Have you ever been betrayed or unfairly accused?
57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.
59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
‘Life’s unfair’- how often have you heard this? How often have you been judged or treated unfairly – perhaps you’ve been the victim of undeserved criticism or punishment and felt the resulting hurt.
When I was a child in grade 6, I was harshly scolded, undeservedly, by an adult for something her daughter alleged I had done. The adult was influential and well respected and I clearly remember being shocked by the unexpected accusation and anger directed unfairly at me. I did try to deny it but realised I would never be able to convince her of the truth as she would always believe her own daughter over me. I felt a real sense of hurt and hopelessness as the repercussions of the accusation could not be reversed or ‘fixed’.
In the passage above we see Jesus, a blameless man, already having been betrayed by one of his disciples now being unfairly accused.
He is standing alone before his accusers, respected leaders of the time, the high priest, teachers of the law and elders. He stood there as false witnesses came forward with accusations and as judgments were made. Jesus would have known that their minds were already made up regarding his guilt and that nothing would change their minds. He had to suffer the injustice and humiliation knowing their accusations were undeserved and unfair. Not only that, he also endured the pain of fists hitting his face and the slime of saliva sliding down his skin as they spat at him.
We see though, that He does not waver, He doesn’t get angry, He doesn’t cry out or retaliate – He trusts in God’s plan for his life. He remains in control and allows God’s will to be done.
Even when things look bad for Jesus, He is in control, He endures. His trust in his father is absolute. He is judged by people who don’t realise that He is the one who has authority to judge them.
The next time you experience the injustice and hurt when unfairly treated, you can turn to Jesus, who has had firsthand experience. He offers understanding and rest and we can be assured by the knowledge that he is the one who is ultimately in control. He is the one with a perfect plan for us. This gives us courage to face the discrimination, greed, and wrong doings and to trust in Jesus and his plan for our lives.
Head: What unfair things have happened to you or around you?
Heart: The next time you are treated unfairly by family, friends, or society how can you use the example of Jesus?
Hands: Watch out in your home and workplace for things that are not fair and look for where you can act as an agent for change, displaying Gods love and wisdom.
Prayer: Dear Lord, It is very hurtful when others treat us unfairly. It is also difficult to watch when we see injustice around us. It is a comfort to know you understand how we feel. Please give us the courage to face adversity as you did, trusting in God. We ask for wisdom to know what to say and do when we are in these difficult situations. You have already won the victory over those that betrayed you and forgiven them. Help us be an example of that love when we see injustice and help us work towards bringing peace and fairness. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen
A song to listen to: See the Man https://open.spotify.com/track/4tgRkPJmV1B00YmJjyPRIT