Last Thursday, in "Lessons From Jesus' Trial," Part 1, we saw that it doesn't matter what situation we find ourselves in, God's Spirit will give us the words to say. All we need to do is open our hearts to Him.

Today's lesson takes us before Caiaphas, the High Priest. This story is recorded both in the book of Matthew and the book of Mark, and we see that everyone is "looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death."

Have you ever felt this way? As if people are "looking" for ways to hurt you?

The Bible tells us they didn't find anything against Jesus, despite the fact that many false witnesses came forward. But when two came forward and declared: "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'" (Matt 26:60,61), we begin to see some action.

We know that Jesus was not defending Himself at this point, for with this accusation, the High Priest stood up and specifically challenged Jesus to respond to what was being said about Him (see vs. 62).

Jesus' immediate response to this challenge is powerful: "Jesus remained silent." (vs. 63a)

We are so quick to defend ourselves; but Jesus knew a Truth that we don't seem to understand: The Truth will defend itself, and it doesn't need any help from us!

Unfortunately for Jesus, His silence further incensed the High Priest: "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God." (vs. 63b).

Jesus had no choice but to respond, and His response teaches us many lessons: "I am." (Mark 14:62a)

Does this seem like a strange response to you? Jesus, on trial for His life, knows His words will incriminate Him, but He says them anyway; and herein lies a powerful lesson: When silence is no longer possible, speak forward the Truth.

Jesus then elaborates: "And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" (Mark 14:62).

This may seem like a strange response to us, but we see these words in other places in the New Testament. Stephen said them, for one, as he was about to be stoned: "'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.'" (Acts 7:55-56).

Paul further expounds: "...and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority." (Colossians 2:10)

And:

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God." (Colossians 3:1-2)

And finally, from the Apostle Peter:

"...Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand--with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him." (1 Peter 3:21b-22); and "and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:11)

In other words, when Jesus said, "...you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.'" (Mark 14:62), He is helping these earthly authorities realize that though He is on trial for His life, He is in a seat of authority, an authority that is actually the head over every power and authority. In other words, any authority that Caiaphas exercised over Jesus was only there because Jesus allowed it to be!

And herein lies an important truth: No matter what happens, no matter how much control we think we have, we only have as much control as God gives us. No more, no less.

Of course, Jesus' answer did not please the high priest, who: "...tore his clothes and said, 'He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses?'" (Matt 26:65,66a, See also Mark 14:63,64a) to which the people replied, "He is worthy of death..." (Matt 26:66b, see also Mark 14:64b).

And perhaps herein lies the greatest lesson we can learn from the court of Caiaphas: Jesus knew His words would incriminate Him, yet He said them anyway. Why? Because He recognized that if He was not condemned to die, all of mankind would be condemned to eternal damnation. He put Himself on the line so that we could live.

Friends, the next time we find ourselves under accusation, Jesus' responses to the High Priest Caiaphas should be our guide, for they teach us that we don't need to defend ourselves. However, at the times when we are forced to respond, we must speak nothing but the Truth. We also see that any control we may feel we have over any situation is only that which is given to us by God Himself, and finally, we learn that we should not be afraid of the outcome, for we know that God is in control, and He will work everything for His ultimate good.

Jesus' next stop was the governor's palace. Join us next Tuesday to learn the vital lessons that Jesus' responses to Pilate can teach us: "Lessons From Jesus' Trial," Part 3: Standing before Pilate.

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

(To Access the entire "Lessons From Jesus' Trial" mini-series, please click here.)