Jesus and the Charge of Blasphemy

“Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.” (Mark 14:64)

Today many liberal theologians profess to be Christians but argue that Jesus was merely a great man and that He never claimed deity for Himself. But the Sanhedrin and its high priest had no such doubts for they heard it from His own lips.

When the high priest asked him directly: “Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus (silent up to that point in His own defense) answered him plainly. “I am,” He said, “and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62).

The council immediately voted to condemn Him to death, since blasphemy was considered a capital crime. Two members of the body, Joseph and Nicodemus, had evidently already left, probably because of dismay at what the council was doing (note Luke 23:51; John 7:50-51), but the rest of that august body all agreed.

Jesus had already claimed in various indirect ways to be uniquely the Son of God, but this assertion, made in front of all the elders and scribes, was unequivocal and completely clear, giving them the excuse they needed.

They did not believe His claim, of course, but they certainly knew He had made it and that it constituted blatant blasphemy—a mere man claiming to be the omnipotent, eternal God. So, they condemned Him to die.

But it was only blasphemy if it was untrue. He would demonstrate just three days later, once and for all, that His claim was absolute truth. Only the Creator of life could triumph over death, and He has been “declared to be the Son of God with power . . . by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). His tomb is empty and He has ascended back to the throne of God, “alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). HMM

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