STUBBORN REJECTION OF THE CLAIMS OF CHRIST LEAD TO BRUTAL MISTREATMENT AND SHAM TRIALS
Wicked hearts don’t want to objectively evaluate the claims of Jesus Christ. We need to get it out of our heads that mankind has some type of moral neutrality where if they were just presented with sufficient information and proof they would embrace Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the Son of God. Wicked hearts are blind and invested in their own self-interest which does not include bowing the knee to the authority of their Creator. What savage treatment is pictured here! What mocking and ridicule and humiliation of One who could have called 10,000 angels and wiped the earth of these rebels. Yet our hearts are wicked as well and inclined towards independence rather than submission to God.
I. (:63-65) TRAVESTY OF BRUTALITY AND MOCKING INFLICTED BY THE GUARDS
A. (:63) Verbal and Physical Abuse
“And the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking Him, and beating Him,”
Donald Miller: Luke omits the fact that two informal trials of Jesus were held during the night, shortly after his arrest: the first a personal inquisition by Annas, the most influential member of the priestly group (John 18:13, 19:24), and the second before the hurriedly assembled Sanhedrin (Mark 14:53-65). Since a sentence of death could not be passed at night, they must await the coming of day to take formal action on what they had already determined informally, In the meantime, the guards who had Jesus in charge whiled away the tedious hours by making sort of him. With ridicule, physical torture, and religious mockery, they subjected the most sensitive person who ever lived to the crassest and most vulgar brutality (vss. 63-65).
MacArthur: Now, you must understand that this was a prolonged sequence of trials that took place between 1:00 and 5:00, jammed into this period, perhaps beginning a little bit before one o’clock. There are actually six phases to the trial of Jesus, three before the Jews and three before gentiles. There is this Jewish ecclesiastical/religious trial and there’s a gentile political/secular trial. And it had to be this way because the Jews didn’t have the right to capital punishment.
Lenski: In their cowardly brutality they cannot act viciously enough against this bound and defenseless victim and hurt him as much as possible just as savages might do.
Bruce Hurt: Mocking (imperfect tense = again and again!) (empaizo from paizo = to play like a child – pais) means they were verbally deriding, ridiculing, making fun of or making sport of Jesus! Empaizo is one of many words denoting disparagement or scorn and in this context is a negative expression of their bravado, arrogance, aversion, or hostility. Incredible! They won’t be so brazen at the Great White Throne Judgment! (Rev 20:11-15+)
B. (:64) Mocking His Prophetic Ministry
“and they blindfolded Him and were asking Him, saying,
‘Prophesy, who is the one who hit You?’”
Making fun of Jesus and His reputation as a prophet
C. (:65) Blaspheming
“And they were saying many other things against Him, blaspheming.”
Geldenhuys: Calm and dignified, without answering a single word to their questions and slanders, He bears all this outrageous humiliation and pain. These things probably took place during the intervals between the trials.
Ralph Wilson: Luke summarizes their insults with the verb blasphemeo, from which we get our English word “blasphemy,” irreverence towards God or things considered sacred. The Greek word, however, isn’t limited to irreverence towards God, but includes any speech that denigrates or defames, reviling, denigration, disrespect, slander.
II. (:66-71) TRIAL BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN
(:66) Staging of the Trial
“And when it was day, the Council of elders of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying,”
They had been just cooling their heels until daybreak so that they could satisfy some of the nitpicky regulations of Sanhedrin jurisprudence; even though they had no intention of staging a fair trial
A. (:67-70) Inquisition
1. (:67-698) Examining First Identity Claim: Are You the Christ?
a. (:67a) Demand
“If You are the Christ, tell us.”
b. (:67b-68) Response of Christ
“But He said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe;
and if I ask a question, you will not answer.”
Donald Miller: Jesus’ reply could be neither Yes nor No. A Yes would have meant that he was the sort of political Messiah of which they were thinking. Nothing could have been further from his mind. A No, on the other hand, would have been false, for he was Messiah. If he asked them questions to draw out their own Messianic views in order to correct them, they would not discuss with him, as a former occasion had shown (20:7; see also 20:41-44). On the other hand, if he told them of the true nature of his Messiahship, they were not capable of understanding it, because they would not believe (vss. 67-68).
2. (:69) Pivotal Claim to Ultimate Power and Authority
“But from now on the Son of Man will be seated
at the right hand of the power of God.”
Donald Miller: Drawing upon Daniel 7:13 and Psalm 110:1, he made the bold assertion that from now on – as the result of his coming death – he would be seated at God’s right hand, an expression meaning to share God’s power and authority (vs. 69). In this the Sanhedrin sensed an even higher claim than that of Messiah.
Steven Cole: So Jesus is turning the tables on them. They thought that they were sitting in judgment on Him. He lets them know that really, He is sitting in judgment on them! As Peter proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost, this Jesus whom they had crucified, God had raised up to His right hand, where He was installed on David’s throne as both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:30-36).
MacArthur: Jesus is saying there will be a Calvary, and there will be a resurrection, and there will be an ascension, and there will be a coronation after that at the right hand of God, and someday there will be a return in judgment. Caiaphas and the rest of the Christ-rejecters then and all through human history will meet Him again and He will be their judge. Caiaphas will see Him again, all sinners who perish without salvation will see Him again. Now they judge Him, then He will judge them. Now they judge Him unjustly, then He will judge them justly. He is the Son of God and the Son of man, which is the title used by Daniel of Him in Daniel 7.
And so our Lord confirms His Messiahship and His deity in the strongest terms possible. He sits at the right hand of the power – the power – literally, in the Greek, definite article, the power being God. He takes His place at the right hand of God and one day comes all glorious to judge and reign forever. . .
It is amazing to see the recklessness and the relentlessness of these Christ haters. Nothing can deter them from their goal. Nothing can exterminate their hatred. And it is shown in their injustice and in their abuse. Miracles of power, miracles of judgment that should fill their hearts with fear and reverence find no responsive chord anywhere. The terrifying power that threw them all to the ground when they first came into the garden, that very night with a force of a hammer from heaven, couldn’t convince their hard hearts of the reality of His deity and Lordship.
3. (:70) Examining Second Identity Claim: Are You the Son of God?
a. (:70) Demand
“And they all said, ‘Are You the Son of God, then?’”
b. (:70b) Response of Christ
“And He said to them, ‘Yes, I am.’”
B. (:71) Case Closed
“And they said, ‘What further need do we have of testimony?
For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.’”
Deffinbaugh: Jesus’ response was not evasive, nor was it indirect, as some tend to take it. Jesus spoke directly, in the idiom of that day. It was a firm “yes,” precisely what they had been looking for. No matter that their trials were a sham. No matter that this man’s rights had been violated. No matter that no witnesses could agree on the charges against Him. No matter that the accused had been beaten beforehand and that a testimony had been drawn from Him. They had the evidence they needed. Now, all they needed was the cooperation of the state, to kill Him.