Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” – Matthew 26:57-68 (NLT)
Jesus uses for the second time in this chapter the Greek phrase that is translated as “you have said so.” This time he uses it when the high priest asks him if he was the Christ “the son of the Living God.” Jesus’ answer here is not yes. But more like, “You tell me.” The other time Jesus used this phrase is in response to Judas asking if he was going to be the one to betray Jesus. In both instances the ultimate answer is yes, but it is not this answer that gets Jesus the charge of blasphemy. The charge of blasphemy comes from Jesus’ next words “you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Jesus is using an Old Testament prophecy from Daniel 7:13-14 to declare his divinity. This is veiled for those who do not know what Jesus is referring to here but it is definitely picked up by the high priest. Caiaphas tears his robes, which is prohibited in the Mosaic law for the high priest to do. Jesus’s blatant statement of his divinity causes the high priest to lose his mind so much that he breaks the Old Covenant by ripping his clothing. This acknowledgement of Jesus that he is God in human form is the reason he is crucified. They had nothing on him until this statement. Jesus willingly gave himself up for us. This should give us awe and wonder.
Why did Jesus give himself up for us? What does that mean for you? How should you respond to this amazing gesture of love and sacrifice?