S32P6 – A future look at Jesus: accused
Therefore, I will divide and give Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoils with the mighty, because He poured out His life to death, and was counted among the transgressors; yet He himself bore and took away the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.
In our criminal justice system, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This means that a qualified factfinder must weigh the evidence and determine guilt. This presumption is so integral to our notions of justice that criminal defendants are guaranteed representation. Granted, a public defender may not perform as devotedly as a privately retained defense attorney. However, the goal is for fairness in defense when a person’s freedom is on the line. Mob mentality cannot reign supreme. The proper procedure must be followed to ensure that the accused is tried fairly. An accusation is only that. It is not a finding of guilt, although it may carry such weight in the court of public opinion. Knowing with certainty that Jesus was innocent of all crimes, that He was perfect, He did not hang on a cross because He was guilty. He was merely accused, and wrongfully at that.
The punishment that Jesus Christ suffered was legally and factually unjust. We know this simply because He was sinless. The words He spoke that were offered as evidence of his blasphemy were only the truth. He is the son of God, and He came to share that good news. He is the Messiah that the nation of Israel awaited. He stated that He is these things because it is true. Speaking the words given to him by the Father, and doing only what was within the Father’s will, brought heavy accusations. Self-serving hatred on the part of the day’s religious leaders worked hard to take those accusations and bring a conviction. What He was accused of being was in essence a sinner, one of us. And though He was not what He was accused of being, He took on the consequences of that mantle for us. Ironically, the blasphemy was committed by those who declared that Jesus is not the Christ.
The perfect and spotless Lamb of God came to Earth and allowed himself to be accused of being just like us. Not only that, He bore the punishment for our sins even though He was guilty of none. Although perfect, He allowed mankind to place on him the mantle of imperfection so that we could remove ours. He was herded into the long line of criminals and sinners who justly endured their punishment, but his was unjust. Jesus could not be fairly convicted of a crime because He never committed a crime. The accusations against him operated as a conviction because of their source, but no man could ever find guilt in Jesus. That would be the most fruitless of searches. Father, we thank You for your perfect Son who, although accused, remained without guilt.