59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ”
This might sound odd, but I find these verses to be beautiful. The Jewish leaders had for a while now planned on killing Jesus. Plans were put into play, traps were set and people bribed. Up until this point, none of their plans had worked. Jesus had always outsmarted and out-explained the Holy Scriptures to them. He had always managed to slip away and avoid being stoned or killed. At every turn, Jesus simply explained that it was still not yet his time to die.
Things were different now. Judas was bribed and successfully delivered Jesus in chains to them. He could not escape at least not in human terms. Then the council members, those wise and studious leaders, began to try and develop an accusation against Jesus. They tried hard but nothing true that Jesus did could condemn him. With his perfect life unusable to them, they had to go to plan B. They began bringing in false witnesses who could say something about Jesus to condemn him and yet, amazingly again, they could not.
This is what I find beautiful. How very perfect was Jesus’ life that even liars and false witnesses could not trap him. There was something about his life that was so pure that even lies seemed to not be able to stick to him. How very different are we compared to him. I know that if people were to search hard enough, all sorts of negative and harmful evidence could be found against me and I’m sure against you as well. I always find it amazing that a politician’s previous life and actions so commonly come up in the news to disgrace or tarnish their name. I always wonder how they could chose such a public job knowing what their past is filled with. But truthfully, everyone has something in their past that they are ashamed of.
Not Jesus. They went through his entire life with a fine tooth comb and came up with nothing. Even evil lies were too out of character to be believed. What a beautiful life Jesus led.
Finally two men were found who could share some of Jesus’ actual words but twisted in a way to sound bad. They claimed that Jesus said that he himself was able to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days but Jesus actually said, “Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19
Even with their own twist, it actually still wasn’t enough to condemn him but it was the best they could do. Jesus truly was too good for this world and yet he gave himself willingly for it. May we all strive for the same character and love that was found in Jesus.
Pr. Steven Couto