HOLY WEEK: TUESDAY

Read: Luke 22v66-23v1 

At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”

He replied, “You say that I am.”

Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 

Meditate: This council was meeting because over the course of the previous three years Jesus had been doing and saying things that were outrageous in terms of the world-views and hopes of those in power in Jerusalem.

All of this came to a head when he had come into the city on a donkey and had challenged their power-base by going to the Temple and throwing out the traders. Jesus was acting out a powerful symbol. The Temple was under God’s judgment. All its meaning and history as the place where God met with his people was now being drawn to a different place. To a person.

But only one person who has rights over the Temple - The king. The messiah. The anointed one. Anyone else would be punished for high treason. 

In his response, Jesus alludes to a famous Old Testament passage (Daniel 7). In the scene, four mythological monsters come up out of the sea to attack God’s people. The last one is the most arrogant. But then God acts, snatching up the ‘one like a son of man’ and vindicating him, setting him in authority at the right hand of the mighty God.

This is the coming of the kingdom of God. 

Pray: Today there are many in the world who face unjust courts and prosecutors whose sole concern is to discredit and enslave them. Pray for them, and for God’s justice to flourish throughout the world.

Lord Jesus, you experienced in person torture and death as a prisoner of conscience. You were beaten and flogged and sentenced to an agonizing death though you had done no wrong. Be now with prisoners of conscience throughout the world. Be with them in their fear and loneliness, in the agony of physical and mental torture, and in the face of execution and death. Stretch out your hands in power to break their chains. Be merciful to the oppressor and the torturer, and place a new heart within them. Forgive all injustice in our lives, and transform us to be instruments of your peace, for by your wounds we are healed. - Amnesty International, Prayers for Peace

Engage: Watch “Grace’s Story” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=RohCIHXBZxY> and pray for the poor, the widow and the orphan.