Mark 14:53-65; 15:1-5
And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.…
They led Jesus away to the high priest. So he appears before that ecclesiastical tribunal, whose duty it was to see that his own laws were obeyed. He who is the true Judge is arraigned before one who will prove himself to be the real culprit. But an accusation must be brought, even though the court is an unjust one. To this end "the chief priests and the whole council sought witness against Jesus." Their efforts were vain, for though "many bare false witness against him," yet "their witness agreed not together." Then, with directness, the high priest questioned him, asking the all-important question, "Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" Jesus, who knew how to maintain a dignified silence when suborned men bare false witness, and who knew equally how to reply with withering and confusing words when foolish men presented quibbling questions, boldly and promptly replied to the demands with an authoritative "I am." And then, in lowly humility, he bore further witness to the truth, saying, "Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." With rage and indignation the high priest tears his clothes, and declares his words to be "blasphemy," which could only be true on the supposition that he was bearing false witness. He appeals for judgment, and the universal testimony is, "He is worthy of death." The ecclesiastical court has condemned him. "Straightway in the morning," after due consultation on the part of "the whole council," they "bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate." He is now arraigned before the civil tribunal. Pilate's direct inquiry, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" The reply, "Thou sayest," is an affirmative. Pilate has no idea of a spiritual kingship. In each court Jesus is tried, and found guilty. Pilate could have no fear that the calm Prisoner before him, who confessed his kingdom to be "not of this world," would be able to establish his claim, and having his interest in him excited by various circumstances, is disposed to release him. But the instant assertion, "If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend," and his desire "to content the multitude," and lest there should be an uproar, "delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." Underneath all this show of human judgment we must see other forces at work. In "the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" we must find the roots of this delivering up. The Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. Nor must we lose sight of that voluntary consecration of himself to the will of the Father which guided Jesus when he laid down his life that he might take it again. Other aspects of this remarkable incident come into our view, when we hear Jesus refusing to make the appeal which could bring to his help "more than twelve legions of angels," and that because he would that "the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled." It is needful to group together the various details given by the several writers, each throwing into prominence one or other important feature of the scene, and it is equally needful to read the records in the light of various portions of the epistolary writings of Paul and others, especially that to the Hebrews. There we see the end it was designed should be answered by his appearing "as a lamb before her shearers - dumb." But the judgment of Jesus is really the judgment of his accusers; of them at whose bar he is arraigned, and by whom his sentence is pronounced. We see in it the most humiliating condemnation of itself by its unwarranted condemnation passed by the Jewish nation upon its innocent Victim. Even Pilate declared he found no fault in him; nor would he have delivered him up had he not been hounded on by zealots, whose sensibilities he feared in his weakness to excite, and whose tool he lent himself to be. This repudiation of the truth, this despisal of holiness - holiness as exhibited in the life of One who has become the world's type of righteousness - and this revolt from the will of the Father as declared in the writings of the acknowledged prophets, condemns them as children of error, of unholiness, and of wicked disobedience. - G.
Parallel VersesKJV: And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes.