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“The Crucified King”
When the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am.” By replying as he does, Jesus is saying: “I will come to earth in the very glory of God and judge the entire world.” It’s an astounding statement. It’s a claim to deity.
Of all the things Jesus could have said—and there are so many texts, themes, images, metaphors, and passages of the Hebrew Scriptures that he could have used to tell who he was—he specifically says he’s the judge. By his choice of text, Jesus is deliberately forcing us to see the paradox. There’s been an enormous reversal. He is the judge over the entire world, being judged by the world. He should be in the judgment seat, and we should be in the dock, in chains. Everything is turned upside down.
And as soon as Jesus claims to be this judge, as soon as he claims deity, the response is explosive. Mark writes:
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.
The high priest rips his own garments apart, a sign of the greatest possible outrage, horror, and grief. And then the whole trial deteriorates. In fact it’s no longer a trial; it’s a riot. The jurors and judges begin to spit on him and beat him. In the middle of the trial, they go absolutely berserk. He is instantly convicted of blasphemy and condemned as worthy of death.
While you and I cannot literally spit in Jesus’ face, we can still mock and reject him. In what ways are we prone to reject Jesus as God?
Excerpt from JESUS THE KING by Timothy Keller
Reprinted by arrangement with Riverhead Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2011 by Timothy Keller
And from JESUS THE KING STUDY GUIDE by Timothy Keller and Spence Shelton, Copyright (c) 2015 by Zondervan, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishers.