October 3

Text: Matthew 26:57

And those who had seized Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were gathered together.  (NASB)

The nature of this Jewish meeting has been debated (and still is) because it was against Jewish trial procedure to try a person at night for a possible death penalty verdict.  The debate focused (focuses) on the purpose of the meeting and the people gathered.

Matthew’s view was that the verdict was predetermined.  The event occurred because of a plot (Matthew 26:4, 5) and a premeditated betrayal (Matthew 26:14-16).  The group was convened prior to Jesus’ arrival.  It was not presented as an undetermined matter, but a “how shall we justify our actions” matter.  False testimony was welcomed and encouraged (Matthew 26:59-61).

There are some things we should note about Jesus.

  1. Jesus was fully aware of the “what” and the “why” of what was happening.

  2. Jesus had the available power to do something about what was happening.

  3. However, if Jesus reacted by using the available power, (a) he would not fulfill his mission and (b) he would cease “laying down his life.”

  4. Thus, he endured injustice for the sake of continuing his mission—what he did was a matter of choice and intentional.

To endure injustice intentionally when we could prevent it takes enormous courage.  To endure injustice deliberately in order to achieve a higher purpose takes enormous courage.  Sometimes doing nothing is more honorable than doing something. 

There are moments when human misunderstanding is insignificant—eternal purpose in that moment is all important.  The unselfishness required by such moments often exceeds human imagination.  Extraordinary sacrifices are made by extraordinary people.

Suggestion for reflection: Why would a person sacrifice life?  How did Jesus’ sacrifice differ?  (Read John 10:17, 18.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell