The night Jesus was betrayed by Judas, he stood trial before Caiaphas the high priest and witnesses were sought so that they could put Jesus to death, yet they found none. Finally, they found two false witnesses who said, “this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.”
However, Jesus never said such a thing. Instead, Jesus had said, “destroy this temple (a reference to his body) and I will raise it in three days.” (see John 2).
At this false accusation, the high priest arose, and said to Jesus, “Answerest thou nothing? What is it which these witness against thee? ”But Jesus held his peace, and the high priest then said to Him, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.”
Under the Law, the High Priest had the authority to demand a person to speak up if they knew something to be the truth.
In response to this authoritative demand, Jesus says, “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.”
Everyone in the room understood that this was Messianic language, and that Jesus had just declared, under oath, that he is the Messiah, the Son of God, the King of Israel.
In response to Jesus’ declaration that he indeed is the Messiah, the high priest then tore his priestly garment – an offence which was punishable by death under the Law. In the presence of Jesus, (the King of Israel) Caiaphas had nullified his own priesthood.
At this point there was only one true high priest standing in the room, and they did not know him. They did not know that Jesus was both the lamb of God, and the high priest who would offer himself without spot to God.