Summary: Jesus is in the wrong hands with the wrong attitudes and wrong justice, yet this is necessary
Jesus Professes ... The Sanhedrin Permits
Have you ever looked at a situation and thought to yourself, “That’s just wrong!!”.
(put up some pictures to give an example)
There are all sorts of situations that fit into the “That’s just wrong” category … aren’t there.
Some of these situations are funny, but some are more serious.
Human Rights Abuse.
The list goes on and on doesn’t it.
You can find these situations everywhere – you can also find it in the Scriptures.
Let’s read Matthew 26:57-68
There is so much about this passage that is just so wrong. Let me show you what I mean.
The High Priest
This was a very special calling. Firstly only those who were a direct descendent of Aaron – the brother of Moses – who was the first high priest.
So it wasn’t a job that just anyone could take.
It was also a job that came with a very significant responsibility.
The day of atonement.
This happened once a year.
Going into the Most Holy Place – to sprinkle blood on the Atonement Seat (expand)
- He had to dress a certain way; there are very exact instructions.
- He had to offer a series of sacrifices; following a very precise procedure.
- The sacrificial goat and scapegoat.
What was the purpose?
Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites (Lev 16:34)
It was like a reset button – except everything was rest as if no sin existed.
Expand briefly on the significance of this.
What sort of man would be given a responsibility like this?
One who was respected.
A holy man among holy men.
One who had great wisdom.
Knowledgeable in the Scriptures.
Able to make sound judgements.
This is the sort of man that Caiaphas the High Priest would be.
Highly esteemed and regarded.
His very job was to remind people that atonement was possible.
Jesus had been teaching that He had come to deal with sin.
He had been teaching that He was the way to the Father God.
Jesus was atonement in action.
Yet Caiaphas just scoffs at Jesus.
That’s just wrong!!
If anyone was going to understand who Jesus was and what He came to do it should have been the high-priest. Yet here he is throwing respect, and holiness, and wisdom, and sound judgement and Scripture out the window.
It’s wrong and it shouldn’t be happening. But it is happening.
The court was meant to be a place of deliberation and discussion. People are given a chance to present their case and mount a defence. Time is given for prayer and searching the Scriptures. The resulting answers were usually fair – based on a measured consideration of all the issues.
But not today!!
We all know that this whole situation is justice at its worst.
Even before they begin they have already made a verdict.
They were looking for evidence so they could put Him to death.
They know they are completely ignoring the system.
They were looking for false evidence. They had many false witnesses.
In fact there is a document called the Mishnah Tractate:- Pharisees which talks about how these proceedings should go. Let me give you a few examples.
When judging capital cases (i.e. cases where someone is put to death)
The judges go apart in pairs and take food--but they drink no wine--and discuss all night the section of Scripture bearing on the case … on the morrow they come early to the court, and the officers call on each judge to give his verdict.
This case should have at least gone into another day … but this is ignored.
The blasphemer is not guilty until he has expressly uttered the Name
Has Jesus expressly uttered the name of God in blasphemy?
All perjurers (i.e. false witnesses) are subject to the same death penalty to which their victim has been condemned.
Where are all the false witnesses who were meant to be crucified?
That’s just wrong!!
This is not a court … it is a sham. Justice is being scorned at every level.
The group who lead this are Scribes and Pharisees and respected lay people in the community. The whole process was made so that people who needed justice would be protected.
Yet that is missing here.
Instead of justice that all have determined what the outcome will be even before Jesus steps through the door. All they want to do is have Jesus put to death and out of the way.
It’s wrong and it shouldn’t be happening. But it is.
It’s just plain wrong!!
That is what many people see when they look at this passage.
Indeed, for many, this is the passage which proves that the Jews where the ones primarily responsible for putting Jesus to death.