WHY WAS JESUS ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY?
The high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61). Why was it blasphemy for Jesus to answer the high priest’s question in the positive? Didn’t the question itself reveal the first century expectation that the Messiah would also be called the Son of God? It has been well documented from the Dead Sea Scrolls that many first century Jews and rabbis thought the Messiah would be called the Son of God. So, why was it blasphemy for Jesus to reply, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62)?
They called Him a blasphemer because they rejected His claim. They saw Him as a challenger to their position and power. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they were so concerned with the great crowds following Jesus, that they called a special council meeting, concluding, “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).
Yet, calling him a blasphemer was a stretch. The law concerning blasphemy states, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 24:16). Notice that the law concerning blasphemy makes no mention of claiming to be the Messiah or Son of God.
Jesus was not a blasphemer because He did not “blaspheme the name of the Lord,” nor did He make a false claim by answering the high priest in the positive. I can find no other instance in history when Jewish authorities accused and executed a so-called Messiah. And there have been many. Jewish author, Jerry Rabow, wrote a book entitled, “Fifty Jewish Messiahs.” None of them endured the rejection and accusation that Jesus did. Why?
It was always God’s plan for His Son to come as Messiah, to be rejected and killed and on the third day to be raised again, so that we might be saved.