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The Return from False Witness

Matthew 26.57-68
Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. 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?”
As we continue our journey through Lent, this week we see Jesus before Caiaphas the high priest along with the scribes and elders. We find in this passage many false witnesses who were coming forward to say things about Jesus that were not necessarily true. I have to wonder if Judas was one of the ones who gave false testimony before Caiaphas and all the scribes and elders. One will never know for certain, but it would not be out of the realm of possibilities for him to do so.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear that people are saying false things about me or presenting me in a negative light it makes me angry. I want to set the record straight. I want people to know the truth or at least my side of the story, yet we see Christ in this moment choosing to remain silent about their accusations.

Even though Christ could have said something, He chose not to say anything pertaining to their false testimonies. Ultimately I believe it was for our sake. Truly He could have set the record straight and declared His power and glory, and there would have been no denying who He truly was. But that was not God’s will; it was God’s will for Jesus to go to the cross and die in the place of sinners like you and me so that we could be afforded the opportunity to receive salvation through Jesus Christ. So Jesus endured the mockery and scorn as well as the false testimony for our sake.

What an amazing act of love, mercy, and kindness that Jesus had for us. He was willing to endure such heartache and agony, all because He loved us that much. So during this season of Lent we return, perhaps to the pain that we truly never worked through previously when people gave false witness about us. I want to encourage you today to trust and know that Jesus is ready and willing to meet you in that place of pain.

As Isaiah 53.4a declares, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.”

Jesus has already carried it, so return. Return to that place and allow Jesus’ healing
balm to touch the pain from someone’s false witness against you. Don’t stuff the pain
any longer. I recognize that it may feel scary to return to such a place, but can you trust
Jesus to guide you and take care of you there? I pray that you will be able to return in
the strength and comfort of God’s grace. May God’s hand of grace be upon you.

In Christ’s Service,
Cody Ragland
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