November 7, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Friday after the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 54, 61, Jer. 36:20-26, Col. 3:12-17
Evening – Psalm 51, Dt. 8:11, Mt. 26:57

Commentary, Matthew 26:57-75

What is the main point of Matthew 26:57-75?  It is that the trial of Jesus by the high priest and Sanhedrin was an underhanded and immoral perversion.  It was never intended to seek truth and do justice.  It was a farce which acted with one purpose, to find a way to get the Romans to crucify Christ.  It was held at night.  It was held in secret.  It was held in the high priest’s house.  Only selected members of the council were present, for there is no mention of Nicodemus, who would certainly have vocally opposed their actions. False witnesses told lies about Christ’s words and actions.  All of these things were against the normal and moral methods of dealing with religious disputes in Israel.  In the end they killed the Son of God for saying He is the Son of God.

There is a second point in this passage.  Peter, who so bravely said he would die with Christ, denies knowing Him three times.  When Peter said he would die with Christ he had visions of a glorious war that would drive away Romans and establish Israel as a free and independent nation.  When he drew his sword in the garden, and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, he probably expected the Lord to begin the battle there, and he was probably ready to die in battle with Christ, if that would bring about a free Israel.  But when Christ allowed Himself to be taken captive, Peter’s resolve fled with the rest of the disciples.  Fear overcame him, and he ran away from the soldiers like the other disciples.  Now, standing outside of the high priest’s house where the “trial” is taking place, he denies knowing Christ out of fear that he, too, might be crucified.