Farmville Enterprise June 26, 2019
After Jesus was arrested he was taken to Caiaphas, the high priest. The chief priests and the Sanhedrin, or the Jewish people’s supreme council and court of justice, were looking for false testimony against him so they could sentence him to death. Finally, two people came forward and reported that Jesus said he was able to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. Of course, in retrospect we know that he actually was referring to his body and not the temple building. “The high priest said to him [Jesus], “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ ‘Yes, it is as you say,’ Jesus replied. But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.’” (Matthew 26: 63b-64) Jesus used the term “Son of Man” 80 times to describe himself. 32 of those were recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and 26 in the Gospel of Luke. Here it was clear to the Jewish leaders that Jesus was proclaiming himself divine. To them, this was blasphemy and an atrocious act deserving of punishment. The Jews were eagerly awaiting The Messiah and many of them were not pleased that Jesus essentially was claiming to be just that.
His statement in Matthew 26 was reminiscent of an important prophecy in Daniel. “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” (Daniel 7:13-14) “The Ancient of Days” was a name that Daniel used for God.
The good news is that the Triune God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit- has all authority, glory and power and will reign forever. We can have joy and assurance because of this truth, expressed so beautifully in a hymn I remember singing as a child.
“Holy God, we praise Thy name; Lord of all, we bow before Thee. All on earth thy scepter claim, All in heaven above adore Thee; Infinite Thy vast domain, Everlasting is Thy reign. Infinite Thy vast domain, Everlasting is Thy reign.”