Thank you for reading our fifteenth installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.
Today we look at a prophecy that speaks about the messiah being falsely accused. You have to remember that Jesus being both God and man, he was completely flesh but at the same time completely God. He was a sinless man. In order to secure a conviction some people were going to have to lie.
Psalm 35:11 (ESV) Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me of things that I do not know.
David is writing in two ways in this Psalm, he is referring first to his personal adversity, but on a grander sense he is talking about the coming messiah and how he was going to have people talk about him.
Jesus was never going to be convicted in a just court. In order to have enough to sentence him to death there was going to have to be some testimony that was embellished. People were going to have to lie. People were going to have to start with a truth, embellish it and they were even going to have to break one of the Ten Commandments to do so.
Lets look at the Ninth Commandment in Exodus 20…
Exodus 20:16 (ESV) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Can you imagine the hatred and desire to see Jesus gone and to really stop making them look bad – I mean we are the holy ones, how dare this upstart who is not one of us talk with authority and actually try to bring people closer to God. And he comes from Gailiee of all places. We are starting to lose the people and our individual position. Yes, this Jesus has to go! (Paraphrasing from the Pharisee)
False witness against the true witness
Lets see how this refers to Jesus
Mark 14:53 (ESV) And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.
Jesus is standing before the Sanhedrin, it is the third time he has faced accusations when Mark picks this up. He is standing in front of the men who were deemed the “holy ones” of Israel. Surely he would get a fair trial in front of these guys. I mean, this was the religious guys who held everyone else accountable to the law. Surely he will be found innocent?
By Jewish standards, the trial of Jesus was a mockery, Jesus had no protection. It is what we call in my home country a “kangaroo court”. The ones who began these proceedings began it with the intention of sentencing Jesus to death. They did exactly what Eve did in the Garden of Eden when she started with what was actually said and added subjecture to it.
V57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’”
Here is where they differ from the truth, what Jesus actually said was in John chapter two.
John 2:18 (ESV) So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Jesus didn’t say he would build a new temple, at no point did he add in that the temple that he was referring to was the one that took 46 years to build by hand. He was referring to the resurrection and his body on earth that would not see decay but be lifted from death on the third day.
Jesus being God was never going to rip down the temple that was dedicated to his father. It simply does not make sense. Even the Romans would regard the destruction of a religious or holy place as bad practice.
Couldn’t even agree in which lie they were telling
Here is how we know the trial was a mockery. In any decent legal system they have a way to quash a conviction, acquit someone or pass a not guilty verdict if they cannot prove the accusers correct. You will have heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” this was the opposite. Jesus was seen as guilty before it began.
Being the third trial, at this point they were going through the motions in order to make a decent enough story to take to the Roman area commander, known as Pontius Pilate so they could justify their actions by saying “we had had a trial according to our laws and he is guilty” when of course we see that the opposite is true.
Verses 55, 56, 57 and 59 show the compelling lack of evidence to warrant a public execution. If this was fair, it would stop the trial in it’s tracks right here. The defense would not have even taken the stand as the prosecution was unable to build a case against him.
Of course, there was a greater plan at work, Jesus was surrendering himself to be the atonement for the sins of the world because “the Father does not desire that any should perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:17)
The religious leaders were only interested in their own gains, but God used these people who were “professing him with their mouths but far from him in their hearts” (Matthew 15:8)
Jesus went through all this so we can go to heaven, although that decision is ours, we have to choose to follow Jesus. My hope is that these articles help and please contact me if you need to discuss further.
God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.