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author on June 9th, 2010

Two weeks ago we saw Jesus appearing before the High Priest (Mark 14:53-65Mark 14:53-65
English: World English Bible - WEB

53 They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him. 54 Peter had followed him from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn’t agree with each other. 57 Some stood up, and gave false testimony 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 made without hands.’” 59 Even so, their testimony did not agree. 60 The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?” 61 But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 Jesus said, “I AM. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” They all condemned him to be worthy of death. 65 Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, “Prophesy!” The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.

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), and the effort they made to convict Jesus by false testimony. Jesus is now bound and taken to Pontius Pilate, the Procurator representing Judea. The Jews would accept nothing less than Jesus death – not just a traditional stoning, but a public, humiliating death on a cross – which they had no authority to perform (John 18:31-32John 18:31-32
English: World English Bible - WEB

31 Pilate therefore said to them, “Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die.

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); they wanted Jesus formally cursed (Deut. 21:23Deut. 21:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day; for he who is hanged is accursed of God; that you don’t defile your land which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.

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).

Pilate observed as the Chief Priests made their accusations (Mark 15:3Mark 15:3
English: World English Bible - WEB

3 The chief priests accused him of many things.

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). Jesus remained silent. The only response He gave, as He did before the High Priest, was to respond to the truth:

Pilate: “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus: “Yes, it is as you say.” (Mark 15:2Mark 15:2
English: World English Bible - WEB

2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered, “So you say.”

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We look at things from the perspective of the one convicted appealing to a higher court to seek acquittal, but here , the High Priest has ordered Jesus to be taken to their higher authority to assure that the convicted One receive the worst punishment possible. Again, as He was before the High Priest, Jesus also remained silent as His accusers repeated the false charges against Him. Only when Pilate asked the right question did Jesus respond.

It’s beginning to look like Jesus was, in effect, putting them on trial. He knew God’s will was that He endure death on a cross for the redemption of all mankind. The Chief Priests and Pilate could not understand such a thing – who would intentionally condemn himself?

Jesus told the truth – He told only the truth – and He responded only to truth. Can we say that? Are our temporary interests worth compromising the truth?