New Testament in 6 months – day 38

9 Jul

Mark 14:53-15:25
They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders and teachers of the law came together. Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire. 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. Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him. While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway. When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it. After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. It was the third hour when they crucified him.

Recently we have been using material from the youth alpha course on Sunday mornings with our young people. As part of this, one of the sessions is about who Jesus is, asking whether He was a liar, a lunatic or Lord. And this passage contains the very reason for why these are the only 3 possible options (well, there is a 4th, that the Jesus in the Bible was a legend and not a real person, but Alpha covers that separately in talking about the validity of Scripture). In this passage Jesus openly declares that He is the Son of God. If were to remove all aspects from the Bible where Jesus talks about or acknowledges others who talk about Him being God or the Son of God then we could simply pass Jesus off as a good teacher and possibly a prophet. But as soon as Jesus says or acknowledges that He is God’s Son, one with the Father, this is impossible.
As C S Lewis points argues in Mere Christianity, someone who is just a “good teacher” would never say that they are God’s Son as they would know they were blaspheming if it is not true. So Jesus gives us this statement and narrows our options to 3. But when we look at it we can see that the rest of His life and ministry only leave us with one possible option. For He spoke with such clarity and authority that He was acknowledged by teachers of the Law. So Jesus was not mad. If you want further proof of His sanity, look at the numbers who followed Him. Mad men don’t get people following them all over the place just to hear what they have to say! So Jesus’ declaration of being God’s Son was not said by a madman.
And Jesus was definitely no liar. We only have to look at what He said and see how He followed through on His word to know this. But just in case you want something else, remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? Just like in the story, if Jesus was shown to be a liar then people would have stopped coming to hear him speak.

So where does this leave us? Well, from this one statement from Jesus we have our proof that Jesus is Lord. Without Jesus’ statement that He is we are left with an argument based on personal interpretations of what He said and did. With it we cannot say He was a good man, He was either mad, bad or God. He gave us no other options!

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One Response to “New Testament in 6 months – day 38”

  1. Steven Carr July 30, 2013 at 07:53 #

    ‘So Jesus was not mad’

    I see.

    So Jesus said the Queen of Sheba would rise from her grave to judge people, and he appointed 12 fishermen and tax-collectors to help him judge the world after it had ended.

    Definitely not the talk of a lunatic.

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