Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.
Nowhere is it ever shown in Scripture that the priests and Pharisees sought the face of God in this matter. Nowhere in the Bible do the priests pray about these decisions they are making and seek out God’s counsel instead of each other’s. They had already been tailoring the law to suit themselves and disregarding those most important commandments of all. Their blackened hearts had been camouflaged for a while under the guise of religion, but eventually their true hearts were revealed—and revealed most apparently in their treatment of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God.
But does that really surprise us? Many today stand in judgment of God and deem Him worthy to be put to death. Many would cast Him aside without ever realizing who He really is. Many today would just as soon erase Jesus Christ from the world if they had the chance so they could continue on doing whatever they wanted to do. But these kinds of attitudes just reveal the flaws of human reasoning. This story of the Pharisees just shows the overwhelming pride in the hearts of men to judge a sinless God guilty and condemn an innocent man to death.
But what is our response and our attitude when we’re confronted with the truth of Jesus Christ? What happens in our hearts when we’re convicted by His holiness and righteousness? What do we do when a hard truth is exposed to us by His glorious light? Do we ever try to stand in judgment of God rather than submit to Him? Do we try to push Him away so we won’t feel uncomfortable or have to change? We’re not immune to these kinds of things. Jesus Himself exposed what really dwells in the hearts of men, and sometimes those things of our flesh win out. Sometimes our human reasoning tries to justify our attitudes and behaviors even as they directly oppose God.
Could it be that the Pharisees had transferred their own sense of sin and guilt onto Jesus? Could it be that they wanted so much for Him to be wrong because they couldn’t face being wrong themselves? Let’s not adopt that attitude in our own lives. Let’s not see a recognition of our sinfulness as a bad thing, but an opportunity to experience the love and grace of God. Let’s not retreat from God when His truth challenges our pride. But may we be willing to accept His truth, to receive His mercy and forgiveness and to move forward in lives that please Him. Let’s not judge Jesus to be the guilty one, but understand our own guilt and our need for Him to be our Savior.