March 11, 2017

Looking for Evidence

Mark 14:55-59

Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.

—  Mark 14:56

There was one defendant in the court: Jesus. There were 71 jurors who made up the court of the Sanhedrin (though only some had come in the middle of the night). And the sentence had already been determined: death by execution.

The problem was that the religious leaders had not yet conducted a trial. They could not even pronounce Jesus guilty because he had not been charged with a crime. And it was difficult to charge Jesus with a crime because no evidence could be found.

The rules of the Sanhedrin—like the rules of any legitimate court—did not allow for prosecution witnesses who dreamed up evidence against a defendant. But this court was so convinced of the threat of Jesus that it brought in many false witnesses and heard contradictory testimony that was obviously full of lies. What mattered to this court was not the presentation of evidence, nor the pursuit of truth or justice. What mattered to this court were the verdict and the sentence. For these religious leaders, the end justified the means.

Thus it was through lies and false testimony that the religious leaders of his own people condemned Jesus, the one who is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Jesus, because you are the truth, it was only through untruth that you could be condemned. True God and true man, let the light of your truth shine through the darkness of this world. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Fred Bultman

Fred Bultman began a “second career” as a pastor in 1997, after a first career in the banking business.  He served as pastor to congregations in the U.S. and Canada. In retirement, he continues to enjoy sharing in the ministry of the churches in and around his home in Fremont, Michigan.

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