Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday in Lent 5

While working on my sermon for tomorrow night on Isaiah 53:8 using Rev. Christopher Mitchell's book "Our Suffering Savior", I found this on p. 91-92 about today's reading of Mark 14:53-65:

These violations of the rabbinic laws for capital cases occurred during the trials of Jesus before the Jewish leaders:

  1. Both the trial and the arrival at the verdict were to occur during the daytime.
  2. Trials were not to be held on the eve of a Sabbath or festival day.
  3. While a verdict of acquittal could be reached on the day of the trial, a verdict of convition was not to be reached until th eday following the trail (to help prevent the condemnation of an innocent man).
  4. A charge of blasphemy had to be sustained by the alleged blasphemer pronouncing the name of God Himself. (Jesus remained silent during most of the procedings.)
  5. The regular meeting place of the high court was to be the "Chamber of Hewn Stone" (not the home of the high priest).
  6. Capital cases were to begin with the proclamation of reasons for acquittal, and not with reasons for conviction. (At Jesus' trials it seems that only prosecuting witnesses spoke.)
  7. Witnesses were to be solemnly warned and carefully examined regarding their testimony. (The witnesses against Christ contradicted each other and were never cross-examined.)

Mark tells us that the testimony of the (false) witnesses did not agree (Mark 14:56-59)... There was no just, legal basis for convicting Jesus. He was deprived of justice.

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