm Sunday has already happened. There are thousands of people who seemed ready to crown Jesus as king only a few days ago. The high priest would have to come up with something terrible that Jesus did in order to turn the mob against him. It has to be something worthy of the death sentence.
But there is also the matter of the Romans. Caiaphas has to come up with something terrible in order for the Romans to kill him. The Romans won’t let the Jews execute their own people.
So, why is there so much opposition to Jesus by the high priest and the chief priests? Think of it.
Jesus is messing with the Temple. The day after Palm Sunday, Jesus disrupts the whole Temple system by driving out the Temple employees. (Mark 11:15-16)
He also prophesies the Temple is going away soon, anyway. (Mark 13:1-2)
So you see, why wouldn’t Jesus be in trouble? If you are threatening to destroy the center of religious faith and the center of commerce for Israel, how do you think this affects the people who benefit the most from it? For the High Priest and chief priests the Temple is everything.
Jesus is saying he has authority over the Temple and over those who run the Temple. Of course they are going after Jesus. They have a good thing going. So, the chief justice and his court are ready. Court is in session.
Things start out bad for the priests. They can’t get anyone to be able to tell testify properly against Jesus. O, they use false witnesses, but they can’t get their stories straight. They need at least two witnesses who tell the same story. You see, in the Jewish law, there has to be two or three eyewitnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15).
So, now what? Caiaphas is clever. Like a good persecutor, he tries to trip Jesus up.
Because you can do something, doesn’t mean you have to do it. For a couple of days, forego a privilege you take for granted.