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Unlikely Lenten preachers: The Sanhedrin
Pastor Mark Jeske
by Pastor Mark Jeske
March 2, 2020

Trial by a jury of your peers is one of the features of the American justice system of which we are most proud. In theory, an impartial group of at least a dozen men and women from your social group should be able to guarantee a fair hearing.

You would think, therefore, that the Sanhedrin, a huge assembly of 70 people, would have provided a fair trial when Jesus was arraigned before them. Not so. That group was so corrupt that they had a prearranged guilty verdict, thanks to conspiracy and bribery. Here again, however, this group inadvertently became Lenten preachers, for what they said was actually true: “The high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ ‘He is worthy of death,’ they answered” (Matthew 26:65,66).

That corrupt group, sadly the highest governance allowed the Jewish people under Roman rule, actually articulated God’s rescue plan for the human race. It was the Father’s will to blame Jesus Christ for the evil thoughts, words, and deeds of the entire human race! God was actually using these unworthy judges to speak for him. When they (unjustly) said that Jesus was worthy of death, the Father was (mercifully) saying that he now considered Jesus Christ responsible for the world’s sin. Thus he now carried all the blame.

And we do not.