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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Jesus is Tried Against the High Council

Today's Reading:
  • Mark 14:53 - 72
  • Psalm 53:1 - 6
Read Bible Passages Online

Mark 14:53 - 72
Jesus was brought to the high priest's home and tried before the entire high council.  Once again, we were told that they were trying to find a reason to put him to death, but although many people testified, they were all contradicting each other.

This makes me wonder -- why was it so important to them that Jesus be put to death?  What had he done to them?  I know that he infuriated the leaders with his teachings, and that he had cleared out the temple after discovering that it was being used as a scheme to make money.  But does that really warrant trying to get someone killed?

The trial went on, and the people could find no reason to convict Jesus.  That is, until they asked Jesus if he was the Messiah.  Jesus replied (14:62):
"I AM.  And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power of God's right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven."
After Jesus said that, the council declared him guilty.

In today's world, if someone claimed to be the Messiah, 95% of the people would declare the person a lunatic, and the other 5% would follow.  But that wouldn't warrant death.  So I have to wonder, what is the difference in the world today.  Or at least, what's the difference in the country I live in -- the United States.  I don't know how other countries might handle the situation differently, so I can't account for the entire world.  But what about the United States, how is that different from this setting in biblical history?

I don't know a whole lot about the time it was in.  I know that the US was founded under God, but also under a segregation of church and state.  So I first have to wonder, what would it be like without that segregation?  Were people allowed different religions other than being Jewish in Jerusalem?  What offenses warranted death?  I know that I have seen that people were still being stoned to death for offenses such as adultery.  But what sin did claiming to be the Messiah fall under?  At the worst case this man was just disillusioned, so why did it irk them so badly?

Perhaps it was the thousands of followers he had gathered?  Maybe it was how he stepped on their toes and disgraced their teachings.  Was the love that is a major part of this religion just plain missing?  I know it was revolutionary that Jesus taught about love, loving God, loving one another.  Having lived almost two thousand years past when the last book of the bible was written, I am accustomed to the love and forgiveness that is Christianity now, that Jesus has provided for us.  I just can't fathom living in a world where that wasn't already there.

The bottom line is, these people put Jesus to death because that was God's plan for salvation.  It's still upsetting to me to see an innocent life -- any innocent life -- put to death.  The fact that the innocent life was that of Jesus Christ himself makes it that much more appalling.  

Psalm 53:1 - 6
53:4  Will those who do evil never learn?  They eat up my people like bread and wouldn't think of praying to God.
 I guess that as long as there are evil people in the world -- evil people who never know God, who always try to hurt others -- as long as those people exist, I will always have these questions in my heart about how people can simply be so evil.  People who only want to harm others, people who call for the death of innocent people.  The people who condemned the Savior to die.  I think of how much this pains me.  I can't even imagine how much it pains God.  It's impossible to imagine what the world will be like when all this suffering is gone.  It will be amazing!

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