Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Good Friday 
April 14, 2017
“Are you the Christ…I am”

So the high priest stood up before them and questioned Jesus, “Have You no answer? What is it these men are testifying against You?”  But Jesus remained silent and made no reply.  Again the high priest questioned Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”  “I am,,” said Jesus “and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven” Mark 14:60-62

The trial was dragging on. The case against Jesus was unraveling.  It became clear. That no two witnesses could agree. Caiaphas grew even more agitated. He needed a conviction. Fast! Finally, Caiaphas speaks. “Have you no answer? To what these men are testifying against You?”

Silence… Jesus remained silent. He makes no reply.  “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.”  (Isaiah 53:7) Caiaphas redirects.  Rephrasing and reshaping his question. “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”

Now Jesus answers. “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 

By these words the die is cast. Caiaphas will get the verdict he sought. Jesus will get the death penalty. He will be convicted of blasphemy.  

For Jesus not only proclaims to be the Christ, the Son of the Blessed. He adds that He will be seated with the Father judging humanity.

When Jesus said, “I AM” Caiaphas was not surprised.  Jesus had said this before. He remembered a time in the temple when Jesus had said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” 

When Jesus first spoke, the authorities attempted to stone Him.  He had spoken major blasphemy in their eyes. They knew Jesus was making reference to the ancient prophecy. - “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14).

Caiaphas tears his garments in indignation. In their so-called righteous anger the council renders their verdict, “Blasphemy! Condemn Him! Crucify! Put Him to death!” Some spit on Jesus. He’s blindfolded. Others strike and taunt Him. Taking their cue, the guards close in. They begin to beat Him.

Yet, “Caiaphas did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.” (John 11:51-52)

Here we see that blessed irony. That great exchange. His innocence replaces your shame and guilt. The Lord of life will trade His life for yours. He took on flesh to live your life. As your substitute. He takes to Himself your death. The death which is yours. As a wage for the sin you have committed. And the good you have not done. 

The Holy One is accused of curses and blasphemy! Just as the Psalmist predicted, “I will declare this decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son.” (Psalm 2:7)
Words – 507
Passive Sentences – 8%
Readability – 80.5
Reading Level – 4.2
Image:  Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for private and congregational use.

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