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“The Crucified King” When the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am.” By replying as he does, Jesus is saying: “I will come to earth in the very glory of God and judge the entire world.” It’s an astounding statement. It’s a claim to deity. Of all the things Jesus could have said—and there are so many texts, themes, images, metaphors, and passages of the Hebrew Scriptures that he could have used to tell who he was—he specifically says he’s the judge. By his choice of text, Jesus is deliberately forcing us to see the paradox. There’s been an enormous reversal. He is the judge over the entire world, being judged by the world. He should be in the judgment seat, and we should be in the dock, in chains. Everything is turned upside down. And as soon as Jesus claims to be this judge, as soon as he claims deity, the response is explosive. Mark writes: “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. (Mark 14:62–65) The high priest rips his own garments apart, a sign of the greatest possible outrage, horror, and grief. And then the whole trial deteriorates. In fact it’s no longer a trial; it’s a riot. The jurors and judges begin to spit on him and beat him. In the middle of the trial, they go absolutely berserk. He is instantly convicted of blasphemy and condemned as worthy of death. While you and I cannot literally spit in Jesus' face, we can still mock and reject him. In what ways are we prone to reject Jesus as God?
Mark 14:53-65 (ESV) -
53 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. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.