When Accusation Becomes A Prophetic Declaration In the Presence of Religion

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first thirty-one verses of the twenty-seventh chapter. “When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death; and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor” (Matthew 27:1-2).

 

            “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? See thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said,  It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and brought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was it fulfilled in that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value: and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed them” (Matthew 27:3-10).

 

            “And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered. Noting. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly” (Matthew 27:11-14).

 

            “Now at the feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabas. Therefore when they were gathered together Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether or the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, his blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified” (Matthew 27:15-26).

 

            “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him” (Matthew 27:27-31).

 

            When you come to the thirty-seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew you will be brought to the next phase of Jesus’ trial and subsequently His destruction. It would be in the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel we read of the betrayal of Judas, the offense of the disciples and the denial of Simon called Peter. The words and language presented in this passage of Scripture calls and draws our attention to Jesus’ words unto the disciples how one from among their own number would indeed betray Him. What’s more is not only would Jesus declare unto His disciples that one from among them would betray Him but Jesus would also go on to declare that all would be offended because of Him that night. This is something which must be carefully considered when seeking to understand this passage of Scripture for up until this point Jesus had spoken of offense a few times in various different contexts. It would be when sending the disciples of John the Baptist back to him that He would emphatically declare unto John the Baptist that blessed are those who were not and would not be offended in [and/or perhaps even because] of Him. It would be in the eighteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative the Lord Jesus would also declare how it was impossible but that offenses would indeed come but woe unto that man by whom and through whom the offenses would come. Moreover it would be when speaking unto the disciples concerning the Last Days the Lord Jesus would declare how many would be offended—and not only would many be offended but all would betray one another and all would hate one another.

           

            There is something truly unique and powerful about the words which are found in the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel for the words which we find here call and draw our attention to the actions of the disciples—actions which would ultimately help set in motion and play out in the trial, the suffering and ultimately the death of the Lord Jesus. Within this passage of Scripture we find the Lord Jesus revealing unto His disciples that one of them would betray Him—words which He would speak while Judas was still present with and among them in the upper room and around the table. It would be there within the upper room the Lord Jesus would declare unto His disciples that one from among them would indeed betray Him—words which would cause them all to be exceeding sorrowful and would cause them all to ask Him whether or not it was they who would betray Him. As if this weren’t enough the Lord Jesus would declare unto His disciples how all would be offended because of Him that night. It would be this reality of offense that would find itself playing out in the midst of the garden of Gethsemane as after the soldiers armed with swords and staves laid hold of the Lord Jesus all the disciples would forsake, abandon and flee from the presence of the Lord Jesus. Scripture only reveals and speak of two disciples who would follow Jesus as He was led away by that insurgent of soldiers—Simon called Peter and John the son of Zebedee.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the narrative of the night of Jesus’ betrayal and ultimately the night of Jesus’ trial. It would be on this particular night the Lord Jesus would not only be betrayed by one of His own but also on this night all of His disciples would be offended because of Him. This is something we dare not and must not lose sight of for when reading these words we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the condition and nature of the hearts and souls of the disciples of the Lord Jesus. One from among Jesus’ own disciples would indeed betray Him, one from among His disciples would deny Him three times and before the night let out all would be offended because of Him. Pause for a moment and consider how by the time Jesus would be brought unto the chief priests, the elders and the religious leaders who had assembled themselves together Judas had betrayed Him with a kiss and all the disciples had become offended because of Him and had scattered abroad their own way. On this particular night as Jesus was brought before the council of the religious leaders Judas would have already betrayed Him and all the disciples would be offended because of Him. This night would prove to be an incredibly telling and revealing night concerning the disciples of the Lord Jesus for it would powerfully reveal the words which He spoke concerning and unto them.

 

            In the fifty-sixth verse of the twenty-sixth chapter the apostle Matthew wrote concerning the disciples how all they forsook the Lord Jesus and fled. Pause for a moment and consider what it must have been like for the apostle Matthew to write those words as included among all those disciples who forsook the Lord Jesus and fled was himself who was chosen as one of the twelve ordained and appointed by the Lord Jesus. How incredibly difficult it must have been for the apostle Matthew to write these words and to write how all the disciples forsook the Lord Jesus and fled which would indeed include him who would be numbered among those disciples who would forsake the Lord and fled. It would be as you come to the fifty-seventh verse of this passage of Scripture you will find that those who laid hold of the Lord Jesus would lead him away to Caiaphas the high priest where the scribes and the elders were assembled. I have to admit there is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the elders and chief priests were assembled themselves wondering if that which they had conspired and planned for such a long period of time would indeed come to pass. There is a part of me that can’t help but wonder if the chief priests and elders of the people of Israel were all assembled waiting with baited breath wondering whether or not Judas would indeed carry out that which he had covenanted with them for thirty pieces of silver. There is something truly unique about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible truth of Judas’ betrayal and how the chief priests and elders of the peoples were anxiously waiting for the arrival of the Lord Jesus that they might begin the process of putting Him to death and ultimately destroying Him.

 

            As you continue reading the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will find the apostle Matthew writing how Peter followed afar off unto the high priest’s palace and went in and sat with the servants to see the end. The apostle Matthew would go on to reveal how the chief priests and elders and all the council sought false witness against Jesus to put him to death but found none. As the apostle Matthew wrote the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that at the last there would come two witnesses which would speak of the Lord Jesus and declare how He proclaimed that He was able to destroy the Temple of God and to build it again in three days—a reference to the narrative which we find in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. In fact before we delve any further into this passage of Scripture I would dare say we must needs consider the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle John for it serves as the basis and the foundation for the false witness which was brought against the Lord Jesus. The apostle Matthew wrote concerning the many false witnesses which were brought against the Lord Jesus how they could find none that were and could be credible and reliable. Eventually and ultimately there would be two false witnesses who would come forward and would recount the words the Lord Jesus spoke concerning the temple after He had brought about a cleansing in the midst of it before all those who were present in the court of the Temple and before the religious leaders who were present that day. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John concerning Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple—and not only Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple but the offense the religious leaders took to His actions and His response to them:

            “After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:12-17).

 

            “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he died. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2:18-25).

 

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but think about these two false witnesses who attempted to come forward and accuse the Lord Jesus before the chief priests and elders of the people. These two high priests would indeed come forward on this particular night seeking to accuse the Lord Jesus and that which they would accuse Him of was based on words which He had previously spoken concerning the Temple. Within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find Jesus entering into the Temple and finding within it those which sold oxen and sheep and doves and the changers of the money sitting. After He had made a scourge of small cords He would rive them all out of the Temple and the sheep, and the oxen and would pour out the changers’ money along with overthrowing the tables. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for although Scripture doesn’t reveal what the people within the court of the Temple thought of Jesus’ actions we know what the Jews which were present on this day thought of Jesus’ actions. It’s worth noting that beginning with the eighteenth verse of this passage the apostle John wrote concerning the Jews and how they asked the Lord Jesus what sign He would show them seeing that He had done such things within the Temple. It would be in response to their inquiry the Lord Jesus would emphatically declare unto them that if they would destroy this temple He would raise it up in three days. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding words which would come back later—not necessarily to haunt the Lord Jesus but to play a part in His trial and accusation.

 

            If there is one thing I can’t help but find absolutely and incredibly intriguing about the words which we see in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John it’s how the words the Lord Jesus spoke concerning them destroying this temple and His raising it up in three days would play a crucial and pivotal part in his trial and subsequent accusation which would be brought against Him. What I find to be so incredibly intriguing and captivating about this is that when Jesus spoke these words the Jews thought He was speaking of the physical Temple which stood upon the Temple Mount within the city of Jerusalem. Because the Lord Jesus had performed these actions within the Temple and because He had spoken concerning “this temple” and its being destroyed the Jews thought and assumed that Jesus was speaking of the physical Temple which they were standing in the midst of. What makes this so absolutely astonishing is when you think about the fact that Jesus was not speaking of the physical and natural temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem but rather His physical body. When the Jews heard the Lord Jesus declare unto them that if they destroyed this temple He would raise it up again in the three days they had absolutely no clue that He was speaking of the temple of His physical body. The Jews thought and assumed that the words the Lord Jesus spoke concerning the temple concerned and pertained to the physical temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and yet the Lord Jesus would speak of the temple of His physical body. The Jews would respond to the Lord Jesus how it took forty and six years for the temple to be built and would proceed to ask Him if He would rear it up in three days. Oh how truly incredible it is to read the words of the apostle John and how he would write how the Lord Jesus was not speaking of the physical and natural temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem but the temple of His physical body.

            As we read the words which are found in the twenty-sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we are brought face to face with Jesus in the palace of the high priest there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It would be there in the palace of the high priest where they sought false witnesses which would bring accusation and judgment against the Lord Jesus. How remarkable it is to think about the fact that despite their searching for false witnesses to bring accusation against Jesus they could find none. Despite the fact that many false witnesses came forward there would be none who could bring any accusation against the Lord Jesus. Oh I have to admit that I can’t help but wonder how many false witnesses the chief priests and elders of the people brought against the Lord Jesus on this particular night and how many actually stood before and even against the Lord Jesus accusing Him before the religious leaders which were assembled. What an incredibly strong and powerful reality is found in this passage of Scripture and how the chief priests and elders of the people sought for many false witnesses to be brought against the Lord Jesus that they might have reason to accuse—and not only accuse the Lord Jesus but also condemn and find reason to put Him to death and destroy Him. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the incredibly powerful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how despite the fact the chief priests and the elders of the people sought many false witnesses against the Lord Jesus they could find none.

 

            I have to admit the more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the presence of these final two witnesses. It would be these final two witnesses who would come forth and would recount the words which the Lord Jesus had spoken after overturning the tables of money, after driving out the money changers, and after driving out the oxen, the sheep and the doves. These two false witnesses would not recount the actions of Jesus on this particular day in the Temple but would present the words which He had spoken when the Jews asked Him what sign He would show them that He had authority to do such things. This is something we must needs pay attention to for this would not be the first time Jesus would be asked by what authority He performed such things during those three and a half years of public ministry. It would be here in the midst of the Temple of the living God the Lord Jesus would be asked what sign He would show unto them that proved and demonstrated that He had the authority to do such things. The response the Lord would give would not only surprise and shock the Jews which were present on this particular day but it’s important to note that the words which Jesus spoke would be that which would be presented before the religious leaders on the night in which he was betrayed. It would be as Jesus stood before the chief priests and the elders of the people of Israel these two false witnesses would come forward and accuse him of making the statement that he was able to destroy the temple of God and build it up in three days.

 

            If there is one thing that makes the words which these false witnesses so incredibly captivating is that the words which they used weren’t the same words Jesus had spoken. There in the midst of the court of the Temple the Lord Jesus would declare unto the Jews that if THEY destroyed this temple He would raise it up in three days. The Lord Jesus NEVER made the statement that he would destroy the temple of God and to build it upon in three days. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this for there is something incredibly unique about the words and language found in this passage of Scripture. It would be in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the Lord Jesus speaking unto the Jews and declaring unto them that if they destroyed the temple He would raise it upon in three days. What is truly astonishing about the night in which Jesus stood before the chief priests and elders of the people is that the words which He spoke on that day in the midst of the Temple would be recounted and presented against Him by those who would seek to accuse Him. What’s more is that this accusation which these two false witnesses raised against the Lord Jesus not only were such that were inaccurate for they didn’t even properly quote the Lord Jesus but the words which these false witnesses would bring before the chief priests and the elders of the people would only further confirm that which Jesus had foretold concerning Himself—namely that the physical body of His temple would be destroyed and that he would raise it up again on the third day. How absolutely astonishing it is to think about and consider the words which are found in this passage and how they were in essence more of a prophetic declaration of what was about to happen than an accusation.

 

            WHEN ACCUSATION BECOMES A DECLARATION! WHEN ACCUSATION BECOMES A PROPHETIC DECLARATION! WHEN ACCUSATION BECOMES A WORD OF CONFIRMATION! I have to admit that as I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I find it absolutely astonishing to think about the fact that the very words these false witnesses sought to use as means of accusing Jesus not only confirmed that which He had previously spoken concerning His physical body but they also served to confirm that which was about to happen. Although these two false witnesses completely and utterly misconstrued that which the Lord Jesus had previously spoken they nonetheless served a powerful purpose and role as they stood before the religious leaders of that day. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous reality of how these false witnesses sought to accuse Jesus concerning the words which He spoke concerning the Temple and yet Scripture declares how out of the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter is confirmed. It would be Jesus Himself who would declare concerning the Temple that if they destroyed it He would raise it up in three days and now here we have these two witnesses who are essentially serving as the second and third witness to that which He had already spoken earlier on in the Temple. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the power of a second and third witness—particularly and especially the power of two or three witnesses according to that which Scripture reveals.

 

I am sitting here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth of the two false witnesses which sought to accuse the Lord Jesus before the religious leaders and how their words actually served as a witness to that which the Lord Jesus had already spoken. There is something truly astonishing about the words found in this passage of Scripture for although these two witnesses sought to bring accusation against the Lord Jesus they actually served to confirm the words which He had spoken concerning the destruction of the temple of His physical body as well as His raising it up again on the third day. What a truly awesome truth is found in this passage that what was meant to serve as an accusation against the Lord Jesus would actually be a witness and testimony to that which He had prophesied concerning Himself. The Lord Jesus knew that His physical body would be destroyed and that it would be raised from death to life on the third day and He would make this declaration unto those who were present in the Temple when He cleansed it. The Lord Jesus would be asked by the Jews what sign He would show them to prove He had the authority to do what He did and He would proclaim unto them, saying, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.” Of course the Jews thought this was implying Jesus would raise up the physical temple in three days, however, they had absolutely no clue He was referring to the physical temple of his body—and not only this but to His death and resurrection.

 

            I have to admit the more I read the words found in this passage of Scripture the more I come face to face with the truth surrounding these two witnesses and how although Scripture describe them as false witnesses they actually served a purpose they were not even aware of. I would dare say these witnesses came forward to be a witness and testimony to Jesus’ own words. There is something truly unique and powerful about the words presented in this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially when you consider the tremendous and powerful truth surrounding the words in the Old Testament concerning that which is spoken out of the mouth of two or three witnesses. I am convinced we must needs pay close attention to these words for they call and draw our attention to the fact that Scripture itself emphatically declares that it is out of the mouth of two or three witnesses a matter is established and confirmed. It was the Lord Jesus Himself who was the first witness when He spoke of the Temple being destroyed and His raising it on the third day. Now here we find these two false witnesses who deliberately and intentionally came forth to be such who would actually be the second and third witness that would actually agree with the words Jesus said. Here they perhaps thought they were coming forward to bring a false accusation and false witness against the Lord Jesus and what they actually ended up doing was agreeing with Him—this even if they weren’t aware of it and didn’t know they were doing it. These two witnesses were brought forth and came forward that they might bring an accusation against the Lord Jesus concerning the temple being destroyed and His raising it on the third day and yet what they would actually do was agree with and confirm the words which the Lord Jesus spoke.

 

            We know from the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke that Caiaphas the high priest spoke prophetically and perhaps even according to the Spirit concerning one man dying for and on behalf of the nation so we have to recognize and understand that when reading the words found in the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel we are brought face to face with these two false witnesses who perhaps didn’t even realize and had no clue their accusation would actually confirm and agree with the words the Lord Jesus spoke. I have to admit the more I think about this the more I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible reality of this reality of two or three witnesses and how absolutely vital it was during the trial of the Lord Jesus. The chief priests and scribes were looking for two or three witnesses to agree with each other that they might find reason to accuse and destroy Jesus and what these witnesses did was actually agree with the Lord Jesus and help facilitate and bring about His suffering and ultimately His death. This is something we must needs understand and acknowledge for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding that which these witnesses actually accomplished in the presence of religion. There in the presence of religion and its leaders these two false witnesses would unknowingly and unwittingly align themselves with that which the Lord Jesus had previously spoken concerning the destruction of the temple and his raising it up on the third day.

 

            There is something truly captivating about the words and language found here in this passage of Scripture for these two false witnesses would be such that would confirm that which the Lord Jesus had declared earlier during His public ministry. The Lord Jesus would declare that the temple would be destroyed and in three days He would raise it up again and the Jews knew not that the temple which He was speaking of was the temple of His physical body. What’s more is that it wouldn’t be until after Jesus was raised from the grave that His disciples would remember the words which he had spoken and believed on Him. These two false witnesses came forward and accused the Lord Jesus of stating and declaring that he was able to and would destroy the temple of God and build it in three days. Oh that we would recognize just how utterly off the mark their accusation actually was. Nowhere in the interaction in the court of the Temple did Jesus ever say that He would destroy the Temple and/or even that He was able to destroy the Temple and build it in three days. That which the Lord Jesus spoke concerning the Temple concerned the temple of His body being destroyed and in three days He would raise it up again. We must needs pay close attention to this for it calls and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the words which these witnesses spoke concerning Jesus for their witness was completely contrary to that which the Lord Jesus had spoken in the court of the Temple. Jesus spoke of the destruction of the temple and His being able to raise it up on the third day and yet the Jews thought He was speaking of the physical Temple which stood in the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

 

            I absolutely love the words presented here in this passage of Scripture for these words bring us face to face with the Lord Jesus standing trial before the chief priests, the elders of the people and those who would accuse Him. STANDING BEFORE RELIGION SURROUNDED BY ACCUSATION! STANDING IN THE PRESENCE OF RELIGION SURROUNDED BY ACCUSERS! How absolutely intriguing it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and come face to face with the reality concerning the Lord Jesus standing before the chief priests and the elders of the people. The Lord Jesus would stand in the presence of the religious leaders and it would be in the presence of those religious leaders he would be accused by others whose witness and testimony did not agree with each other. What a truly incredible reality is found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and brings us face to face with the undeniable truth surrounding the trial of the Lord Jesus and how there in the presence of the chief priests and elders of the people Jesus would stand trial before religion. It would be there in the palace of Caiaphas who was the high priest at the time the Lord Jesus would stand trial in religion’s house surrounded by accusers. This is something I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality of the trial of the Lord Jesus and how He stood there on trial before the chief priests and the elders of the people He would stand before religion and would be surrounded by accusers. There the Lord Jesus would stand before religion surrounded by accusers as those who came forward sought to bring an accusation against Him. Oh consider if you will the following words which are found in the twelfth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus:

            “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman, which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days” (Revelation 12:1-6).

 

            “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (Revelation 12:7-12).

 

            “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:13-17).

 

            It is absolutely necessary we recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it has always been one of the greatest tactics and strategies of the enemy to accuse. What’s more is that the enemy has since very early on after the creation sought to accuse man—and not only accuse man but accuse man before the throne of God. That which we find here in this particular passage of Scripture is not merely man being accused and standing accused before religion but we find the Lord Jesus standing accused. Pause for a moment and consider how incredible these words truly are for they bring us face to face with the incredible truth surrounding men accusing Jesus before and unto religion. WHEN MAN ACCUSES JESUS BEFORE RELIGION! WHEN MAN ACCUSES JESUS UNTO RELIGION! Oh there is something truly astonishing about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the reality of those who came forward seeking to accuse the Lord Jesus in the presence of religion and religion’s leaders. Not only this but there would be two additional false witnesses who would come forward and would not only accuse the Lord Jesus but would accuse the Lord Jesus of something which He hadn’t said. The accusation of these two false witnesses would be centered upon a false narrative and a false understanding of that which Jesus had truly said and I can’t help but wonder if they were even present at the time Jesus spoke those words.

 

            You will recall in the garden of Eden that the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty and temptation by casting doubt upon that which the LORD God had truly said. When approaching and coming unto the woman the serpent would actually ask her whether or not God really said what she was told He said. What we find in the response of the woman is indeed that which the living God had declared and had spoken, however, we also find her adding to that which the LORD God had said. When responding to the serpent the woman would declare that the LORD God had commanded them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but she would also add something the LORD didn’t say—namely, that He had commanded them not to touch the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for it calls and draws us into the place where we recognize what took place in the presence of religion and the religious leaders. What we find here in this particular passage is these two false witnesses not necessarily asking whether or not the Lord Jesus had truly said but rather accusing Jesus of that which He had not said. Just as in the garden the serpent cast doubt upon that which God had spoken and Eve presented that which the living God hadn’t commanded or spoken so also these false witnesses would come forward and accuse Jesus wrongly of something which He had not spoken and had not declared unto those who were present. Oh we must pay close attention to this for there is something to be said about accusation—and not only accusation but also false accusation that accuses another based on that which was not actually said and/or actually done.

 

            Immediately following the false witness and accusation of these two men the high priest arose from his place and asked the Lord Jesus if he would answer nothing to those who would accuse Him. Jesus would hold His peace which would infuriate and enrage the high priest and he would proceed to “adjure” Him by the living God to tell them whether or not He be the Christ, the Son of God. Upon hearing these words Jesus would confirm that which He had spoken by declaring that he himself had said it. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would go on to declare that thereafter would they see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Pause and consider the tremendous weight and significance of the words which are found in this passage for the high priest—upon hearing these words—would rend his clothes and emphatically declare and proclaim that the Lord Jesus had spoken blasphemy. Moreover the high priest would go on to ask what further need they had of witnesses and how all those present had heard his blasphemy. The high priest would ask the chief priests and the elders of the people what they thought concerning Jesus’ own words and they all agree with one voice that He was guilty of death. After religion condemned the Lord Jesus to death they would immediately begin exercising their will against and upon Him. The apostle Matthew writes how the chief priests and the elders of the people would spit in the face of Jesus and would buffet Him while others smote Him with the palms of their hands, saying, “Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” How absolutely incredible and tragic this truly is—particularly and especially when you consider who it was that was actually completing these actions against the Lord Jesus.

 

            WHEN RELIGION SPITS IN THE FACE OF JESUS! WHEN RELIGION BUFFETS THE LORD JESUS! WHEN RELIGION STRIKES THE FACE OF JESUS WITH ITS HAND! If there is one thing we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that this wasn’t the Jews themselves who were spitting in the face of Jesus nor was it even the Romans who were at this time spitting in the face of Jesus. There is every indication and inclination when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture that those who spit in the face of Jesus were the religious leaders which were present during those days. What’s more is that there seems to be every indication that those who buffeted the Lord Jesus and those who smote Him with the palms of their hands were indeed the religious leaders—those who were responsible for teaching and instructing the people. Stop and think about what this sight would have been like as it wasn’t Jews in ordinary clothes who struck and smote the Lord Jesus but was religious leaders dressed in their garments and attire. Imagine what this scene actually looked like as the chief priests—those who were given charge in the Temple of the living God and the service of the Temple of the living God—were spitting in the face of the Lord Jesus. Consider what it would have been like as those religious leaders who were responsible for the service of the Temple of the living God would actually strike the Lord Jesus with the palms of their hands and then demand that He reveal unto them who it was who smote Him. How absolutely tragic it is to think about and consider how it was religion and religion’s leaders who would spit in the face of Jesus, who would strike Jesus upon the face with the palms of their hands and would buffet Him there in the palace of Caiaphas the high priest.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words and language found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the incredible truth that what we see on this particular night is religion spitting in the face of Jesus. As if it weren’t enough for religion seeking to destroy the Lord Jesus we have to also consider that which is found in this passage of Scripture and how religion would spit in the face of Jesus—and not only spit in the face of Jesus but also strike Him with the palms of their hands. Stop and consider what this scene would and could have looked like as religion not only sought to bring accusation against the Lord Jesus but they would also condemn the Son of God to death. After the consensus of religion was to put to death the Lord Jesus they would begin their persecution of the Lord Jesus—perhaps even the persecution they had wanted to do for quite some time. Imagine how long the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people and the religious community sought to lay hands on the Lord Jesus and essentially carry out and impose their own will and cruel intentions upon Him. Stop for a moment and consider what it would and could have looked like on this particular evening as the Lord Jesus Christ would stand in the presence of religion with its leaders as they would seek to bring accusation against Him. There in the palace of the high priest—there in the house of religion—we find religious leaders laying their hands upon the Lord Jesus. What’s more is that the religious leaders would be among the only ones who would lay their hands upon the Lord Jesus. We know the Jews in the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John sought to destroy and put to death the Lord Jesus, however, we must also consider the tremendous truth surrounding the fact that it was religion which desired to lay hands on and destroy the Lord Jesus.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus Christ and how on this particular night religion and the religious leaders would be permitted to exercise their will upon Him. On this particular night as Jesus stood in the house of Caiaphas the high priest the religious leaders would bring those who would seek to accuse Him falsely that they might find reason to condemn Him to death. Despite the fact that they could find no witnesses who could truly accuse the Lord Jesus there would be two false witnesses who would rise up among them and would accuse the Lord Jesus based on words which He had never spoken. What’s more is the words which these two false witnesses spoke would take the words Jesus spoke out of context and would make Jesus to say something He had never said. Jesus never said He would destroy the Temple and raise it again on the third day and yet these two false witnesses made the declaration that Jesus made the declaration that He would indeed destroy the Temple. Oh we must needs recognize and understand this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful truth surrounding these false witnesses and how they would set the stage for the high priest to directly confront the Lord Jesus. It would be the high priest who would ask Jesus to declare unto them plainly whether or not He was indeed the Son of God—something which the Lord Jesus would indeed speak and declare unto those who were present on this particular night. It would be the thought that Jesus agreed to the statement that He was the Christ and the Son of the living God that would ultimately set the high priest over the edge and cause Him to rend His garments.

 

            As you continue reading the words found in the twenty-seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find that when the morning had come—after the Lord Jesus had been falsely and wrongly accused the night before and after the religious leaders spit in His face and buffeted Him and smote Him on the face with the palms of their hands the chief priests and the elders of the people would take counsel against Jesus to put Him to death. It would be in the previous chapter where we find them condemning Him to death in their own council and according to their own agenda and will and it is in this passage of Scripture we find the chief priests and the elders of the people of Israel taking counsel together against Jesus to put Him to death. Not only this but the chief priests and the elders of the people would take counsel against Jesus to put Him to death and when they had bound Him they led Him away and delivered Him unto Pontius Pilate who was the governor of the region during those days. Undoubtedly the chief priests recognized and understood that it would be Pontius Pilate who would be able to put the Lord Jesus to death and so they brought Him unto the governor that he might carry out their wishes. Stop and consider that which is found in this passage of Scripture for religion would bring Jesus bound unto a heathen, pagan and Gentile governor that he might carry out and execute their will and their agenda against and upon the Lord. The chief priests and the elders of the people would not themselves put the Lord Jesus to death so they would bring Him unto Pontius Pilate that he himself might carry out their evil and cruel intentions.  The religious leaders would be those who would indeed deliver the Lord Jesus unto this Gentile governor that they might persuade and convince Him to put to death the Lord Jesus. Oh how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for religion and the religious leaders would conspire together with one of Jesus’ own disciples that He might be betrayed into their hands and now they would confer with a Gentile governor of Rome to carry out their agenda against the Lord Jesus.

 

            The more you delve into the words and language which are found within this passage of Scripture the more you will encounter and come face to face with the truth surrounding Jesus’ suffering and ultimately His death. It would be in the twenty-sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find the description of the Passover meal together with its revelations unto and concerning the disciples. It would be in the twenty-sixth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative we encounter and come face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding the revelation of Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial and the offense of all the disciples because of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of all of this for it calls and draws our attention to events which would happen before the chapter would conclude. Within this same chapter we would find Simon called Peter’s trust and confidence in his own flesh as he would make the statement that though all would be offended because of the Lord Jesus yet he himself would not be offended. Within this passage of Scripture we encounter the temptation that would set in motion the offense of the disciples as well as the denial of the apostle Peter. It would be Judas Iscariot who was numbered among the twelve who would enter into the garden leading an insurgent of those armed with swords and staves ready to lay hold of the one whom Judas would signal was the Messiah and the Christ. This would ultimately be signaled with a kiss—and not only a kiss but Judas would also approach the Lord Jesus by referring to Him as Master. It would be there in the garden of Gethsemane Judas Iscariot would indeed betray the Son of man with a kiss which would set in motion the events leading to the capture of the Lord Jesus by those who were sent by the chief priests and religious leaders.

 

            As you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you can and will find the continuation of the events which took place during this evening as there in the garden Jesus would ask some of His disciples to wait in a certain place while He would take Peter, James and John deeper and further into the garden. The further they moved into the garden the more Jesus would become exceedingly sorrowful and heavy. It would be because of this the Lord Jesus would declare unto the disciples that His soul was exceeding heavy and instruct them to wait there and watch while He went and prayed yonder. The Lord Jesus would then depart from them about a stone’s throw and would pray unto His Father speaking of the cup which was before Him and asking if it were possible to let this cup pass from Him. Even though the Lord Jesus would ask if the cup could pass from Him He would purpose and resolve to do the will of the Father. It would be after this the Lord Jesus would return unto the disciples and would find them sleeping for slumber. In response to this Jesus would speak directly unto Simon called Peter and ask him if he could not watch and pray with him one hour. This would be followed by the Lord Jesus emphatically declaring unto them how the spirit was indeed willing but the flesh was weak. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would also instruct them to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation. Oh that we would recognize and understand just how absolutely incredible these words truly are for they help shine a light on to our own hearts and lives.

 

I sit here today thinking about the words and language which is found in this passage of Scripture and how in the twenty-sixth chapter we find Judas’ betrayal, we find Simon Peter’s denial and we find the disciples being offended because of Jesus and how they all forsook Him and fled. By the time the twenty-sixth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew was completed Jesus was in the palace of the high priest where He would begin being accused by those whom the chief priests and high priests brought against Him. Eventually there would be two false witnesses who would wrongly accuse Him of words which He did not and had not spoken—namely that Jesus had made the statement that He would destroy the temple and in three days would raise it up again. OF course we know and understand that this was not at all what the Lord Jesus had declared for the Lord Jesus had actually spoken unto the Jews when they asked Him what sign He showed them to prove He had authority to perform such an action within the Temple centered upon the destruction of the temple of His physical body and that He would raise it again in three days. What I continue to find so incredibly powerful about these two false witnesses is that although they came forth to accuse the Lord Jesus and to bear false witness and testimony against the Lord Jesus they would actually stand and serve as a second and third witness for words which Jesus had actually spoken. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how these false witnesses sought to bring a false word and testimony against the Lord Jesus and yet what they actually did was serve as the second and third witness concerning His death and resurrection. Much like Caiaphas who would serve as a prophetic voice when He spoke of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus for the nation so also would these two witnesses stand and serve as a second and third witness confirming the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s