Sunday, 19 March 2017

Third Station: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Jane Borg (No. 235)

When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. 
They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”
He replied, “If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
All of them asked, “Are you, then, the Son of God?” 
He said to them, “You say that I am.” 
Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!” 

By the time Jesus got to the Sanhedrin, he had been deserted by his closest friends and betrayed by one of his disciples. Now he is standing before the Sanhedrin –the leaders of the people of God; priests of the Temple; God’s representatives on earth; defenders of the faith; shepherds of God's people. Of all, these should have recognised Him for who He was – the Son of God; if their eyes had been open! But they were not. These men were full of pride and greed and could not see that their God stood before them.

How easy it is for us to stand in condemnation of their blindness.  Yet this season of Lent provides us with an opportunity to look deep within our own hearts.  Perhaps there are areas of our own life where we do not fully believe the Word of God? Or areas where we believe, but do not respond to His call?

We have the benefit of hindsight and thousands of years of teaching to assure us that Jesus truly is the Messiah, who suffered his passion and death so that we could have a relationship with Him and one day join Him in eternity. Despite this, so often we still choose today over eternity.

Will I pray today? Will I take this Lenten journey seriously? Will I forgo a little splurge and give that money to someone in need? Will I go out of my way to bring joy into the life of someone who needs a friend?

Perhaps we need to cry out like the centurion “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 

We can trust that Jesus our Lord, desires nothing more than to grant us the gift of ever deeper faith.