Summary: As we witness Jesus trial before the Jewish council, we clearly see that no guilt was his; and yet, all guilt was his as well, for the Innocent One carried your guilt and mine to the cross.
Walk with the Innocent One
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God through which the Holy Spirit touches our hearts is record in Mark 14:
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: “We heard him say, ’I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.’” Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus. “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus, “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death.(Mark 14:55-64 NIV)
This is the the word of our Lord.
Dear friends in Christ Jesus,
One of the blessing we have in America is a fair court system. It’s far from perfect, but the accused in our land usually get a chance to defend themselves. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. I realize that some defendants may not get the best attorneys if they don’t have the, but at least they get an attorney. And in order to assure that police and the government do not abuse their powers, a defendant may go free because the evidence against him was obtained in an illegitimate way. The accused have many protections
How different it was for Jesus! He was truly innocent. He not only was innocent of all crime. He was innocent of all sins both outward and inward. He is the Innocent One. But what a trial he endured! Tonight as we walk with our Savior in his passion, we walk with the Innocent One. First of all we want to see that 1) no guilt was his and secondly we want to see that 2) all guilt was his.
1) No guilt was his
Try to picture Jesus’ trial as you heard it described in the Passion History. The Jewish council probably would be seated in tiered seats in a semi circle with Jesus beneath them. Note how much it was unlike a modern American trial. Jesus had no rights, no attorney. The judges, jury, and prosecutors were all the same group. How would you like it if your judges and jury were the ones trying to prove you guilty?
They met at night, under cover of darkness, even though night time trials were illegal. When the sun came up, they then had another hasty meeting right, so that everything would seem legal.
But what crime could they condemn him off? After carefully watching Jesus and scrutinizing what he said and did for three years, they had no charge against him. So they tried to manufacture charges by having witnesses come in, false witnesses. And yet they couldn’t even make their false testimony agree with each other.
Two of them twisted Jesus words. They claimed Jesus had said “I will destroy this man-made temple and in three days will build another, not made by man.” (NIV). If they could make this charge stick, Jesus would be guilty of desecrating the temple. But even their testimony didn’t agree because Jesus had never spoken against the temple building. John told us what Jesus had really said early in his ministry when he first cleared the temple of money changers. Jesus had said, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days” (John 2:19 NIV). He wasn’t talking about the building, but his his body. The Jews would destroy the temple of Jesus’ body and on the third day Jesus would raise his body from the dead. Even false witnesses against Jesus couldn’t agree. He had no guilt. He was the Innocent One.
As the Innocent One Jesus did not need to answer these charges. Why even acknowledge such lies by arguing against them? Caiaphas, the High Priest tries to badger him into incriminating himself: “Are you not going to answer. What is this testimony these men are bringing against you” (NIV). The Innocent One remains silent.
One more question Caiaphas has. He asks, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One.” “I am” Jesus answers (NIV). Here was what Caiaphas wanted. Jesus was claiming to be equal to God. Now if Jesus were just a man, it would be making fun of God, mocking him, blaspheming him to say that. But Jesus had told the truth. From all eternity, he was the one and only Son of the Father -- true God from true God, of one being with the Father.