“They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him.” – Matthew 26:66b-67
Scripture reading: Matthew 26:57-68
The Supreme Court for the Jews, the Sanhedrin, assembles in the house of Caiaphas the High Priest with an impressive list of guests—priests, elders and scribes. They await the arrival of Jesus until He is finally ushered into their presence. This is not a reception for a king, but a trial for a prisoner.
Here we encounter the riddle of King Jesus. Spiritually blind, these men in Caiaphas’ house can’t solve this riddle. Not solved by reason or logic, the riddle of King Jesus can only be solved by those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Even Peter, who once acclaimed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, sits at a distance with the temple police, an outsider, a mere observer.
Here we see King Jesus scorned and mistreated—they spit in His face, strike Him and slap Him. But do you have eyes to see? Far from contradicting His messianic claims, the sufferings of Christ corroborate them. This is what the Messiah came to do for sinners like you and me. Jesus here is actively fulfilling Isaiah’s messianic prophecy: “I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting” (Isa.50:6).
The riddle of Jesus has become the riddle of the church. The maligned King Jesus has become the maligned church which reigns with Christ in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Lord for fellowship with His sufferings in order you might also experience fellowship with His glory.
Dr. Bill DeJong is the lead pastor of Blessings Christian church in Hamilton, ON and adjunct professor of Religion and Theology at Redeemer University in Ancaster, ON. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.