Thursday, January 24, 2013
“Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (Matthew 26:67,68 KJV).
Little did these “anonymous” individuals know—one day Jesus Christ would indeed name them….
It is late night, and our Lord has just been arrested. His disciples have abandoned Him. The chief priests and elders have taken Him back to Jerusalem. He is now in the high priest’s palace, surrounded by scores of onlookers. The Apostle Peter even sneaks in to witness the proceedings (verses 56-58).
Israel’s religious leaders are seeking false witnesses, people who will lie about Jesus Christ in order to condemn Him to death. Many false witnesses come, but their inventions are not “convincing” enough—these religious leaders need something more in order to have grounds to execute Christ. Eventually, two false witnesses come, who merely twist Jesus’ earlier statements (verses 59-62). Upon being asked for a response to those accusations, “Jesus held his peace” (verse 63). He remains quiet, fulfilling Isaiah 53:7.
Again, the high priest demands of Jesus: “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63). “Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death” (verses 64-66). They proceed to spit on Christ’s face, and punch Him, and strike Him with their palms (today’s Scripture). They mock Him (probably blindfolded): “Tell us who hit You!”
Interestingly, they were ignorant of who He was, but being the God of heaven, He could have named them all. One day, they will be resurrected. He will call their names in judgment, to rightly condemn them to the lake of fire, just as they had wrongly condemned Him to Calvary.