by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled (Matthew 26:57).
57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
59Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
60But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
61And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
62And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
64Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
66What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
67Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?
Caiaphas was high priest. As such he was president of the Jewish court, that is, the church court. In the palace of the high priest were assembled the chief priests and the scribes and the elders of the people. Why had they come together? Did they want to examine Jesus, when he would be brought before them, to see whether he was innocent or guilty, and then pronounce a just judgment upon him? No. They had already decided without a hearing that He should be killed. Their concern was not to make an uproar, for they feared the people; so they sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. The church dignitaries sought to kill the Prince of life in an underhanded way! And yet they posed as God-fearing men, who expected to keep the passover! And when Jesus was brought in they sought false witness against him to put him to death, but they found none. Many false witnesses came, but their witness agreed not together. When finally Caiaphas, the high priest put Christ under oath, and asked Jesus whether he was the Christ, the Son of God, Jesus answered, "I am." "Then the high priest rent his clothes, and said, What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death." What a terrible sin these Jews committed! Yes, but may we confess our guilt in the condemnation of Jesus, with a contrite heart.
O God, may we not think ourselves better than those who condemned Jesus to death. May we realize that by nature we are totally wicked and depraved, capable of committing any sin, if Thy grace did not prevent us. May we then walk humbly before Thee, the Author and Finisher of our faith. May Thy Holy Spirit rule in our hearts and work in us the things that are pleasing in Thy sight. Increase our faith, and grant us the assurance that all our sins are forgiven, and that we are holy and righteous in our Mediator Jesus Christ. In his name and for his sake. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Matt. 26:57; Luke 22:3; Mark 14:1; 14:61-64.
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