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Archive for March 12th, 2020


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Mark 14:53-65: The Sanhedrin

Munkacsy: Christ Before Pilate

Mihály Munkacsy: Christ Before Pilate

In an era awash with stagecraft, deception, and false news, We pause today with Mark’s Gospel to ask ourselves: How much have we humans progressed in the discernment of truth? 

We have been reflecting this week on vignettes from the last of Jesus’ days in Jerusalem and today we pause for a time in the Gospel of Mark:

The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none.

So what and who are the Sanhedrin?  How and why did they hold power over Jesus?  When and where do we become members of this body?

Many gave false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree.

We have found ourselves drawn in to petty arguments at work and home.  What is the witness we bear to others?  Does it enlighten or obscure?

Some took the stand and testified falsely against him.

We are asked to stand with those who lie in order to defend a structure or system that is corrupt.  Do we join the rabble?  Do we witness honestly?

The high priest rose before the assembly and questioned Jesus.

We are often asked to follow leaders who have private agendas and secret goals.  Do we preserve the community at all costs?  Do we speak truth with mercy and without rancor?

But Jesus was silent and answered nothing.

We may find ourselves hoping for swift and total retribution from God.  Are we lusting after our own outcomes?  Are we seeing conflict through our own prejudices?

The high priest tore his garments.

We will see leaders manipulate and cajole us.  Do we placate the out-of-control tyrant?  Do we make ourselves small so as to go unnoticed?

They all condemned him as deserving to die.

We hear rumors and whispers about a loved one or a perceived enemy.  Do we align ourselves with those who have our same goals in order to tip the balance of an argument in our favor?

Some began to spit on him.

We see others allowing consumed by hatred and greed.  Do we join them in a headlong rush to condemn?

They blindfolded him and struck him.

We watch as the innocent are brutalized and marginalized.  Do we join in the fray in order to protect ourselves?

The guards greeted him with blows.

We see bullies gather force as they sweep the small-minded and self-preserving into a tsunami of cowardice against the guiltless.  Do we stand up to oppression? Do we speak from truth or hide in fear?

Do we consider where we stand in the chorus of the Sanhedrin?


Image from: http://madamepickwickartblog.com/2012/08/the-temple-affair-politics-and-religion-dont-mix/

A re-post from March 12, 2013.

For information that will enlighten and inform our reflection, go to The Jewish Virtual Library at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Sanhedrin.html and the Sanhedrin page of the Famous Trials website we have cited earlier this week http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/sanhedrin.html

 

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