Summary: The Holy God faces an unjust trial that purchases our justification! Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Holiness on trial. Lk22:66-23:25. NWCC 13 March 2005

The Call to Worship had just been pronounced starting Easter Sunday Morning service in an East Texas church. The choir started its processional, singing "Up from the Grave He Arose" as they marched in perfect step down the centre aisle to the front of the church. The last lady was wearing shoes with very slender heels. Without a thought for her fancy heels, she marched toward the grating that covered that hot air register in the middle of the aisle. Suddenly the heel of one shoe sank into the hole in the register grate. In a flash she realized her predicament. Not wishing to hold up the whole processional, without missing a step, she slipped her foot out of her shoe and continued marching down the aisle. There wasn’t a hitch. The processional moved with clock-like precision. The first man after her spotted the situation and without losing a step, reached down and pulled up her shoe, but the entire grate came with it! Surprised, but still singing, the man kept on going down the aisle, holding in his hand the grate with the shoe attached. Everything still moved like clockwork. Still in tune and still in step, the next man in line stepped into the open register and disappeared from sight. The service took on a special meaning that Sunday, for just as the choir ended with "Alleluia! Christ arose!" a voice was heard under the church shouting..."I hope all of you are out of the way ’cause I’m coming out now!" The little girl closest to the aisle shouted, "Come on, Jesus! We’ll stay out of the way."

Contributed by: Bob Hager on


But here we are before Easter day. In the dark time. With Jesus on trial

- the one who will judge the world, being judged

- the one who will judge in justice standing before two cowardly judges and a prejudiced council

The ironies and contrasts are striking!

An unjust system convicts the one who is holy

- and… but… in God’s justice and plan… this INJUSTICE purchases our pardon!

- Jesus stands in an unjust court and gets injustice

- We shall stand in a just court and get what we don’t deserve, as well

o We shall be ’justified’

o And the legal basis for that pardon comes from here

" … from this travesty of justice

Is 53:8 "By oppression and judgement He was taken away"

- but do you see how big God’s plans are?

- NONE of this was a mistake


There wasn’t a second when the Father was out of control… nor the Son out of control

- there were times of agony and doubt

o real anguish. Being cut off from His Father

But the plans and purposes for man’s salvation were being worked out

- the plans for the ’lamb slain before the foundation of the world’

It’s evident in Jesus’ silence. (and speech, too)

- HE is in control!

- The man who had walked right through the crowd in Lk 4… was still in control, here

You can sense it in the frustration of Pilate:

JN 19:8 "Where do you come from?" he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

And you hear who is in control in Jesus’ reply:

JN 19:11 Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Jesus’ silence holds a mirror to the lives of those around Him- revealing their motives and their manners.

But there’s more in Jesus’ silence.

- it shows He is the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (as JTB exclaimed)

- it shows He is the Lamb of God as Isaiah 53 proclaims:

ISA 53:7 He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth;

he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,

so he did not open his mouth.

The Passover lamb slain for us. Slain in our place


There’s much more of the Passover lamb in here

- the lamb that was slain so that God’s people could go free (at the time of the Exodus, Exodus 12)

EX 12:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 "This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire--head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.

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