All kinds of claims are made by all kinds of people. Medical cures, instant solutions, quick fixes are all portrayed with rapid speed in our ‘technology-crazed’ world. Stories circulate and allegations are raised, but where’s the evidence–the cold hard facts that back up these claims?
In courts of law, one promises to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…” But how many times have witnesses lied under oath, covering up the truth in a web of deceit?
As Jesus was taken to the religious leaders of Jerusalem, Mark records their desire for ‘evidence,’ some statement, some firsthand account that would incriminate him. Their goal? A fair trial? Hardly! They were scrambling for evidence “so they could put him to death,” but “they could not find any.” Many witnesses were coming forward, offering false testimony, but “their statements did not agree.”
The clock was ticking. The Passover Meal had ended (Thursday night) but in these night hours, when legal action was considered illegal, the religious leaders fueled by envy and a lack of faith pressed on in their quest for a verdict.
Some witnesses “stood up and gave this false testimony against him: ‘We heard him say….” They recount His claim about His own death and resurrection, yet their testimony and lack of understanding does not close the case.
At this point, the high priest steps in. Think of it – the ‘high priest’ is questioning THE HIGH PRIEST. One day this ‘high priest’ will bow his knee and confess openly that Jesus Christ is Lord, (Philippians 2), but Good Friday is not ‘that’ day. The evidence of the sinful nature of these accusers comes out, guided in the cross-examination by this top religious official.
“Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” The silence of Jesus is deafening yet fulfilling the silence of this Lamb who was being led to the slaughter, and like the sheep before her shearers is dumb, this Shepherd remains silent, fulfilling Isaiah 53.
So who’s in charge of this trial? Where’s the evidence? How will this innocent, falsely accused prisoner be treated?
The questioning continues. The disgust of the judge is shown by his torn clothes. The swift verdict is passed. “They all condemned him as worthy of death.” And as sin stacks up upon sin, they compound their guilt with spitting, blindfolding, striking, mocking and beating.
Where’s the evidence? If I look for evidence of Christ’s guilt, I find none! If I seek details of my own guilt, I find plenty.
“Was it for crimes that I had done, He groaned upon the tree? Amazing pity, grace unknown and love beyond degree!” I’m thankful that Christ died for sinners.