Friday, September 2, 2011

Blasphemy, and the Death of God.

Matthew 26:57-68 (ESV)
Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. [58] And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. [59] Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, [60] but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward [61] and said, "This man said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.' " [62] And the high priest stood up and said, "Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?" [63] But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." [64] Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." [65] Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. [66] What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death." [67] Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, [68] saying, "Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?"

“Tell us if you are the Christ, The Son of God.” Jesus answers directly enough to be tried for blasphemy. But he does so in such a way as to emphasize that the High Priest has said it, recognized it. It’s a strong claim that the High Priest does not give the consideration he should have. The consequences for being wrong are so great. Jesus claims to be “the Son” this is quite different from saying I am a child of God, or he’s a son of God, which are all nice pious ways of talking about others who indeed are children of God. Jesus is THE Son. And that is quite different. There is an exclusivity to being The Son, it means there is only one. Jesus doesn’t deny that we are children, he teaches his disciples to pray in such a manner as they address God as Father, but being The Son, is to be God himself, it is to make one equal to God, to make one’s self to be God. And that would be blasphemous for most of us. There is only one thing to do with this, and that is to put the man to death. But when Jesus rises on the third day, just as the men said he said he would, when talking about the temple, well then it is the High Priest that will be guilty of blasphemy for having killed THE Son of God. But even for that guilt there is forgiveness in the death of Christ.

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