Summary: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour". No lying. A sermon about the breaking of this commandment by the members of the Sanhedrin. Contrasted with the truthfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The tongue is just a little piece of muscle. It has 10 000 taste buds, it weighs 70 grams, it is essential in chewing, swallowing, licking and speaking. The tongue is very useful. But it is also very sinful. James 3:8 "The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison". Two of the ten commandments deal with sins of the tongue. The 3rd - "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain" and the 9th - "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour". It is the second of these that we are going to consider in this message. Here God forbids lying. In what ways do people lie? People who promise to come to church but don’t. People who have never repented yet they pretend to be Christians. Ministers who do not preach the truth of God’s word to their congregations.
Let’s focus on Jesus being tried in a ’kangaroo court’. Around Him are the Sanhedrin. Apart from Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea and Gamaliel, the rest are a bunch of liars.
1. THE INTENTION OF THE LEADERSHIP
"The chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death".
The members of the council intended to get rid of Jesus once and for all. They were prepared to use lies to achieve their objective. Their father was the devil. John 8:44 "Ye are of your father the devil...When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it". Satan is the arch-liar.
2. THE INACCURACY OF THE LIARS
"At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days".
They misquoted the words of the Saviour in John 2:19. His actual words were - "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up". The two liars claimed that Christ was speaking about Herod’s Temple but He was really speaking about His body, which would be destroyed by crucifixion but raised from the dead on the third day.
There are many inaccurate notions about Jesus still flying around today. Just a week ago a homosexual paraded through the streets of Belfast with a placard saying our Lord was a homosexual. A terrible blasphemy. We pray that God will have mercy on this poor, benighted soul.
3. THE INNOCENCE OF THE LORD
"Jesus saith unto him, 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".
The witnesses spoke lies. Christ spoke the truth. He told the truth amid a bunch of liars. In Revelation 1:5 He is called "the faithful witness".
One final, solemn thought. The silence. "Jesus held his peace". It is an awful thing when God is silent. Beware, dear sinner, lest you experience the silence of God.
O sinner, the Spirit is striving with thee.
What if He should strive never more?
But leave thee alone in thy darkness to dwell
In sight of the heavenly shore?