And the high priest, arisen into the centre, questioned Jesus, stating, “You are not responding. What are these testifying against you?” But he was remaining silent and did not respond at all.
“Arisen”? Again. This time, it’s the high priest. He’s “arisen” to where he wants to be - in “the centre”. His approach to the problem (his problem and their problem regarding evidence) is to pretend to Jesus that what he and they have heard about him is absolutely overwhelming. But Jesus says nothing.
Again, the high priest questioned him and states to him, “You are the Christ, the son of the blessed one?” But Jesus said, “I am, and you will discern the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power, and coming with the clouds of the sky.”
The accusation of the high priest against Jesus is confirmed by Jesus. What is remarkable is that this first piece of true testimony is unwittingly spoken by the high priest. Jesus then states that all of them (the “you” is plural) "will discern" what will become two key confirmations of this true testimony. How? The death and resurrection of Jesus would, within weeks become the most powerful message the world has ever seen. And Jesus himself would, as he stated, come with “the clouds of heaven” to all who call upon his name. True indeed.
But the high priest, tearing his own garments, states, “What additional testifiers do we have need of? You heard the blasphemy. What lights you all?” So, they all condemned him to be deserving death.
Two unusual things here. First, “tearing his own garments”. This action was no doubt intended to alert the whole assembly as to the decision they must take. But it may also indicate the harm which he was doing to his own self.
Second, “What lights you all?” This unusual way to call for the required verdict leads one to think about whether the light within them was, in fact, darkness. Especially when one recalls that Peter, Jesus’ disciple, was “warming himself near the light” before (page 45) denying all knowledge of Jesus. Am I getting comfort from those who know that Jesus is a fraud?