Matthew 26:59 - Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put Him to death.
Caiaphas was in a bind. He needed testimony—any testimony, true or false!— testimony against Jesus, but it had to match up. There had to be at least two witnesses according to the Law of Moses, and both witnesses had to testify to exactly the same crime. If they disagreed, their testimony was not valid.
Matthew tells us that "many false witnesses came forward" (Matthew 26:60). This staggers me. Why? Were they looking for money? Probably—we know that Judas had already been paid off for his role in Jesus' betrayal. But there could be other reasons. Were they simply haters, people who had it in for Jesus? Were they the kind of people who liked to stir up excitement and didn't care what it did to other people's lives?
This just makes me angry. I can sort of see why Caiaphas did what he did—his whole life and position as high priest was on the line, after all. But who were these false witnesses, who would throw away a man's life for so little?
It may be that you, too, have suffered at the hands of false witnesses. It is a strange, unique pain—to know yourself true but be treated as a liar, to be innocent and yet accused. If this is your case, Jesus knows your pain. He experienced it. He who is the Truth incarnate had lies thrown at Him by people off the street, men of no account. And He stood silent.
Why? For you. Because He loves you. Because He knows all of you, both the good and the bad, the true and the false bits alike, and still wants you. Because He came to redeem you, to make you a son or daughter of the truth, someone who will one day walk in the clear light of God's presence and rejoice. That is the truth of why He suffered, died, and rose from the dead—for love of you.
THE PRAYER: Father, keep us in the truth for the sake of Your Son Jesus. Amen.
Did you ever get in trouble as a child for lying? What happened?
Have you suffered at the hands of false witnesses? How did God help you through it?
Jesus calls Himself the Way and the Truth and the Life. What do you think He meant by calling himself the Truth?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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