Scripture: Mark 14:53-65
I listen to several true crime podcasts and often find some of the details and events surrounding these crimes quite incredible. Some, of course, are harrowing and can cause me anguish because of the content and what happens to people regularly around our world. Some of the most distressing though are about people who have been accused and found guilty of crimes they didn’t commit. Within me I find myself angry at the system, angry at the injustice for the people who spend decades incarcerated for something they didn’t do.
Here in Mark 14:53-65 is the beginning of the injustice of Jesus surrounding His death. For a while the religious leaders have been seeking to grab Him and now through the help of Judas Jesus is placed into their hands. However, despite this being the beginning of Jesus’ unjust suffering which leads to His crucifixion this event is also a fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy, demonstrating that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah.
In the passage, Jesus is brought before the religious authorities for questioning, and despite the lack of evidence against him, He is ultimately sentenced to death. This event was foretold in the Old Testament, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). This prophecy was fulfilled through the events leading up to the trial of Jesus, as He remained silent and submitted Himself to the will of God, even in the face of persecution.
The trial of Jesus also points to the fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation. Jesus’ death and resurrection make it possible for us to receive those gifts of forgiveness, eternal life, hope, and peace with God. For the restoration of humanity Jesus has to die for the sin of the world. Knowing this, Jesus is able to reply to the high priest’s question of whether or not He is the Messiah in the affirmative (Mark 14:62). Not only this, but He makes sure they know well who He is by saying, “…you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
There could be more said about this trial, but as we come to the cross tomorrow, what a confidence it is for us as believers to know that our Saviour fulfils that which was written long ago and fulfils that which we need now – restoration with God.
This is a devotional series I’ve written for my church for Easter Week 2023. It follows the Passion narrative in the Gospel of Mark. This is day 5 of 8.
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