Summary: 2007 Easter Meditation
Well, what is Jesus guilty of? In the five weeks of testimony we have heard that He has been accused of being (among other things) blasphemous or irreverent by claiming to be the Messiah, of breaking the rule of not working on the Sabbath because He healed someone who had been sick for quite awhile, of creating some cannibalistic cult because He speaks of the bread as His body and the wine as His blood of the New Covenant, and of hanging around with sinners or unacceptable people.
It has always interested me that in the gospel accounts we note that as Jesus was brought to the High Priest’s home,’ 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,’ as we read in Matthew 26:59. Matthew goes on to say that ‘even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use. Finally, two men were found who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
So Jesus is accused of possible destruction of property. But then in response to a direct question by the High Priest in verse 63, “I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Jesus says, “Yes, it is as you say.’ He tells the truth.
But there’s more, for in Mark 15:8 and following we read, ‘The mob began to crowd in toward Pilate, asking him to release a prisoner as usual. “Should I give you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asked. (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) But at this point the leading priests stirred up the mob to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus.’
Envy; jealousy, call it what you want… those who opposed Jesus were envious of Him. John records in his gospel account a scene that confirms Mark’s comment as we read in John 12:19, the Pharisee’s perspective of Jesus after His triumphal entry. “Then the Pharisees said to each other, “We’ve lost. Look, the whole world has gone after him!”
So Jesus was arrested because there were those who were jealous of His power and influence that they wanted and that also threatened their power and influence.
But, what was Jesus guilty of? Of doing His job, of completing the assignment that He was sent to earth to do – a complete and thorough act of forgiveness for all humankind?
That makes sense to me. He says as much in John 3 where Nicodemus, who we heard testify a few weeks ago, is told by Jesus ‘God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.’
Jesus is guilty of love. He is guilty of dying on a cross for our sins and being resurrected from the dead. He is guilty of healing, loving, caring, and forgiving.
We are the guilty ones! We are guilty of lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, envy, lust, anger, hate, and a whole host of other things.
We are in need of forgiveness, of transformation. We are in need of a second chance. Only Jesus can make it happen. Only Jesus, who is guilty of being the Son of God, the Savior of the world, can bring us the peace, the joy, and the contentment that we so desperately need. He is the Messiah as we read in Matthew 26:
Be open to God this morning and allow Him into your life. Amen.
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