4/28/19 - Perjury at Jesus' Trial
“Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.” (Psalms 27:12)
In the days leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion, the Pharisees and Sadducees, scribes and lawyers did all that they could to find some excuse to have Jesus tried and put to death. They tried to get Him to blaspheme or to entangle Him in His talk (Matthew 22:15). They hoped He would say something that could be interpreted by the Romans as defiant to Caesar. Jesus knew what was in their hearts, plus He was more shrewd than their most clever interrogators. Nothing they did could bring Him down.
Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and Jesus was taken in the early morning hours from His place of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane to be tried before Annas, the Sanhedrin, and Caiaphas, the high priest. “Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward….” (Matthew 26:59,60). They hated Jesus so much that they were hunting down people to perjure themselves against Him. They were willing to disgrace their high offices and sacrifice their integrity at the altar of their tradition if that’s what it would take to rid themselves of Jesus.
Mark adds, “For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree” (Mark 14:56). It was obvious that someone was not telling the truth. The leaders of the Jews and the integrity of the high court was to abhor the bribing of witnesses and lying testimony. A man’s life was on the line. Surely, they would not have a man put to death if the witnesses against him could not agree on the crime.
A thousand years before the event, David had prophesied that this would occur. The prophecy was given so that we could see that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the promised Messiah, who would be the fulfillment of all these things. Without a doubt, the fulfillment of the prophecies is not accident of history or coincidental occurrence.
The false testimony that led to the crucifixion of our Lord is also a reminder to us that our Savior’s death was the Innocent dying for the guilty. The guilt of His lying accusers led to His death on the cross, and so the guilt of our sins led Jesus to die. We were just as guilty as those who set Him up to die, who lied about Him, or who cried out for His blood. Thank God for His great mercy and love that caused Him to make such an awesome sacrifice for our salvation. And let us commit ourselves to the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Let us take the true testimony that Jesus is Lord to a lost and dying world, so that they can hear and know the truth for their lives and receive the abundant salvation made possible by Him who suffered and died that we might live.