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Before the Sanhedrin October 13, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 26:57-68.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus is taken to the house of Caiaphas. There, the scribes and elders attempt to find liars who will witness against Jesus – giving them a pretext to kill Him. Yet none of these liars can agree on their fabrications.

Eventually two liars come forward and concur on the following assertion: Jesus declared that He would destroy the temple and restore it in three days. Caiaphas responds by coming out of his seat and asking Him to respond to this accusation – yet He continues silent.

Caiaphas then calls Him to make a solemn oath before the living God that He is the Son of God. Jesus responds by:

  • asserting that He is the Son of God
  • reinforcing this point by quoting from Daniel 7:13; thus, He will be exalted to the right hand of God and will return to Earth to establish His eternal kingdom.

Caiaphas responds by rending his garments and asserting that since He has dishonored God, they can now condemn Him to death. The scribes and the elders then repeatedly mock Him.

Thoughts: In verse 61, two false witnesses accuse Jesus of asserting that He would destroy the temple and then rebuild it in three days. When I read that verse, I was baffled, as I could not recall Jesus making that statement in this Gospel. Had I actually overlooked that quotation while strolling through an earlier chapter? After some sleuthing, I found that in John 2:19, Jesus does make a similar statement. In that instance, though, He does not state that He will destroy the temple; He only states that if the Jews destroy it, then He will rebuild it. This shows that in that instance, He was actually referencing His body. Indeed, it is amazing that Jesus was able to maintain His integrity before this kangaroo court, refusing to succumb to a plethora of assaults on His character.

This passage also sharpens the contrast between the righteousness of Christ and the unrighteousness of all others (especially the chief priests and the Pharisees). Again, lest we, as modern-day believers, assume that we are superior to the chief priests and the Pharisees, we should remember that if we had attended this kangaroo court, we would also have mocked Him. Indeed, no modern-day believer would have had the fortitude to stand up and defend Him against the assaults on His character. Instead, we would have condemned Him to death. This is a sobering thought. Thus, we should be eternally grateful that although we were His enemies, Christ still chose to extend His grace to us.

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The Plot Against Jesus September 22, 2018

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Matthew 26:1-5.

Summary: In this passage, Jesus completes the Olivet Discourse and then informs His disciples of God’s plans regarding His death.

The chief priests and the Jewish lay nobility then meet to plot His death, planning to wait at least eight days before acting.

Thoughts: Here, the chief priests and the Jewish lay nobility are cognizant of Jesus’ popularity, knowing that they cannot execute their plot against Him during the week-long Passover. Their thoughts on this point sharpen the contrast between their unrighteousness and His righteousness. While He is entirely faultless, they seek to preserve their lofty status among the Jews – knowing that the Romans would punish them in the event of a riot by their “subjects.” Now I should note that as a modern-day believer, I am tempted to adopt an air of superiority towards the chief priests and the Jewish lay nobility in this passage. Yet I know that this passage – and the remainder of Matthew – only reinforces the following points:

  • only He is righteous
  • His suffering and death stem from my unrighteousness
  • I need Him as my Savior.