3 - Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin

            We adore you O Christ and we bless you

All        because by your holy cross

you have redeemed the world.


Bible Reading - Mark 14:55-64

Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.” 59But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?’ 61But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah,* the Son of the Blessed One?’ 62Jesus said, ‘I am; and

“you will see the Son of Man

seated at the right hand of the Power”,

and “coming with the clouds of heaven.”

63Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘Why do we still need witnesses? 64You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?’ All of them condemned him as deserving death.



This is chaos.  They can’t get their stories straight and rather than throw out the whole case the High Priest turns his anger on Jesus.  Doesn’t he have an answer?  Well, don’t they have a clear charge?  It is Jesus’ use of the divine name, ‘I am’, that makes the High Priest lose his patience.  This is misplaced religious devotion.  He is not so upset by the poorly prepared case, but mention the divine name and Jesus deserves death!  Jesus gives a clear answer that he is the Messiah, the anointed one, the promised one.  In the face of that there are only two responses: bow down and pay homage or reject him, in their case with murderous intent.


Lord Jesus,

we give you thanks and praise

because you faced a mocking trial before the Sanhedrin.

Be with all who cry for justice

and a fair hearing today.  Amen.



             O Saviour of the world

who by your cross and precious blood redeemed us

All        Save us and help us we humbly beseech you, O Lord.