Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. ... At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”
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.” 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.”
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. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”
Court is in session and the religion of man is on trial. Ironically the religious elders believe that they are the ones in power and they are the ones with the authority to pass judgment. Such is the way that religion works.. such is the seduction of the religion of man.. such is the dark pride that takes captive the minds and intents of men called by God to care for the souls of mankind.. such is the setting of this trial that takes place in the middle of the night when most are sleeping.. such is the end of all who exalt religion over God.
Jesus would have no part in this trial - he remains silent before this evil tribunal until the top judge asks him a direct question concerning his identity. The answer Jesus gives is called blasphemy because he identifies himself as an equal to God himself. Yet he does not stop there. Jesus proceeds to speak of a day when he will sit as judge over those who sit in judgment that very day. Yet these hypocrites respond in a very nasty fashion. Such is the ways of religious hypocrites who exalt themselves instead of God.
Help me not to judge with fleshly motives Lord. Fill my heart with grace.