When talking about Jesus’ trial, we often emphasise the kangaroo nature of the court that met at night and the inability of his accusers to agree as they brought their false accusations. However, there was an accusation that stuck and was actually true. Jesus was executed for a very specific thing and that charge was true.
Read Mark 14:43-65
Specifically focus in on this bit:
60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
63 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”
“Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”
Jesus was found guilty of declaring himself to be the Messiah, the one coming with authority, the one seated at the Father’s right hand. In fact Pilate would have him executed as “The King of the Jews.”
Now, for the Jewish leaders, this was blasphemy but of course, that depended on the assumption that Jesus’ claim was not true. If he was not who he claimed, then this was blasphemous. His opponents new full well that he was claiming divine status, nature and authority. Yet if it was true, then this was of staggering significance. These people had longed, hoped for, prepared for their Messiah to come and yet when he turned up, they simply refused to recognise him for who he was.
Sadly, even today, many people for all their religious and theological knowledge miss the significance of who Jesus and fail to put their trust in him.
Yet, for those of us who have trusted in Jesus, it is amazing to know that it was specifically as and for being the Messiah, being the King that Jesus died. In so doing, he acted as the representative of his people. He took on their identity and their guilt. Although Pilate emphasised this kingship as being over the Jews, all those who believe in Jesus are included in that people.
By dying as the anointed saviour king, Jesus died for you and me.