Matthew – God’s Purposes
We are devastated when others malign us, mock us, or merely offend us because we think differently on life’s issues such as parenting, teaching, politics, buying and selling, and relationships. We attack each other these days, unmercifully at times, at life stuff here on earth. People are confused as they dance around Truth.
There is a much larger picture that many still do not see or consider. Who deserves to die? Who deserves to live?
As Jesus stands silently before Caiaphas, the high priest, along with the rest of the religious elite of the day, they mock and shout, “He deserves to die!” The irony of that angry shout of presumptuousness guilt of Jesus Christ, knowing NO sin, brings us to the halting realization in our own thoughts–WAIT, I DESERVE TO DIE!
But Jesus stood there and took MY mocking, MY beating, MY hurts, MY false offenses, MY guilt and shame upon Himself. He was thinking of you and me, all humanity, when He stood there. He could have walked away miraculously, as He had done before on one occasion, but He didn’t. He didn’t deserve anything that was put upon Him. It was time to settle our debt of what WE deserved but didn’t have to pay. THAT’S the point!
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Messiah, was Truth. He did not deserve being beaten, mocked, spit upon, and ultimately nailed, through His flesh in excruciating pain to a cross. His love for us, driven by the power of God’s will, caused Him to stand and silently take it.
Who deserves to die? We do.
Who deserves to live? Jesus Christ.
The irony is Jesus Christ’s payment for our sin and resurrection from death redeems us and gives us life! He GAVE us eternal life that we do not deserve, that we do not work for and that we cannot earn. We deserve to die but He made a way for us to live forever with Him!
As we continue our journey in Matthew, bear in mind that WE deserve what Jesus has suffered. So when we suffer when people betray us, put us down, talk behind our back, mock our faith in God, or just generally mock us or offend us as we try to do life the best way we know how, KNOW this, Jesus gave His life for us. Jesus knows us. Jesus cares for us and love us. Remember the irony.
Jesus paid it all…ALL…so that we may live…ALL who deserve to die.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16, NLT
Matthew 26, NLT
Jesus before the Council
57 Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. 58 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end.
59 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60 But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61 who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I demand in the name of the living God—tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 Jesus replied, “You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your verdict?”
“Guilty!” they shouted. “He deserves to die!”
67 Then they began to spit in Jesus’ face and beat him with their fists. And some slapped him, 68 jeering, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who hit you that time?”
The high priest hastily assembled the Sanhedrin, composed of the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes (Mark 14:53). While the men were gathering, Caiaphas and his assistants were seeking for witnesses to testify against the prisoner. They had already determined that He was guilty, but they wanted to go through the motions of a legal trial.
Since no honest witnesses could be found (which in itself proves our Lord’s innocence), the leaders arranged for false witnesses to testify. The law of Moses warned against false witnesses (Deut. 19:15–21), but even the religious leaders twisted God’s Word to accomplish their selfish purposes. That there were two witnesses fulfilled the letter of the law. But that they deliberately lied broke both the letter and the spirit of the law. These witnesses cited a statement Jesus had made early in His ministry: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). It was a serious matter to speak against the temple; this very charge later led to the death of Stephen (Acts 6:12–14; 7:45–50).
When confronted with this charge, Jesus remained silent. This was a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7. Jesus could not deny that He made the statement, and yet neither could He explain the spiritual meaning of the statement to this group of worldly minded men. In His attitude toward His enemies, Jesus set an example for us to follow (1 Peter 2:18–23).
Dear Lord and Savior,
Thank you for taking on what I deserve. Thank you for life to the full and eternal. Thank you for the pain that should have been mine. Forgive us, Lord, when we forget that we are indeed redeemed by what you did for us. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who merely offend us. Deliver us from the evil one. May we never forget the irony.
Help us to speak when you tell us to speak and to be silent when you tell us to be silent.
In Jesus Name, Amen