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Mark - Who is Christ?
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to MARK
PART 8 - Christ's Passion and Death (Mark 14:1 - 15:47)

9. Jesus Before the Religious Court (Mark 14:53-65)

MARK 14:53-65
53 They led Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes came together with him. 54 Peter had followed him from a distance, until he came into the court of the high priest. He was sitting with the officers, and warming himself in the light of the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought witnesses against Jesus to put him to death, and found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony didn’t agree with each other. 57 Some stood up, and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another made without hands.’” 59 Even so, their testimony did not agree. 60 The high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it which these testify against you?” 61 But he stayed quiet, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 Jesus said, “I am. You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of the sky.” 63 The high priest tore his clothes, and said, “What further need have we of witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?” They all condemned him to be worthy of death. 65 Some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to beat him with fists, and to tell him, “Prophesy!” The officers struck him with the palms of their hands.

The representatives of the Jews met to take legal action and render a decision against Jesus motivated by hatred and envy. Most of them were determined to get rid of the young Nazarene, for he had disturbed the nation, according to their claim, and they were afraid of the interference of the Roman authority, and a new war.

However, in order to hide their ill-will, they treated him with external observances of lawfulness, and sought sly witnesses to prove that Jesus was wrong according to the Law, a blasphemer, and deceiver. But the hired wicked witnesses could not agree in their evidence against him, and therefore the claim became null and void due to disagreement among the witnesses in their details.

Furthermore, the final testimony was false and groundless with respect to Christ’s words about the temple, for he had never said, “I will destroy this temple”, but “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19) meaning the temple of his body and his own resurrection.

The Jews quarreled about his words and their interpretations. They did not recognize the heart of the subject: that Jesus Christ who stood among them was the living temple of God, in whom dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Jesus kept silent before the lies of men, trusting that his Father would not give him up to the cross because of wicked lies, but in expression of his love for sinners. The members of the council were disturbed at his silence. Yet, Jesus did not fear his enemies around him, but gave himself up completely to the guidance of his faithful Father.

When the interrogation failed, Caiaphas the high priest stood up, and put Jesus under oath to confess whether he was the Messiah, the Son of the living God. In his question, he connected both titles to confirm an accusation against Jesus, which might guarantee his death. The Jews expected a strong Christ, supported by the power of God, and not one who stands chained and despised in the midst of a trial.

The priests and representatives regarded any claim to be the son of God as terrible blasphemy, for God is one, who has no other partner, who dwells in glory and heavenly light.

He stood up before the council of his nation and answered the experts in the Law, with one decisive statement declaring to them who he was, what he worked, and his future coming. This wide and inclusive answer is one of the greatest words of the Holy Bible, so study it, and keep it in your heart.

Christ did not deny his true nature to rescue himself by lies, but said: “I am”. This statement is the support of the old covenant, and the foundation of the new covenant. With this statement, the Lord commanded in the Ten Commandments, saying: “I am”, and manifested himself in the burning bush in the wilderness. In the same manner, Christ called himself several times in the gospel of John: “I am”. Christ did not only call himself the Son of God, but he also declared that God himself dwelt in him, though he was standing chained in the midst of the elders, who were angered by this.

Jesus knew that his confession meant certain death. But he observed more than this. He saw the heaven opened, and proclaimed his own resurrection beforehand, with his ascension and arriving at his Father´s side, and sitting at his right hand, in the place of glory, for he alone had saved men. Sitting at the right hand of God was reserved for Christ, according to the promise: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’” (Psalms 110:1).

With this statement, Jesus showed the seventy elders before him that they had no right to condemn him, but on the contrary, God would make them a footstool beneath the feet of Christ. With another revelation from (Daniel 7:13) the young Nazarene testified to his learned judges that he is in fact the eternal Judge, calling himself the Son of Man who is coming with the clouds of heaven to judge the living and the dead.

Every Jew knew the meaning of those two verses, which Christ joined together in one statement, to confess his being the Messiah before the council of the Jews. With these brief, profound words, he proved that he is the Son of the living God, the true Christ, the eternal Judge, and the Lord himself. Those who heard ho, should have responded with worship to him immediately, and received him with shouts, submission, and songs of praise.

Therefore, the leaders of Israel had either to submit to Jesus immediately, or to sentence him to death. They charged him with blasphemy, sentenced him to death, and beat him publicly to show that they were not partners in this blasphemy, lest the wrath of God would come on them.

The meek Lamb of God stood silently before them. He bore thier rage and hatred without saying a word. Men in their disobedience struck the Son of God. What is your position? Do you worship and love him, or do you reject him and participate in his crucifixion?

PRAYER: O living Lord Jesus, you are my Lord, my God, my Judge, and my Redeemer. Into your hands, I commit my spirit, my soul, and my body, together with my brothers and sisters. Forgive our cowardice and sin, and sanctify us that we may testify your divinity without fear. Teach us to expect your will, for you sit at the right hand of God, and you will come shortly in great glory. Amen.


  1. What is the meaning of Jesus’ answer before the council of the Jews?


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