59 The chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 They didn’t find anything they could use from the many false witnesses who were willing to come forward. But finally they found two 61 who said, “This man said, ‘I can destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 Then the high priest stood and said to Jesus, “Aren’t you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?”
63 But Jesus was silent.
The high priest said, “By the living God, I demand that you tell us whether you are the Christ, God’s Son.”
64 “You said it,” Jesus replied. “But I say to you that from now on you’ll see the Human Onesitting on the right side of the Almighty and coming on the heavenly clouds.”
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He’s insulting God! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, you’ve heard his insult against God. 66 What do you think?”
And they answered, “He deserves to die!” 67 Then they spit in his face and beat him. They hit him 68 and said, “Prophesy for us, Christ! Who hit you?”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus didn’t speak up or defend himself in some way as he was being tried and taunted? In the movies and on television, sometimes we see “the accused” speak up and other times he or she sits silently. Often their silence is taken to mean the person is guilty. When a person’s life is on the line, I think it would be natural to speak up, and yet Jesus was very selective about what questions he answered and how he answered them.
I have had to defend my actions at times and it’s not always easy. There have been times when I’ve chosen to save my breath, knowing that it wasn’t going to make much difference in the outcome or to the accuser. When the accusers have already made up their minds about the outcome, one can only maintain his or her integrity and dignity in accepting the outcome. Things happen in life over which we have no control because we aren’t acting in a vacuum. We can lose our cool and get angry with the world, or we can accept the loss of control while forgiving our opponent or the situation. Jesus modeled for us the path of truth and goodness.
By Kathleen Stolz
For Pondering & Prayer
In our current health crisis, there are people who have stepped up to face the challenges and seek solutions, and there are others who spend their time and energy chastising others. What more can you do to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem?
Prayer: Loving Creator God, help us to find ways to work with others to re-create a world where people have all that they require to live healthy and fruitful lives. As individuals and as a church give us the wisdom to be part of the solution to this crisis rather than those making accusations. May this time teach us to maintain integrity and dignity through chaos. Amen.