Spiritual Director · July 3, 2017

Devote #52

The whole courtroom scene in Mark 14 has always been intriguing to me. It’s filled with drama… it’s filled with suspicion and suspense… it’s filled with injustice. You know here in America a person is innocent until proven guilty. But at the trial of Jesus, He was guilty as guilty could be without ever having done anything wrong or saying a word. The Bible tells us that even the witnesses who lied about Jesus…
“… even then they did not agree on what they said.” Mark 14:59 CEV

Many people came to this mockery of a trial and spoke lies about Jesus and the Bible tells us…
“But Jesus kept quiet and did not say a word.” Mark 14:61 CEV

How many of us would have been jumping up and down trying to prove ourselves innocent, especially knowing that this group of people were looking for the death penalty. We’re not just talking about our reputation and integrity anymore, we’re talking about staying alive.

The only time Jesus spoke was when the high priest asked Jesus…
“Are you the Messiah, the Son of the glorious God?” Mark 14:61 CEV

And then Jesus spoke. “Yes, I am!” Mark 14:62 CEV

There is was! That was all the high priest needed to hear. He ripped his robe apart and accused Jesus of saying He was God which was a sin punishable by death according to Jewish law. The people present starting spitting on Jesus. They blindfolded him and punched Him in the face and then laughingly said, “Tell us who hit You?” Then the soldiers took Jesus away and they beat Him some more. All because He agreed with them that He was God in the flesh!

Right after this we read of Peter denying Jesus three times and his distraught of doing so after he even told Jesus it wouldn’t happen.

As I read this, I once again find myself looking with contempt on people like the high priest, those in the courtroom and even Peter. I think, how could they? How could they lie about Jesus and live with themselves? How could they hit someone who was tied up and blindfolded and think that was funny? How could someone be so cold hearted and flat out deny even knowing Jesus just to protect their own skin?

And that’s when it hits me! Once again I am never the bad guy in any of these accounts with Jesus. I tell myself, I would never do that! I would never treat Jesus so dishonorably. I would stand up and protect Jesus. I would have been the voice of reason. Really?

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Because you and I are not as innocent as we think, or as noble as we think we would be, we are the bad guys in this scene. See yourself there, but then also know that’s exactly why Jesus went through all of this and died. You do know, Jesus loved even those who were killing Him, right?

Remind me again today how much I need a Savior. Jesus, in Your name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.