In the middle of Wednesday night of Passion Week Jesus was arrested and immediately subjected to an inquisition, first by Annas, the former high priest and ultimate authority of the ruling body of the Jews, and then by a large body of yes-men from the Sanhedrin led by Caiaphas, who was Annas’ son-in-law and the current high priest. Their goal was to quickly build a case against Jesus and present it first thing in the morning to a formal gathering of the Council in order to deliver Him to the Romans and have Him put to death before the start of their Passover later that day, and before His supporters found out and could rally to His cause. But building a case against the most righteous man who ever lived was tough, to say the least! Nevertheless, by twisting His words, they sought to accuse Him of sacrilege by saying He would destroy the temple, and even sorcery by claiming to be able to rebuild it in three days. In addition, they would charge Him with stirring up the people all over Israel and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, which they knew would be sticking points against Him with the Romans and their desire to keep the peace. And yet, for all of their many false accusations, Jesus remained silent, denying them their hope of Him incriminating Himself in some way. In spite of their witch-hunt, did the Jewish leaders have any solid evidence of criminal conduct in regard to the laws generally agreed upon by nations that govern human behavior that they could count on to stick to Jesus and successfully prosecute Him to the Romans? See Luk 23:4, Joh 18:38. How would His silence have also cast doubt in their minds about what He might say before Pilate that could undermine their case against Him? What does this again teach us about the value of remaining silent when falsely accused?
What final charge did Jesus’ accusers make against Him, that was the most damning in their minds and that they would settle upon as their main accusation? See Mar 14:61-64, Luk 22:67-71; cf. Joh 18:33, 19:19-22. Why did they suppose this charge would be the one that they could count on to have Him put to death by the Romans? Cf. Joh 19:12-16 and consider that the type of Messiah the people were expecting to reign as king was exactly one who would deliver them from the yoke of their Roman oppressors, which is why Jesus was careful to not openly reveal Himself as the Christ to avoid that misunderstanding; Luk 4:41, Mat 11:2-6, 16:15-17,20. See also Joh 18:33,36-38.
Although Jesus remained silent in regard to their false accusations, and even appears to have been keeping silent when first questioned about being the Messiah (note the use of the imperfect in Mar 14:61 indicating that the questioning was a process, not just a single event), why did He finally answer? See Mat 26:63 and note that although it was illegal under Jewish law to put a person under oath in order to force him to incriminate himself, for Jesus to refuse to answer would be the same as denying the truth, which He couldn’t do; 2Ti 2:13. In what way was His confession in the face of the suffering it would invoke upon Him also an example for all who would follow Him in the way of the cross? Cf. Mat 10:32-33, Joh 12:42-43, 1Jo 2:22-23, 4:2-3. Although Jesus was in fact the promised Messiah, why was His truthful answer anathema to them? What should we learn from this about the subtle artifices the serpent uses to oppose God and accomplish his purposes, by so twisting the truth into a lie that even the truth could be used to put the Savior of mankind to death? Cf. Isa 5:20. In what way is this happening today by way of feminism, homosexuality, and transgender ideologies? If we don’t cling to the truth of God’s word, is it possible that we too could be deceived by worldly expectations and peer pressure to turn truth upside down and then use it against those who are actually walking in truth?
Besides adjuring Jesus to say if He was the Christ, what else do all three Synoptic gospels record that Caiaphas also asked that he related to the claim of being Christ? See Mat 26:63, Mar 14:61, Luk 22:67-70. What does this close connection teach us about the expectation at that time that the Messiah would be more than just an ordinary man? Cf. Mat 16:16, Mar 1:1, Luk 4:41, Joh 1:34,49, 11:27, 12:34, 20:31. Would the use of the term necessarily have been understood in the same sense as we do in light of our Christian theology as the only begotten Son of God? Cf. Joh 10:33-36 and consider that the word for God in Hebrew is אֱלֹהִים (elohim) which is a plural form that when not referring specifically to the one true God can refer to any of a number of lesser gods; see Job 1:6, Dan 3:25, Mat 5:9, Luk 3:38, 20:36 and cf. Exo 12:12, 15:11, 18:11, Deut 10:17, 32:17, 1Co 8:5-6, 10:20. See also Deut 32:8 where sons of Israel (NAS) is better translated sons of God (DSS; cf. angels of God, LXX), referring to a divine council to whom Yahweh, the Most High God, delegated authority over the different nations of the earth; cf. Dan 10:13,20-21. With this background, see Gen 6:4 where these sons of God procreated with the daughters of men who gave birth to the Nephilim, mighty men, men of renown, or giants, as the LXX translates it. Contrast Mat 1:18,23, Luk 1:30-35, 8:28.
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The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?