Mark 14:55-65: ‘Worthy is the Lamb’
“55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. 57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.”’ 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?’ 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ 62 ‘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.’ 63 The high priest tore his clothes. ‘Why do we need any more witnesses?’ he asked. 64 ‘You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 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.” NIV UK
‘There was no other good enough to pay the price of sin; He only could unlock the gate of heaven and let us in.’
It is evident that there was no obvious reason to put Jesus to death (55-59). But the authorities had decided that they wanted Him out of the way. So they scraped around for something to charge Him with. However, it was all to no avail.
But when Jesus answered the question of (61b) in the affirmative (62), they knew they had Him. From His own lips Jesus had shown Himself to be a blasphemer. To say you are the Messiah when you are not the Messiah – well, that is blasphemy in the clearest terms. What more was needed? (63, 64a). They could get on with removing Him from the world.
However, Jesus was the Messiah. He is the Messiah. Therefore the use of the word ‘’worthy’’ in (64b) is ironic. Jesus was ‘’worthy’’ to die in ways they knew not. Only He, the perfect, spotless, Lamb of God is ‘’worthy’’ to take away ‘’the sin of the world’’ (John 1:29). He was certainly not ‘’worthy’’ of the treatment meted out on Him that day (65). Everyone else in that room deserved punishment from Him – for their sins. He did not deserve any punishment from them. He was sinless. But He was ‘’worthy’’ to bear their sins ‘’in his body on the tree’’ (1 Peter 2:24), and that is what He went on to do.
So we join in the song of heaven:
‘’You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you have purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation…Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honour and glory and praise!’’ (Revelation 5:9 and 12).
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, we want to say ‘thank you’ for what you went through for our sakes.