Deuteronomy 21:15-23:14; Mark 14:51-72
Because the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Many of the laws in this section of scripture pertain to sexual morality which correlates with the 7th commandment: “Do not commit adultery.”
One law from yesterday’s reading directly applies to today’s reading from Mark…
A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established (Deuteronomy 19:15).
The trial described in Mark 14 takes place before the High Priest, Caiaphas. This trial is highly irregular. Firstly, it takes place at Caiaphas’ house. Secondly, it is in the middle of the night. Whoever heard of a trial taking place in the middle of the night? Everything about this trial seems clandestine. They can’t find corroborating testimony, and in the end… Jesus, himself, provides the condemning testimony.
The injustice of this trial is preposterous. I almost wonder if Mark precedes his description of the trial with verse 52 – as a literary commentary on the absurdity of it all..
And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked (Mark 14:52).
This entire scene… the naked man, the middle-of-the-night-trial, Peter’s denials – it all seems nightmarish – yet it was part of God’s plan.
Jesus’ death is the ultimate example of God bringing good out of suffering. Even though the circumstances of this night seemed out of control, God knew what He was doing. He was the one orchestrating the farce of a trial – not the unjust Sanhedrin. This should be a great comfort as we experience confounding and difficult circumstances – that God is the orchestrator; He has a plan, and His plan is good.