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In order to come up with charges they could use to prosecute Jesus to the Romans, immediately after His arrest in Gethsemane in the middle of Wednesday night of Passion Week He was subjected to an inquisition, first by Annas, and then by Caiaphas, the high priest, and his yes-men from the Sanhedrin.  For immediately on Thursday morning they would need to present their findings to the whole Council to rubber stamp what had already been decided and turn Him over to Pilate for execution before his supporters had a chance to rally to His cause.  Their own celebration of the Passover would also begin that afternoon, and the required Sabbath rest of the festival from Thursday evening to Friday evening, followed immediately by the seventh day Sabbath until Saturday evening would quell any protests or disturbances by His followers.

Because they had no valid reason to have Jesus put to death and He remained silent in regard to their accusations, their case was weak and they were dependent upon false and inconsistent testimony that He had threatened to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, that He stirred up the people from all over Judea and Galilee, and was forbidding people to pay taxes to Caesar.  But upon further questioning they forced Him under oath to answer if He was the Christ, knowing they could use that confession to prosecute Him to the Romans because of the popular notion among the people that the Messiah they awaited was a mighty king who would save them from the yoke of the Romans.  Hence, although He was not that sort of Messiah they were expecting—for which reason they themselves rejected Him—still they would use that charge to have Him put to death.  What then is the incredible irony that the primary charge they would make to have Jesus put to death, that they supposed to be false, was in fact true, so that in no uncertain terms their actions demonstrated that they were absolutely rejecting the Messiah they themselves were hoping for because He didn’t meet their expectations?  What does this illustrate about the utter depravity to which the religious leaders had fallen, in spite of their outward appearance, and the deceitfulness of sin that is able to completely twist the truth into a lie?  Cf. Isa 5:20, Mat 23:27-28,33.  Is it possible that our own sins could lead us to similarly reject the true God because of our own mistaken expectations?  What does this teach us about the importance of humility in regard to the things we hold true?  In this regard, although coming to the knowledge of the truth is of supreme importance to our salvation, in what way is a sincere faith that hopes and trusts in God even more important than what we believe to be the truth?  Cf. Mic 6:8, 1Ti 1:5, Heb 11:6.

Being forced to respond under oath to a question He could not deny, how did Jesus answer Caiaphas?  See Mat 26:64.  To whom else had Jesus also answered somewhat cryptically just hours earlier?  See Mat 26:25, and notice that it is the identical construction (σὺ εἶπας, you said it), with the emphasis on you; see also Mat 27:11 where He will respond similarly to Pilate.  Although answering in a way that was clearly understood in the affirmative (see Mat 26:65 and cf. Mar 14:62 that simply records the more direct implication ἐγώ εἰμι, I am), what is the significance that on these three occasions when those whose hearts were not pure and opposed to the true nature of His kingdom were making inquiry of Him, Jesus did not answer them directly, but put it back on them?  See Joh 12:47-48; cf. Mat 12:37, Luk 19:22.  How does this again relate to the irony noted above that the very charge the religious leaders would use to prosecute Jesus to death and for which they would be held accountable was the truth that they themselves hoped for and here bore witness to by virtue of the charge made against him, but at the same time utterly rejected by having Him put to death because He wasn’t the type of Savior they were expecting and would accept?  Think: in the day of judgment, when their eyes are opened to see the truth about Jesus and that He was in fact the Christ, the Son of God, will they have any defense whatsoever for their deeds when by their own mouths they acknowledged the truth and then used that truth to have Him put to death?  Cf. Luk 19:22.  What does this teach us about the power of our words, even when we are deceived about their true meaning?  See Mat 12:36-37; cf. Pro 10:19, Ecc 5:2, Jam 1:19.  What does it also teach us about the sinfulness of sin and its deceitfulness, as well as the awesome power of God and His truth that catches the crafty in their scheming?  Cf. 1Co 3:19.  What does it also teach us about how the Truth is able to reveal the thoughts and intentions of the heart, and the marvelous ways that God is able to judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus and bring to light their motives that are hidden in the darkness?  Cf. 1Ch 28:9, Rom 2:16, 1Co 4:5.

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