Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Jesus' Trial (Easter Story 4) (Isaiah 53:7, Matt 26:57-68, 69-75, Matt 27:1-10, 11-15, Luke 23:6-25, Romans 11:16-18)

"The lamb of God to take away the sins of the world."
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

This part of the Easter Story is about all the legal battles Jesus and the disciples faced.  Each group of people from Romans to Jewish leaders and more had an agenda.  Don't be deceived though, it was no surpirse to God.  His agenda was to give us a Savior so we could live with Him and get out of this crazy world.  The only way God can forgive is by a sacrifice, so He sacrificed Himself.

Isaiah 53:7
"7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth."

Jesus' trial before the High Priest, Caiaphas

Matt 26:57-68
57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled...
The chief priests and elders tried to find a reason to convict Jesus according to their interpretation of the law.  They found false witnesses to testify against Him, but nothing that would require His death.  
60...But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, "This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.'" 
62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, "Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?" 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!
64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?"
They answered and said, "He is deserving of death.
67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, "Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?

Peter's trial

Peter experienced his trial.  He swore before the disciples and Jesus that he would never deny Christ at the Last Supper.  My heart breaks for Peter at this moment.  His sorrow must have been so overwhelming, he was confused and scared.  But, Jesus has a very special way of restoring Peter after His Resurrection.  He still waits to restore us today when we ask Him too.
Matt 26:69-75
69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee." 
70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying." 
71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth." 
72 But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!" 
73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you." 
74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!"

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly. 

Jesus' trial before Pontius Pilate

Next Jesus was taken to the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. The Chief Priests wanted Jesus to be crucified by Romans, so they wouldn't look bad in front of the Jewish people during Passover.  Pilate saw this as a religious squabble and didn't want to get involved.
Matt 27:1-2, 11-14
1 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2 And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor. 
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?"
Jesus said to him, "It is as you say."  12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. 
13 Then Pilate said to Him, "Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?" 14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. 

Judas' trial

Judas faced his trial.  As I read his reaction, I became more convinced he was a thief and sincerely didn't realize the consequences of his actions- he was overwhelmed by greed.  He may have admired the way Jesus slipped through crowds, and avoided danger.  Jesus handled Himself well, He'd be fine.  But this time was different, Jesus was condemned!  There is an honor among thieves.  It's ok to steal and cheat other thieves.  But it's not ok to hurt or betray another thief.  When in danger or harm, thieves will protect each other.  Judas became convicted of his sin, thinking if he gave the money back he would be forgiven.  He was looking in the wrong place for forgiveness.  Money can't buy it.  Only a sacrifice with grace and mercy can.
Matt 27:3-10
3 Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood."
And they said, "What is that to us? You see to it!" 
5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself. 

Chief Priest's trial

A bizarre interpretation of the law.  It's ok to purchase and trick a person into betraying Jesus.  But it's not ok to put the money back into the treasury?  God was not deceived by any of it.
6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, "It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood." 7 And they consulted together and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 
9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10 and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me." 

Jesus' trial before Herod

Next Jesus was taken to Herod.  Herod Antipas was the ruler over Galilee and Perea, a client state of the Roman Empire.  He was the grandson of Herod the Great.  Herod the Great ordered the massacre of all Jewish babies after Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, seeking to destroy Him.  Like Pilate, Herod Antipas also saw this as a religious squabble of little importance.  I'm sure the Jews' reputation dropped substantially after each encounter with the Roman rulers.  But God had a bigger plan for the Passover sacrifice this year.
Luke 23:6-12
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. 7 And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9 Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day, Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other. 

Jesus' Sentence

Pilate was faced with what to do with Jesus again.  He had a policy of releasing one prisoner during Passover for the Jews.  It was a kind of peacemaking gesture to the Jews.  I believe he meant to show the people their foolishness by offering Barabbas instead of crucifying Jesus.  But they would not give in.  God had plans for the Passover sacrifice.
Matt 27:15
Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished. 

Luke 23:13-25
13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, "You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him" 17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast). 
18 And they all cried out at once, saying, "Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas" —  19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder. 
20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" 
22 Then he said to them the third time, "Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go." 
23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.  24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

Jesus came for the Jews first, and then for those of us who are Gentiles.  The Apostle Paul, one of the first  Jews for Jesus, said that the root is Jesus.  The firstfruit are the Jews, the Gentiles (us) have been grafted in.  It's easy for those of us who know the whole story to criticize the Jews, but God still has a plan for them.  The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are written on the gates into the New Jerusalem- Heaven.  God still loves His people.

Romans 11:16-18
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 
Paul's Hebrew name was, "Saul."

Dear Heavenly Father, 
I continue to pray for peace in Jerusalem, Europe and the middleast.  Please protect those who are in harms way facing persecution.  Let Your love surround them with hope and strength.  Send the angels to protect and hide them.  Grant us wisdom as we seek to elect a new President.  Thank You for hope secured in our hearts like an anchor.  Help us count our blessings,in good times and bad.  Please bless Ukraine and help them stay strong.  May the right win and the wrong fail.  I pray You will spread Your wings of love over those who lost loved ones in Europe.  Keep them safe Father.

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
  as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
  Yes. Yes. Yes.
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)

In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen   

Don Francisco, Watch the Lamb (link) 

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