The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
Getting people together can be a tough thing. Think about the last time you tried to schedule a meeting with more than three people. There are more roadblocks than you can imagine. Everyone has a reason why Tuesday at 10:00 AM won’t work. And even after you agree on a time, people are still haggling over reasons they might not be able to make it. Can they get a babysitter? There is a possibility that this other thing might run over? After all, there are more important things than you.
Then you have to figure out how you’re going to meet. Where you’re going to meet. If you think I’m making too much of this, look back to the last time that you got together with friends. Especially if you’re going to a restaurant. Which kind of restaurant does everyone like? You can sit there debating this for 20 minutes because no one wants to make a decision. They don’t want to appear to force themselves on everyone else.
How about Italian? How about that new American café spot? How about that steak place? The conversation just goes in in an ever-widening circle.
But these guys weren’t there to argue about what kind of food to eat. When they came together in the middle of the night, under the cover of darkness, it was for one purpose. There was only a single item on the agenda.
Agenda: The conviction of Jesus followed by his immediate execution.
Now, even though the meeting was thrown together at the last minute, they had been thinking about this for some time. Jesus had repeatedly insulted them. Questioned their authority and integrity. Over and over, Jesus spoke the truth about them, calling them out.
And now, it’s their turn to get even. They set up this trap to get Jesus exactly where they could have the last laugh. And when Judas, one of the inner circle came to them, they knew that they were closing in.
They even had witnesses lined up in the middle of the night to testify against Jesus. But there was only one problem, they couldn’t even get two people to agree on what Jesus said. This wasn’t because Jesus had been intentionally tricky about what he said.
Can you imagine the frustration and anger that you or I would have if a crowd came in the middle of the night and took us from where we thought we were safe? And now there are all these people telling lies just to get a guilty verdict. Everyone and everything are against Jesus.
What I can’t understand is why Jesus didn’t just call down an army of angels. After all, he’s God the son, and the son of God. Don’t they know who they’re messing with?
But Jesus does an utterly amazing thing. He does the thing that I would never do. I’d be all up in their face, defending myself to the hilt. I’d bring out the big guns, I’d blow them away with my intellect. With my arguments. With all the ways that I’ve learned to verbally and intellectually destroy them.
But Jesus goes in the exact opposite direction. He does the one thing that no one does. He doesn’t follow the advice of anyone else.
He says nothing. He remains calm. He remains quiet. And when he does this, he’s actually fulfilling a great prophecy.
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.
But why? Why does he take all that verbal abuse for things he’s never done? The answer is that while he was personally innocent, he took all our sin. All the sins we ever would commit and took them on himself.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
He did this so that we could have a new life, and new righteousness that came at the cost of Jesus. He did it so we could get together with him now and forever.
That, for sure, is a great reason to give your life to him.