Matthew 12:14 reveals to us the pressure Jesus was under. He was sought as a criminal from early in His ministry. Read these words and let them soak into your soul. Put yourself in Jesus sandals. “Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.” Think of this. The leaders of the temple, the religious leaders with all their piety are scheming on how to KILL Jesus. In John’s gospel we read how Jesus had to travel under the cover of darkness and in the shadows to avoid being seen. He stayed in the desert, lonely places, and near the shore to insure a quick retreat. John the beloved disciple writes in his gospel, “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him,” and how these leaders stirred the Jews up to the point of wanting to stone Jesus. (Matthew 10:31) Too make matters even worse, the Pharisees consulted with the Herodians about this and they are arch enemies. (Mark 3:6)
The gospels reveal in great detail how the Sanhedrin was on a “witch hunt” against a man who was healing, raising the dead, showing the masses the way to heaven, and offering hope to a people who had long awaited their Messiah. Now, The Messiah is among them and they are rejecting Him. Who knew the Scriptures better than the Pharisees? The Word (Jesus) was LIVING and breathing and touchable and they are blinded by their religiosity. Jesus was a hunted man. He was wanted dead or alive. Dead was better.
Innocence does not guarantee freedom from accusation. We expect our innocence to protect us and this expectation can lead to our destruction. Jesus knew what His accusers were up too.
Crime against innocent people happens all the time: Theft of goods from a store owner, homeowner, industry. Murder of individuals who are just in the wrong place. Embezzlement. Stealing another’s spouse. Rape. Incest. Abuse of women, children, and the elderly. Assault. Abortion. Just turn on the evening news. Jesus feels the hurt. He was despised and rejected. He was led to the slaughter like a Lamb. He was pierced (stabbed). He was beaten. He was spit upon. He had His beard plucked out. He was humiliated (hung to die naked). (Isaiah 53:3-4) He was mocked. He was taken to a high point and a crowd attempted to throw Him off of it. (Luke 4:29) A crowd tried to stone Him. (John 8:59) Herod tried to murder Him as an infant. (Matthew 2:16) A life of laying low to be able to prove who He is until He purposely rode into Jerusalem on a donkey and was hailed, “King of the Jews!” (Matthew 21:1-11)
Innocence does not insure we will not be put on trial. Does not insure a not guilty verdict. Does not insure we will not get the death penalty. In Heaven’s eyes we are NOT GUILTY when we trust Jesus as Lord and Savior. Should you find yourself in this position, God forbid, may you rest in the knowledge you are in the best of company. Jesus too, was innocent of no wrongdoing and was “found guilty as charged” and received the death penalty. In His willingness to do so, He paid our sin debt and we were declared NOT GUILTY!
https://youtu.be/uc6-roDSpBo Not Guilty by Mandisa
Father, thank You for the gift of grace and innocence. This gift cost You everything. May I prove my thanks by Faith that does not waiver. May I wear the title of Christian proudly and unashamedly. In Jesus precious and Holy name. Amen.