Opening Prayer

Everlasting Father, you love me beyond my comprehending, and care for me beyond my understanding. Grant me now insight and direction as I read your Word.

Read MATTHEW 26:57–68

Jesus Before the Sanhedrin

57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome.

59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.

Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”

62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.

The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”

64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[a]

65 Then 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. 66 What do you think?”

“He is worthy of death,” they answered.

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”

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  1. Matthew 26:64 See Psalm 110:1; Daniel 7:13.

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


We serve a God of justice. May God open our eyes to see those areas of our world where injustice flourishes and how Christians can bring change.

Think Further

Jesus faces the mockery of a trial alone. His disciples have fled; Peter follows and watches from a distance but offers no help. The trial seems to have taken place quickly, presided over by the high priest at his house with the Sanhedrin already assembled. Sanhedrin regulations, however, decreed that criminal cases should be tried during daytime and at their own meeting place in the temple precinct. No criminal trials should occur during Passover. This trial seemingly involved multiple violations of Jewish law.

Two witnesses, examined separately, were required to make compatible allegations. We don’t know how many futile attempts were made, as the Sanhedrin scoured for evidence. Eventually, two people attested that Jesus claimed he could destroy and rebuild the temple in three days. This was a distortion, both of his prophecy and about his own death and resurrection on the third day. Jesus chose to remain silent before the lies.

Following the next question, Jesus might have walked away a free man if he had remained silent or denied he was the Messiah. Saying ‘yes’, invited the charge of blasphemy and a sentence of execution. Yet his answer went even further. He quoted Daniel 7:13 and applied its account of the triumph and glorification of the Messiah to himself. Jesus knew full well what he was doing. The high priest’s symbolic garment-tearing and the court’s violent scorn confirmed the death penalty. The injustice Jesus faced has been echoed in the lives of his followers through the ages. A reminder of that frenzy and hatred, accompanying the rejection of Christ as God’s anointed one, faces so many of his faithful witnesses in the persecuted church today.


What sort of injustice and oppression might we have to face as the price for staying faithful to Jesus? Pray now for protection and courage to stand firm.

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, I see your wisdom and bravery in this mock trial. I pray I may have your focus and devotion as I face life’s challenges.

Last Updated on April 1, 2023 by kingstar

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