Mt. 26:57 π Mt. 26:59 π Mt. 26:59-63 π Mt. 26:63-64 π Mt. 26:65-66 π Mt. 27:25 π Jn. 2:19 π Jn. 7:50-52 π Jn. 18:19-21 π Col. 2:14-15
When Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin, He also remained silent except to give His accusers opportunity to repent. Let us read the account.
And those who had laid hold of Jesus [in the Garden of Gethsemane] led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled... Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’”
And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it that these men testify against You?”
But Jesus kept silent. ( Mt. 26:57 , 59-63; top )
Let us note that Jesus doesn’t even bother to refute the distortions these false witnesses have placed on His sayings. (see Jn. 2:19; top ) John gives a little more detail regarding this aspect of Jesus’ encounter with the Sanhedrin:
The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said.” ( Jn. 18:19-21; top )
Indeed, when Jesus speaks to the hearts of men, it is impossible to forget what He has said! The two false witnesses then either had not personally heard what Jesus had said about the temple and raising it up (making their testimony hearsay) or, acting under the direct influence of the evil powers assigned to manipulate the Sanhedrin, they lied about what they had heard (making their testimony perjury). A third option is that these two witnesses misquoted Jesus precisely because of their own preconceived religious paradigm (the temple Jesus spoke of raising up simply had to be Herod’s temple) a paradigm which the demonic had worked long and hard to bring these men under. Either way, this legal body threw all the precepts of justice out the window so they could execute Jesus! And this is the hypocrisy that is seen in all who are deceived and dominated by the demonic.
Let us return to Matthew’s account:
And the high priest answered and said to [Jesus], “I adjure You by the living God that You tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” ( Mt. 26:63-64; top )
Whether Jesus was inwardly required to answer by His godly obedience to authority or He was simply making it clear to them who He was, the result was the same. The truth was out there in plain sight. The Jews had to choose to believe or reject Him. The power manipulating the Sanhedrin had done its job well though because, as is evident from their mindset ( Mt. 26:59 ) and previous discussions ( Jn. 7:50-52; top ), Jesus was already guilty in their minds of blaspheming God. God had given these Jews over to the delusions wrought by the demonic, delusions they preferred over the truth.
Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?”
They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” ( Mt. 26:65-66; top )
For this blindness which the members of the Sanhedrin would not allow the light of Christ to penetrate, they would bear on themselves and their future generations the guilt of murdering their Messiah. (see Mt. 27:25 ) Yet, in the end, as Paul wrote,
[Christ] disarmed principalities and powers [and] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in [His being nailed to a cross]. ( Col. 2:14-15; top )
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