Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
What do you do when you get aggravated?
You’ve been trying to get something to work a certain way. You want things to go your way. But they don’t. What do you do?
The other day I was repairing a lamp that hangs from the ceiling in the kitchen. I took it down without incident. Got the correct glue and replacement lightbulb after multiple trips to our local Lowes, which is a whole other story. I then reassembled everything without breaking the lamp or causing injury to myself or others.
Getting back on the ladder, I reconnected the electrical wires without shorting out the house or electrocuting myself. Whew! And all that was left was to reattach the fixed lamp to the ceiling.
The careful reader will notice that I used the phrase “all that was left.” Silly me. The first screw took about a minute. The second screw took more than 90 minutes and another trip to Lowes before I was able to get the lamp correctly reinstalled.
As you can imagine, my level of frustration grew and grew as I was unable to get this simple thing accomplished. And in a similar way, the high priest was getting more and more frustrated because he wasn’t getting the results, the conviction he wanted.
And when people in power don’t get what they want. How they want it. When they want, they get more and more angry. When eventually, they stop being patient and take matters into their own hands.
That’s exactly what happens here. This powerful, respected, exalted spiritual and political leader stands up and takes over. He’s been sitting back in his chair for some time. Now, he gets up and walks over to Jesus and personally asked him to respond to these false charges.
While I don’t know about your temperament or style, but if I had been silent during all those false charges, I would have let loose a long and loud defense. My innocence would have been heard not just in that room, but all around.
But Jesus isn’t like me in so many other ways. Silence was actually the most respectful and dignified response possible. Anything else would have caused into question the witnesses and the leaders themselves.
But more importantly, Jesus knew that his hour had come. The time for his arrest and execution. This was no time for delaying tactics. This wasn’t the place to debate what he did or did not say. This wasn’t about what he said, or what he did.
But it was all about who he was. Who he says he is. Who he is.
You can debate about the differences of religion till the cows come home. You can argue about the relative merits of one set of beliefs against another till you are blue in the face. You can try and evaluate the positive and negative effects of different faiths till you run out of steam.
But when you come down to it, all that matters is who is Jesus. Is he who he said he was? Or not? Did he claim to be God? Or not?
You can debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. You can argue about whether religion has done more harm than good all you want? You can talk about the differences and similarities between faiths. Drawing charts and graphs till you run out of ink.
But in the end, it all comes down to Jesus. You must decide for yourself. No one can make you believe. No one can force you into a corner. You and you alone make the choice.
And with all I am, with everything that I say and do, I desperately want you to see Jesus for exactly who he is. Who he said he is.
What will your answer be?
There is no more important topic in the world. In life.