Day 95: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 95: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

‘Good Friday’ is a misnomer.  It is the title of the day of Jesus’ trials, beatings, then crucifixion. How could it be – good?  It wasn’t good for him, but it is for you and me.  In our last devotion we left Jesus before the Sanhedrin, with the high priest, Caiaphas pelting Jesus with questions about testimony from false witnesses. And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” (Matt. 26:62). But Jesus remained silent.  (26:63).

This trial was a farce. It was organized to put a façade of legitimacy on their murder of Jesus.  The week before this trial: But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” (Jn. 11:49, 50).  There you have it.  Jesus’s death was just a tool for their continued power.  Remember, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Here are just few illegalities of the trials: 1.  The interrogation by Annas without witnesses. 2. The trial at night. 3. Sentencing on the first day of a trial. 4. The trial of a capital charge on the day before the Sabbath. 5. The suborning of witnesses. 6. The direct interrogation by the High Priest.  All were illegal according to Jewish Law.  This partial list does not include all the illegalities concerning Roman law.

The stunning issue about Jesus’ silence in the face of false charges underscores the fact they could find no fault in him.  His composure and silence confirmed he was without fault, and it condemned his judges, and their trial.  Caiaphas was apoplectic: “Have you no answer to make?” Jesus’ silence was not in his plan.  He was stunned.  Now he pulls out the nuclear option: But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” (Matt. 26:63).  Jesus answers.

Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64).  Jesus indicts Caiaphas — “You have said so.” That’s your testimony Caiaphas.  Jesus elaborates.

If you believe that Jesus is merely a good man, a great teacher, his own testimony slays that impression.  You cannot hold to that fallacy.  He claimed he is the: Son of Man.  You must either believe his testimony, or claim he’s a liar, or a lunatic, or the Lord.  There are no other options. Son of Man, is a title to deity.

“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13, 14).  Is that Jesus?

As Stephen was being stoned and: But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55, 56). That is eye-witness testimony, Jesus = the Son of Man.

Here is Old Testament testimony: The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1).  That’s a peek at a heavenly coronation.

Back to the trial.  Caiaphas blows a cork!  Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. (Matt. 26:65).  The Mosaic Law forbids the High Priest to tear his clothes: It shall have an opening for the head in the middle of it, with a woven binding around the opening, like the opening in a garment, so that it may not tear. (Exod. 28:32). The priest’s garments were called, Glorious and could not be defaced…but Caiaphas was making a dramatic, over-the-top act; showing how horrified he was by Jesus telling the truth. So what if he broke God’s Law. He’s illustrating the more important point of his outrage.

Caiaphas turned to the Sanhedrin: What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” (Matt. 26:66).  Why, because he told the truth?  Again, we note 700 years before Jesus, Isaiah wrote: He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isa. 53:3).  What will the Sanhedrin, 70 of the most prestigious men of Israel do?

Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, (Matt. 26:67).  These sages of the Law were breaking their own Law!  Hideous insults, and cruelty: saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (Matt. 26:68).  Mockery with contempt, fueled shameful slapping.  What’s their next choice?

And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. (27:2). Now comes the first civil trial.  The religious trial was a sham, surely Pilate would not be influenced by religious zealotry.  Again, the humiliating binding was used. Still no crime.

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters [Praitorion], so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. (Jn. 18:28).  All the Sanhedrin goes to Pilate’s headquarters, the Hall of Judgment.  This is the place for Roman Law and justice. Surely Jesus’ legal rights will be protected there, after all this is a place of justice.

Before we proceed, note the Jews would not enter — the place of justice. How ironic. They wouldn’t go in since they had to obey ceremonial law concerning the Passover. Going into a Gentile dwelling would be defiling, so they scrupulously obeyed fine points of the Mosaic Law.  But they overlooked their desire to commit murder of an innocent man – Jesus. How blind does sin make us?  We often are impervious to our own deviancy.

These legal scholars missed their own personal immoral behavior and choices, to do the most egregious act of murder.  They were perpetrating the vilest crime in history, but scrupulously obeyed legalistic dogma.  Are you like this, blind to your sin, while religious? It might be time for an authentic spiritual inventory.  Be honest with yourself.  Jesus will be honest with us, when we are judged.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

The blindness of men’s hearts is stunning to me.  I am struck by mankind’s imperviousness to Heavenly things, confusing them with things that are earthly.  I recognize that I was in the same state, missing spiritual truths, though they were in front of me.  I was spiritually blind to my own choices and behaviors. I reconciled those actions in my mind with distorted reasoning.  When I witness that in others, I understand their thinking, while also being grateful that you graciously opened my eyes to truth.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  Thank you for pursuing me, even in my darkest times, in my most sordid behaviors.  You jumped in the trash pit to rescue me, dragging me kicking and screaming to a gloriously good life in Christ.

Now, Father use me to be a message of hope to others.  Let my actions speak volumes to people who are needing spiritual truth.  Let my words land on ears of those who want to hear about hope.  Let my care for others give me access to their lives because they trust me.  Let worldly experiences bring emptiness. But let truth be a compelling item that draws them to you.  If I am the tool to tell them about you, give me courage, filled with hope to give them a testimony of assurance of you.  Let my testimony be ‘your story,’ not my exploits.  Then reveal yourself to them in meaningful ways, so they are certain you are reaching into their lives, assuring them you have heard their cry: Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jer. 33:3).  Let them land easily into your loving arms.  I pray this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

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