“But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” (Matthew 26:63-66)
The other occasion when Christ broke His silence during His trial was when He was put under oath by the high priest to do so. When the high priest charged Him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ,” Jesus answered, “It is as you say.” His claim to deity was most definite, immediately resulting in His denunciation as a “blasphemer,” not to mention a unanimous call for His execution.
Christ was not condemned for His crimes, but for His claims. According to Mark’s Gospel (Mark 14:61-64), Christ claimed to be the great “I Am,” as well as “the Christ, the Son of the Blessed.” He also claimed that He would “sit on the right hand of power”; that is, that he would “be given all power in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Furthermore, He claimed that He would prove it by “coming in the clouds of heaven,” or as He promised in Matthew 24:30, “coming [again] in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Since Christ claimed to be God, we must receive Him as God or reject Him altogether! There is no lesser plane upon which we may receive Christ. We cannot receive Him as many in our world attempt to, as merely a “good man” or a “great teacher.” There is no middle ground when it comes to Christ!
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.” (C. S. Lewis)