For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against Him, saying, "We heard Him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. Mark 14:56-59
Christopher Shell was flying home from Philadelphia to celebrate his 29th birthday.
Texas was his destination, but he didn't make it -- at least not on that day. You see, somebody called US Airways and said that Shell was carrying explosives. The plane turned around, made an emergency landing, and parked far away from the other jets.
Quickly, lawmen surrounded the plane, boarded it with guns drawn, and escorted Shell off. Those who were seated next to him said he acted frightened, confused and shocked.
I can understand why.
Somebody was playing a cruel and dangerous joke on Shell. After the plane was searched and he had been questioned, he was let go. The Philadelphia chief inspector said Shell had been the victim of a "pretty nasty trick."
Thankfully, in Shell's case, the lies told about him have done no serious damage. They were an inconvenience, and he will get on with his life.
That is not always the case. For example, almost 2,000 years ago a group of individuals told some lies about Jesus of Nazareth. Since His worst enemies knew Jesus had done nothing wrong or worthy of death, they felt it expedient to hire some scallywags, who would tell lies about the supposed evils Jesus had done.
Unfortunately, for the prosecution, their liars couldn't get their stories straight. At that moment the case should have been thrown out.
It wasn't. The case continued on as the Savior's accusers brought in more and bigger liars. Now you might think Jesus' opponents would have learned a lesson from their earlier flub. You would think they would have rehearsed those new liars, so they could get their stories straight. Yes, you might think that, but if you did, you would be wrong. This second batch of liars couldn't agree either.
Not that it made all that much difference. The fix was in and no matter how many liars failed in their falsehoods, the court had decided Jesus would die. And He did. Before the day was over Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem's city walls. The only innocent Man this world has ever seen died, so the guilty souls of humanity might be forgiven and saved from an eternity in hell.
This is why, because innocent Jesus died for the guilty us-es of this world, when Satan accuses the Savior's followers on Judgment Day, the Heavenly Father will look at them and say, "They are innocent, forgiven and free."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Satan wouldn't have to bring in liars to accuse us of evil. All of us have done many things that are wrong. Still, because innocent Jesus died for guilty souls, all who believe are saved. May the whole world come to know and believe this gracious truth. In the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries