Summary: This examination of the trial of Jesus challenges us to consider our our faith.
BELIEVING JESUS COMPLETELY
Are you a believer? If you are what difference is it making in your life? A man who was an avowed atheist was enjoying a swim in the ocean when out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of a dorsal fin, headed right for him. He began to swim wildly toward the beach but the fin drew closer and closer. Finally in desperation he cried out, “Dear God in Heaven Help Me!” All of the sudden a bright light shown down from heaven, it was as if time was standing still, and a the voice of God spoke, “I thought you we an atheist and didn’t believe in me yet you want me to help you?” Well the atheist did some quick thinking and replied, “You are right God I don’t believe in you and so I’m not really asking help for myself I’m just asking that you will make that shark that is chasing me a Christian.”
God responded, “Your petition is granted.” At which point the shark rose up out of the waters, folded his fins and prayed, “I thank thee O Lord for this meal I am about to receive.”
Well I don’t imagine we have any atheist here this morning, but among those of you who are here I would imagine there is a wide range when it comes to your belief. Some of you may have a seeking faith, others of you a struggling faith, still others a kind of apathetic faith, and for some your faith if rock solid. Wherever you are at the events surrounding the trial of Jesus before he was crucified give us pause for examining our own faith. I want to read just a portion of what went on from Mark 14:53-65.
The religious leaders of the day were faced with a dilemma, what were they going to do with Jesus? We read of their decision. The reality is that you and I are faced with the same decision, what are you going to do with Jesus? The biblical account of Jesus trial suggest some choices we have.
I. PUT JESUS ON TRIAL (53-65)
It is OK to do this to honestly seek the truth about Jesus, to want
proof. A couple of things to watch out for...
A. The danger of preconception. Jesus condemned before trial.
1. 55,56 They couldn’t find evidence but it didn’t stop their
plan to have Jesus put to death.
2. Preconception...Jesus is Love how could he condemn anyone
How could he heal some and not others? How could he let
this happen to me? Jesus is Judge. I can’t measure up.
B. The dilemma of unfairness.
1. The trial was not Legal according to the Sanhedrin’s own
rules. (A council of 71 leaders, Chief priests, elders, experts
In the law) 3 things wrong..
a. Held at night, Jewish law said trials must be held in daytime
b. Met in the wrong place, Sanhedrin was to meet only in the
Hall set aside for that purpose, held at house of high priest
c.Prohibited by law from rendering verdict on same day that
the trial was held.
2.Some of you have heard of Lew Wallace, the famous governor, general, and literary genius. Wallace agreed to write a book that would forever explain the "myth" of Christianity. For two years, Mr. Wallace studied the leading libraries of Europe and America, seeking information that would enable him to destroy Christianity. While writing the second chapter of his book, he suddenly found himself on his knees, crying out, "My Lord, and my God." He could no longer deny that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Later, Lew Wallace wrote Ben-Hur, probably the greatest novel that has been written concerning the time of Christ.
II. SELL OUT JESUS (43-45)
A. The Sin of Judas
1. Betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver
2. His character was one of greed, see John 12:4-6
3. Sin of betrayal brought on by deeper problem of greed, the
worship of money.
B. The struggle you and I face.
1. We too can be drawn to worship things, money, possession
rather than Jesus.
2. Matthew 6:24...which master do you serve?
III. FORSAKE JESUS BECAUSE OF FEAR (66-72)
A. Peter denied Jesus in an antagonistic atmosphere.
1. Few hours before he had be confident, when they came for
Jesus, he had been ready to go to battle(vs 47) but in the
Enemy territory He denied Jesus...
2. Do you have antagonistic atmospheres in your life?
B. Beware of circumstances determining faith commitment
1. I Peter 3:14,15
2. We prepare right now for the difficult circumstances, those
times when it becomes hard to live out our faith.
IV. FORSAKE JESUS BECAUSE OF THE CROWD
A. Look at the Crowd–The need to belong is strong!