Prepares

                                       Mark 14:3-11, 32-36

                                            May 19, 2019

 

Old Account was Settled Long Ago – If you are lost and once was in

debt fiscally and paid the debt off – Think of the feeling.

 

There is no comparison to having our sin debt paid and the

euphoria associated with being free in the universe from sin.

 

Compare how easy it is to get rid of that debt compared to

having to work a debt out – indentured servants  - etc.

 

In the last four verses of Mark 13, Jesus praised a poor widow because she

willingly gave two small coins to God’s work. 

 

In vs. 3-9 in ch. 14, Jesus experiences the anointing of a woman who gave

extravagantly to Him.

 

The world had sneered at the widow’s mites as being practically worthless.

 

The world and even the disciples scolded the woman who anointed Jesus

as a waste thinking it might be given to the poor.  

 

Deuteronomy 15:11 – “The poor shall never cease out of the land.”

 

Jesus knew that His disciples would always have opportunity to do what is

good for the poor.  The Book of Acts shows how the first generation of

Christians did so. 

 

But as Jesus was nearing death, His disciples didn’t have much time left to

show their devotion to Him, but this woman had seized the moment to show

honor and devotion to Him.  This was the initial application of fragrance to

His physical body – a Jewish burial custom which was completed by

Nicodemus days later when he put the burial spices on Jesus’ corpse. 

(John 19:39-40)

 

Jesus accepted her deed as preparation for His burial coming soon.  We may

suppose that this powerful fragrance remained with Him wherever He went

from that moment until He was sealed in the tomb. 

 

33 “And He taketh with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore

amazed, and to be very heavy;”  It appears that our Lord separated Himself from all

the disciples except Peter and James and John, and then the bitter agony began.

He began to be greatly amazed, and sore troubled (ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι καὶ ἀδημονεῖν

ekthambeisthai kai adaemoneinto be being over-awed and to be being depressed.).

These two Greek verbs are as adequately expressed above as seems possible. The

first implies "utter, extreme amazement;" if the second has for its root ἄδημος

adaemos - not at home, it implies the anguish of the soul struggling to free itself

from the body under the pressure of intense mental distress. The three chosen

disciples were allowed to be witnesses of this awful anguish. They had been

fortified to endure the sight by the glories of the transfiguration. It would have

been too much for the faith of the rest. But these three witnessed it, that they might

learn themselves, and be able to teach others, that the way to glory is by suffering.

 

34 “And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here,

and watch.”  None but He who bore those sorrows can know what they were. It was not

the apprehension of the bodily torments and the bitter death that awaited Him, all

foreknown by Him. It was the inconceivable agony of THE WEIGHT OF THE SINS

OF MEN.   The Lord was thus laying "upon Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)

This, and this alone, can explain it. My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.

Every word carries the emphasis of an overwhelming grief. It was then that "the deep

waters came in," even unto his soul. "What," says Cornelius a Lapide, "must have

been the voice, the countenance, the expression, as He uttered those awful words!"

 

35 “And He went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed

that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.”  Our Lord now

separated himself, though apparently, as Luke (Luke 22:41) says, only "about a

stone's cast" from the three disciples, and threw Himself on the ground in mortal

agony, and prayed that this hour of His supreme mental anguish might, if possible,

pass from Him.

 

 

62 “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand

of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”  To this question our Lord returns a

plain and candid answer, out of reverence for the Divine Name which, as Matthew and

Luke tell us, had been invoked by the high priest, and also respect for the office of the

high priest, by whom He had been put upon His oath. St. Chrysostom says that our

Lord answered thus that He might leave without excuse all those who listened to Him,

who would not hereafter be able to plead in the day of judgment that, when our Lord

was solemnly asked in the council whether He was the Son of God, He had either

refused to answer, or had answered evasively. This answer of our Lord is full of

majesty and sublimity. He is arraigned as a criminal, standing in the midst of the

chief priests and scribes, His bitter enemies; and it is as though He said, "You, O

Caiaphas, and you the chief priests and elders of the Jews, are now unjustly

condemning me as a false prophet and a false Christ; but the day is at hand

when I, who am now a prisoner at your judgment seat, shall sit on the throne

of glory as the Judge of you and of all mankind. You are now about to condemn

me to the death of the cross; but I shall then sit in judgment upon you, and

condemn you for this terrible guilt of slaying me, WHO

AM THE TRUE GOD AND THE JUDGE OF THE WORLD!

 

 

63 “Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith,  What need we any further

witnesses?”  And the high priest rent his clothes (διαῥῤήξας τοὺς χιτῶνας

diarraexas tous chitonastearing the tunics; literally, his tunics); Matthew

(Matthew 26:65) has τὰ ἱμὰτιαta himatia - literally, his garments. None but people

of rank wore two tunics. The Greek verb here rendered "rent" implies violent dramatic

action. The Jewish tunic was open under the chin, and large enough to receive the

head, so that it could easily be placed over the shoulders, by inserting the head.

When the wearer wished to give this sign of indignation or grief, he would seize the

garment at this opening with both hands, and violently tear it asunder down to the

waist. But it was unlawful for the high priest to do this in a private grief

(Leviticus 10:6). Some of the Fathers think that by this action Caiaphas

involuntarily typified the rending of the priesthood from himself and from

the Jewish nation.       The veil of the temple being rent - compare

 

 

 

 

                                                The Trial Before Caiaphas (vs. 53-65)

                (Parallel passages:  (Matthew 26:57-68; Luke 22:54,63-71; John 18:12-24,28) 

 

Here is hypocrisy in high places. If our Lord had remained silent, they would have

probably charged Him with imposture; now that He confessed His Messiahship and

future exaltation, they proceeded to condemn Him for blasphemy. The council sought

nothing further; they wanted only evidence against Him — something to inculpate, not

to exculpate, Him.  They did not wish to hear the grounds of His claim; they wanted no

explanation. With the Jews the setting up of a claim to any Divine’ attribute was

regarded as blasphemy; the claim of Christ, according to their opinion of Him, came

under the Mosaic law of blasphemy. And now the hypocrisy of the high priest is

something shocking. As the highest ecclesiastical functionary of the nation, and the

principal officer of its great council, his duty surely was to investigate the confession

and claim of one who professed to embody the hopes of the nation, and to scrutinize

the true nature of that claim, the real meaning of it, the grounds on which it rested,

the reasons of it, and the evidence for it. On the contrary, he grasped with avidity at

the prospect of a condemnation. His sense of justice was no higher than his sense of

religion; on anything that might tend to explain, or extenuate, or exculpate, he shut

his eyes and closed his ears. But what is still more disgusting in the conduct of this

ecclesiastic was his abominable hypocrisy. He feigned abhorrence at the crime which

he was so anxious to establish. Glad as he was to have this constructive crime of

blasphemy to allege, he pretended the most extreme horror by tearing his garments

from the neck to the waist. Here, indeed, was “spiritual wickedness in high places.” 

(Ephesians 6:12)  And some began to spit on him, and to cover His face, and to

buffet Him, and to say unto Him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike Him with

the palms of their hands.” 

 

Surely this is the most amazing scene in the long history of humanity! The Redeemer of

mankind upon His trial; the Savior at the bar of those He came to save; there is in

this something monstrous and almost incredible. But the case is even worse than

this. The Lord and Judge of man stands at the tribunal of those who must one day

appear before His judgment seat. They judge Him in time whom He must judge

in eternity. It is a spectacle the most affecting and the most awful this earth has ever

witnessed.

 

  • THE TRIBUNAL. Jesus has already been led before the crafty and

            unrighteous Annas. (John 18:13) - He is now led into the presence of the high       

            priest, Caiaphas (son-in-law to Annas) who has declared that it was good that

            one man should perish for the people; which meant, that it was better that the

            innocent Jesus should die, rather than that the ruler’s influence with the

            people should be imperiled by the prevalence of the spiritual teaching of

            the Prophet of Nazareth. With Caiaphas are associated, first informally,

            and then in something like legal fashion, the chief priests, elders, and

            scribes. It appears that these are mainly of the Sadducees, of the party who

            aimed at political power. The tribunal before which Jesus is arraigned is

            composed of the Sanhedrim, so far as it may be said to exist at this time. It

            is observable, accordingly, that the accusers of Jesus are His judges. These

            are the men who sent down spies into Galilee, to lay in wait and tempt

            Jesus, and catch Him in His speech. These are the men who instigated the

            cavilers who, in the public places of Jerusalem, opposed the teaching of

            the Lord with foolish questions, un-candid criticisms, unfounded calumnies.

            These are the men who, after the raising of Lazarus, plotted against the

            mighty One, and resolved that they would have His life. These are the men

            who themselves sent out the band that apprehended Jesus in the garden. He

            appears, therefore, at the bar of those who have watched and pursued Him

            with eager malice, who have persecuted Him with unscrupulous hatred, and

            who have now got Him within their toils. Such was the court before which

            Jesus appeared. From a tribunal like this there was no prospect, no

            expectation, no possibility, of justice. This Jesus had long foreseen, and for

            the consequences Jesus was perfectly prepared.  Now the chief priests and

            the whole council sought witness against Jesus to put Him to death, and           

            found it not”. (v. 55) – Their supreme object was to put Him to death; but 

            they wished to accomplish their object in a manner consistent with their own         

            honor, so as not to appear to have put Him to death without reason. So they          

            sought for false witnesses against Him, that they might deliver the Author

            of life and the Savior of the world to death. For in real truth, although they

            knew it not, they were the instruments in God’s hands, He had determined by

            the death of Christ to BESTOW ON US BOTH PRESENT AND ETERNAL

            LIFE.

 

  • THE EVIDENCE. When the judges condescend to become the accusers, it is

      no wonder that they seek evidence against the accused. In such circumstances      

      Jesus must be obviously, undeniably innocent, if no charge can be substantiated

      against Him. False witnesses appear; but so flagrantly inconsistent are their            

      unfounded accusations, that even such a court, so prejudiced, cannot condemn     

      upon testimony so mutually destructive. At length, however, false witnesses

      stand up, who distort a memorable saying of Christ into what may be construed

      as a disparagement of the national temple which all Jews regard with pride.

      Jesus, speaking of the temple of His body, had said, “Destroy this temple, and

      in three days I will rear it again.”  - (John 2:19) - This saying is mis-

      represented, and made to appear the utterance of an intention to destroy the

            sacred and noble edifice. What our Lord had really said was this — we read it

            in John 2:19 -  “Destroy this temple; and in three days I will raise it up.”           

            These words the false witnesses perverted; for they assigned to Jesus

            the work of destruction which He left to the Jews. He did not say,” I will

            destroy;” but “Do ye destroy, and I will rebuild.” Nor did He say, “I will

            build another;” but “I will raise it up,” that is, from the dead; for John

            tells us that “He spake of the temple of his body,” (John 2:21) -in which,

            as in a temple, there dwelt the fullness of the Godhead.. Even so, however, the     

            witnesses agree not. If this is the worst charge that can be brought against Jesus,   

            and if even this cannot be substantiated; if no remembered words can be twisted  

            so as to give some color for condemnation before a tribunal so constituted and so

            prejudiced; then this is certain, that the ministry of Jesus must have been   

            discharged with amazing wisdom and discretion. At the same time, the sin of

            the Lord’s enemies appears the more enormous and the more inexcusable.

            Jesus was not condemned upon any evidence, any testimony, against Him.

 

  • THE APPEAL AND ADJURATION.

 

Ø      The president of the court, stung with disappointment, springs from

      his seat, indignant at the silence and calmness of the accused; and, with     

      most unjudicial unfairness, interposes, and endeavors to provoke Jesus    

      into language which may inculpate himself. But he is met with a

      dignified demeanor and with continued silence.

 

Ø      This effort being in vain, the high priest adjures the accused, and

                        requires Him to say whether or not He persists in the claims which He

                        has made in the course of His ministry to be the Messiah, and the Son

                        of the Blessed. Let Him say “No,” and He is for ever discredited and

                        powerless; let Him say “Yes,” and then His admission may be

                        construed into a claim which may be represented to the Roman

                        procurator as a treasonable assumption of royal power. The intention

                        of the judge in this proceeding was evil; but an opportunity was thus

                        given for the great Accused publicly to put Himself right with the

                        court and with the world.  Here we behold innocence in its peerless

                        perfection. No fault is found in Jesus. Even His demeanor, amidst all

                        this injustice, is consummate moral beauty. His unruffled calm, His

                        Divine dignity, His immovable patience, — all command the

                        profoundest reverence of our heart.

 

 

  • THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND DECLARATION. Our Lord does not

      think it worth while to refute witnesses who have refuted themselves and one       

      another. But now that the ruler of the people puts Him upon His oath, and

      requires of Him a plain answer to a plain question, Jesus breaks His silence.

            “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the

            Son of God” – (Matthew 26:63) - To this question our Lord returns a plain

            and candid answer, out of reverence for the Divine Name which, as Matthew

            and Luke tell us, had been invoked by the high priest, and also respect for the       

            office of the high priest, by whom He had been put upon His oath. St.

            Chrysostom says that our Lord answered thus that He might leave without

            excuse all those who listened to Him, who would not hereafter be able to plead

            in the day of judgment that, when our Lord was solemnly asked in the council

            whether He was the Son of God, He had either refused to answer, or had

            answered evasively. This answer of our Lord is full of majesty and

            sublimity. He is arraigned as a criminal, standing in the midst of the chief

            priests and scribes, His bitter enemies; and it is as though He said, “You, O

            Caiaphas, and you the chief priests and elders of the Jews, are now unjustly

            condemning me as a false prophet and a false Christ; but the day is at hand

            when I, who am now a prisoner at your judgment seat, shall sit on the

            throne of glory as the Judge of you and of all mankind. You are now about

            to condemn me to the death of the cross; but I shall then sit in judgment

            upon you, and condemn you for this terrible guilt of slaying me, who am

            the true God and the Judge of the world.  (II Corinthians 5:10)

 

Ø      He acknowledges what He has often asserted before, that no claim can

                        be too high for Him to make with truth. If He is to die and upon that He

                        has resolved — (Luke 9:51) - Jesus will die, witnessing to the truth and

                        for the truth. He is the foretold Deliverer, the anointed King, the

                        Son of the Blessed and Eternal. This He will not conceal; from this

                        avowal naught shall make Him shrink.

 

Ø      He adds that His high position and glorious office shall be one day

                        witnessed by His persecutors and judges, as well as by all mankind.

                        (Zechariah 12:10) - There is true sublimity in such an avowal, made in

                        such circumstances and before such an assembly. To the view of man

                        Jesus is the culprit, powerless before the malice and the injustice of the

                        mighty, and in danger of a cruel and violent death. But in truth the case

                        is otherwise. (Matthew 26:53) - He is the Divine King, the Divine Judge.   

                        His glory is concealed now, but it shall shine forth in due time and ere

                        long. Men on earth shall bow in His Name, receive His laws, and place

                        themselves beneath His protecting care. The world shall witness His           

                        majesty, and all nations shall be summoned to His bar, and heaven shall

                        crown Him “Lord of all.” What striking harmony there is between this

                        profession and expectation of Christ on the one hand, and on the other

                        that wonderful statement of an apostle, “For the joy that was set before

                        Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame  (Hebrews 12:2)

 

  • THE SENTENCE.

 

Ø      The avowal is treated as a confession. No witnesses are now needed.

                        From His own mouth He is judged. The charge, which Jesus’ own

                        language is held to justify and substantiate, is one of blasphemy. And, if   

                        Christ were a mere man, this charge was just.  (He is the Son of God!)

 

Ø      The whole court concurs in the judgment. The president is eager to

                        condemn, but not more eager than his assessors. One mind moves them

                        all, a mind of malice and hatred, a mind rejoicing in iniquity, grasping

                        at the fulfillment of base hopes.

 

Ø      The sentence is death. It was a foregone conclusion. The destruction of

                        Jesus had been resolved upon long since. Death for the Lord of life; death

                        for the Benefactor of mankind; death for the innocent but willing Victim

                        of human ferocity and human sin!

 

Ø      THE INSULTS. Again and again, in the course of that awful night, that

      awful morning, was the Lord of glory treated with derision, ignominy,

                        and contempt. The record is almost too distressing to be read.  We can

                        read of the agony in the garden, of the anguish of the                                  

                        cross, but we scarcely know how to read of the treatment our Savior met

                        with from our fellowmen, from those He came to save and bless. The

                        spitting, the buffeting, the mockery, the blows, — those will not bear to

                        be thought upon. We may believe, we cannot realize, the record!

 

Here we behold sin at its height, raging and seemingly triumphant.

Whether we look at the witnesses who maligned Jesus, the court which

condemned him, or the officers who abused Him, we are confronted with

appalling proofs of the flagitiousness of human sin.

Here we behold innocence in its peerless perfection. No fault is found in

Jesus. Even His demeanor, amidst all this injustice, is consummate moral

beauty. His unruffled calm, His Divine dignity, His immovable patience, —

all command the profoundest reverence of our heart.

 

 Here we behold a willing Sacrifice. Jesus is “obedient unto death, even the death

of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)  - With these stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

These are a part of the suffering Jesus bore for us. That we may be freed from

condemnation, He is condemned; that we may live, He is delivered unto death.

A glorious example is here presented for our imitation. “Christ also suffered

for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow in His steps, who did

no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth:  who, when He was reviled,

reviled not again; when He suffered, threatened not; but committed

Himself to Him that judgeth righteously.”  (I Peter 2:21-23)