Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
There are times in life when things get serious. When the questions asked are so vitally important. When our words and actions are going to be carefully watched and evaluated.
I was laying on a hospital gurney. I had lost the use of my hands, arms, and legs. A surgeon came in and explained that they didn’t know what was going on, but there was some kind of blockage in my spine. He explained that he could promise nothing. Probably the best outcome was that I wouldn’t get any worse. He asked permission to perform exploratory surgery.
Our next words, what we said next, would dramatically change the rest of my life. Or possibly end it.
That’s where Jesus is. He’s been put into a corner. And it’s no accident that he’s been put into this place. It was on purpose. It was intentional.
Think of it this way, the high priest is forcing him to answer this question with a yes or no. There are no other options. To remain silent would be to deny who he is. And just so you know, God NEVER goes against his nature. Who he is.
The title, Messiah, points to the God of Israel. To be the Blessed One means that you are worthy of being praised and glorified. These are things that you only do to God.
In asking this question, Matthew records that the high priest put Jesus under a solemn oath. He did this to force Jesus to incriminate Himself, something that was against the law. But to refuse to answer this question, Jesus would be denying His deity.
When Jesus answered “I am” he separated himself from everyone else. He was saying that he, and he alone, was the Messiah. He and he alone was God the Son, the Son of God.
Notice that it doesn’t say that he was a Son of man, but “THE” Son of man. The one and only. This doesn’t mean that he’s an angel. Some prophet. Or anything else like that. He is saying that he is God. Period.
When we have children, they’re as much a person as we are. We are people; therefore we give birth to people. My wife didn’t become pregnant and then deliver anything better or less than us.
When Jesus talked about “the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power” and “coming with the clouds of heaven,”there was no doubt about his answer. It was a clear claim to be God almighty throughout the Old Testament promises of the coming Messiah.
But more than a statement of fact about himself, it was also a call. A plea to his accusers and judges. It wasn’t a plea for justice, but a call for repentance. Even now, Jesus wants them to realize who he. To repent and worship. They clearly heard Jesus’ claims about himself.
There was no doubt about what he was saying about himself. They have all the information. They have all the evidence. They have everything that anyone needs to come to Jesus. But what is their choice? What is their decision?
We like to be puffed up with pride when we look down our nose at “those” people. All holy and self-righteous. After all, they condemned the Son of God. He’s the one who loved people enough to heal them. Touch them. Raise them from the dead. He spoke kind words of compassion like no one else ever did. They took this man who owned nothing but the cloths on his back and found him guilty. And they knew exactly what that guilty verdict was going to lead to. Beatings. Torture. And, God willing, death on a Roman cross.
There’s an old hymn that says it so well.
Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee? Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee! 'Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; I crucified thee.
Yes, we are the guilty. We crucified Jesus just like we had personally been there. And that’s why forgiveness and grace are available. Because he took their guilt and ours. Took all our shame and sin on himself, paying for it all on the cross.
Who do you think and say that Jesus is? Do you believe that he was crucified for you? Is his forgiveness available to you?