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July 6, 2023



Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. But they couldn’t find any. Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’” But even then they didn’t get their stories straight! Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I Am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” “Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!” Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.

Mark 14:55-65 NLT



This is a horrible picture of justice gone bad. First, you have the religious leaders who have predetermined they want to crucify Jesus because they are jealous of His popularity. The more they have tried to discredit Him the more the people have loved Him. They have already decided what they want to do, and the trial is just to make things look legal. We should always be careful to predetermine someone’s guilt and then attempt to find evidence to prove what we believe. Justice is supposed to be blind and only weigh the evidence. Secondly, I am amazed by the religious leaders encouraging people to lie and fabricate their testimonies. The hypocrisy is overwhelming. These were the leaders who preached to the people the importance of keeping every one of the laws to please God. Here they were encouraging lying to get their predetermined decision. It seems that the legalist rarely see the contradiction in their own behaviors. They are quick to judge others by a different standard than they judge themselves. Next we see the brutality of the religious leaders and the guards. Look at the fact that it was not just the guards that hit Jesus. The text tells us some of the religious leaders’ spate on Jesus and hit Him with their fists. What happens inside a person that creates so much anger that they spit on a person, blindfold them, and hit them with their fists? The statement by Jesus that infuriated them was Jesus claiming to be equal to God. When the High Priest asked Jesus if He was the Messiah Jesus said that He was. He claimed to be equal to God. That was a claim that drove them to insanity. This was the evidence that justified such brutality. There are only two options when someone claims to be God—they are insane, or they are God. If they are God, you should worship them. If they are insane you should seek to get them help. You don’t beat or crucify someone because they are insane. What can we learn from today’s reading that can to be applied to our lives? First, let’s always be very slow to judge others. Let’s not predetermine whether someone is good or bad. Let’s not judge by other’s comments. Let’s take an honest, slow look at the evidence. Secondly, let’s don’t allow anger to dominate our behavior. Let’s choose to stay in control of our emotions even in difficult moments. Let’s decide to act in mercy and grace even when we must act in justice. God expects us to give justice when it is due. Justice can however be done right.



Holy Spirit help me to not be a hypocrite in the way I treat others. Help me to keep my anger under control even in difficult times.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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