Situation 5: Jesus on Trial
(Matthew 26:57-68, Mark 14:53-62, Matthew 27:11-14, Mark 15:1-5, Luke 23:1-3, John 18:28-38)
Who questioned him: the chief priest (Caiaphas) and the governor (Pilate)
What they asked: (1) for him to respond to his accusers and (2) if he is the Son of God or the King of the Jews
Why this was significant: By appearances, his answers may have determined his fate.
Jesus’ response: He ignored one set of questions but responded candidly to another
Jesus did not answer the false accusers, but he did answer the question about whether he was the Christ, the Son of God. His reply, “you have said so,” is simply an affirmation according to the sources I read. In other words, Jesus did not feel compelled to reply to the petty arguments, but he was not going to remain silent on the most important question of all.
What does that tell me? I should not rush to get up in arms over more frivolous issues, particularly if the debate is full of untruths. However, I should never, ever, back down from affirming the identity of Jesus Christ, as the ONLY salvation of our souls.
That’s what the world wants us to do. They’re okay with our beliefs, as long as we accept others’ beliefs as meriting just as much consideration as our own. But that is not the example Jesus set. He made it clear that he is the only way to salvation. Many believe this assertion – by him or by his followers – is unloving, but in fact, to be silent is actually the most unloving action possible.
Think about it. If the one you loved was dying of an incurable disease and you knew of the ONLY cure, would it be loving to tell them that any medicine would help? No! You would tell them about the cure even at the expense of your own life. That’s what Jesus did. And that’s what we’re called to do.
We are all dying of an incurable disease of sin, and the Bible is clear that the only cure is through Jesus Christ. Without that cure, we are destined to an eternity separated from God. (Interestingly, Jesus talks about the wrath of hell more times than he does about heaven. Consider this: if there weren’t a hell to be saved from, then why would he go through the agony of crucifixion for us?)
The Bottom Line: While sometimes we Christians get sidetracked debating the “other issues,” Jesus set the ultimate example that we are to keep first things first. I have to admit, I fail miserably in this area. No, I don’t deny Christ. But by living my life without sharing Jesus’ cure for sin on a daily basis, am I not, in effect, being silent?