Warfield reminds us that our Lord’s life of humiliation ‘was not his misfortune, but his achievement’ and that ‘He was never the victim but always the Master of circumstance.’ This must be borne in mind as we reflect on the Saviour obediently taking the oath. His response was clear; ‘You have said so’, meaning, ‘Yes, indeed; I am the Christ.’
…Christ was fully aware of the authority of the Sanhedrin and of his Messianic calling. He would be faithful to both. He took the oath. …Christ knew that his answer would lead to his death, but he made his noble confession and added, ‘I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ …He saw beyond the cross and the resurrection to his glorious return as Judge and he saw his enthronement at God’s right hand. In effect he was saying that when he returned the situation would be reversed. On that day his present judges would stand before his tribunal and he would be their Judge!
…All agreed that the Prisoner was guilty of blasphemy and that he should die. They refused to acknowledge his claims. ‘His own people received him not’ (John 1:11). In the full light of his character, teaching and deeds, they rejected him. The cry of their hearts was , ‘We do not want this man to reign over us’ (Luke 19:14). So answers the heart of fallen man when confronted with Christ and the challenge of his cross and his crown. Never had the members of the Sanhedrin heard a proclamation so majestic as that which fell on their ears when Christ declared his Messiahship and warned of his second advent. But unbelief and prejudice blinded them to the truth.
There is no more solemn moment than when one is confronted by the Christ of God. Is he a fraud and an imposter? or is he the world’s Saviour and the world’s Judge?
‘What think ye of Christ’ is the test
To try both your state and your scheme;
You cannot be right in the rest
Unless you think rightly of Him.
Christ’s solemn oath before Caiaphas echoes throughout the centuries. ‘Are you the Christ?’ ‘YES.’ There is the mighty rock that bears the faith of the people of God in all ages. Those who build on that foundation shall never be confounded; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it!
Taken from chapter 6, “Taking the Oath” (based on Matt.26:63-64) by Frederick S. Leahy in The Cross He Bore: Meditations on the Sufferings of the Redeemer (Banner of Truth, 1996), p.34-36.