Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Was the Crime?

Matthew 26:65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy.

65 τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ λέγων· ἐβλασφήμησεν· τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων; ἴδε νῦν ἠκούσατε τὴν βλασφημίαν·

(Note: I apologize for the long time between posts.  We were out of town for Thanksgiving.  Also, posting has been less frequent because of a memorization project I'm working on.)

If anyone wonders about whether Jesus claimed to be divine you don't need to look any further than the sham trial that the Jews put Him through.  We can debate some of the phrases He used until the cows come home.  We can wonder how He would have been understood in first-century Palestine.  But here we don't have to wonder.  The text tells us.  The high priest said that He was guilty of blasphemy.

Frankly, if He truly had blasphemed then He would have deserved death based on the Law.  If anyone claims to be God who is not God then He has blasphemed.  This is why the high priest could confidently say τί ἔτι χρείαν ἔχομεν μαρτύρων.  They did not need any further witnesses if the accused basically convicted himself.  But Jesus was not guilty of anything because He was God.

I tend to gloss through these parts of the gospel because they are quite painful to read.  The injustice done to my Lord disturbs me.  I hate seeing examples of injustice anyway, but when it comes to my Lord it is just intensified.  But I think that we need to slow down here a little bit because we get Christology from these passages too.  Jesus is God.  Let's worship Him accordingly, amen?

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