Do you answer nothing? What is it these men testify against you?To the surprise of all who were present, the defendant made no response. The high priest stepped up his efforts:
I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!Breaking his silence, the defendant responded in agreement:
It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.The defendant, bearing the common 1st century Jewish name of “Jesus,” identified himself as both the “son of God” and the “son of Man.” If this were not puzzling enough, the Gospel writer records the unusual reaction of the high priest:
Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think?”The response of the other religious leaders was predictable:
They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.”Why did Jesus’ claim to be both Son of God and Son of Man meet with such a vehement reaction? And what is one to make of his mysterious statement drawn from the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Daniel concerning “seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven”?This question is just one of many which this work seeks to elucidate. In doing so, it is our goal that the reader comes to understand how the seemingly untimely death of this Jewish carpenter ultimately led to the explosive growth of Christianity—an historically religious movement. More than that, we seek to understand how information penned by a man named Daniel hundreds of years prior to the birth of Jesus contributes to a proper understanding of Jesus’ claim while providing important keys for understanding the final book of the Bible written by another man named John: the book of Revelation.It is our prayer that these truths will lead the reader to acknowledge Jesus of Nazareth as being much more than a simple carpenter: the King of kings and Lord of lords risen from the dead.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:5-6) [emphasis added]
God our Savior . . . desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1Ti. 2:3-6)We invite the reader to carefully consider the free gift offered in the final chapter of the Bible:
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Rev. 22:17+)
1 Image provided by Bachiacca, Christo davati a Caifa, (1539-40). The image is in the public domain in the USA.