Summary: Look at the choices of three men with authority, who have the privilege of meeting Jesus face-to-face in His last week on earth. Learn from their mistakes, and take responsibility for our choices in life.

Mark 14:55-65, 15:1-15

Take Responsibility for Your Life

God bless us with the freedom of choice.

• We have in our hands the power of choosing what we want in life.

Every choice has a consequence. By not choosing, that itself is a choice.

• By not choosing, we are allowing life to go on without a deliberate intervention.

• That itself is a choice – we are deciding not to take sides, not to change path.

Bro/sis, your choice is important today; very important.

• Every choice, including simple decision like whether to wake up early today and go to church, whether I should attend Sunday School class afterwards, all has its consequences.

• Don’t think that by NOT making a decision, you’re not paying a price for it. You are!

• Even a simple thing like sleeping through on Sunday morning and skip church, you’re depriving yourself of worship of God, and His Word, and that means you’re not building up your faith (faith comes from hearing the Word), and your roots are not deepening.

Don’t let life go on in an auto-mode. By doing so, you are already making a choice to let things be.

• And you’re paying. You’re moving and you’re wasting your time.

• So treasure the power of choice that God has given us.

• Joshua tells the people of Israel (Josh 24:15): “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then CHOOSE for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

We want to look at the choices of three men – all men of authority – who were given the privilege of meeting Jesus face-to-face in His last week on earth. They questioned Him and made choices, and we’re going to learn from their mistakes.

1. High Priest Caiaphas – head of Sanhedrin, Jewish council.

2. Roman Governor Pontius Pilate – overseeing Judea

3. Ruler of Galilee Herod Antipas

The first one was the high priest Caiaphas (Matt 26:57) – he was the first person Jesus faced after His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was taken to the courtyard of this high priest - Peter followed, and denied knowing Him three times at this place.

[Read Mark 14:55-65]

• As the head of the Jewish council (Sanhedrin), Caiaphas questioned Jesus and then condemned Him - declaring Him guilty of blasphemy.

• It looked like a trial, but it wasn’t really a legal trial. Caiaphas has already in mind a pre-determined plan to remove Jesus. How can we be so sure?

John revealed it to us - John 11:45-50.

• If we allowed Jesus to go on, the outcome would be an uprising. Jesus is going to set up His Kingdom.

• The Roman government will surely react to crush this Jewish revolt, taking away their place (the temple) and their nation.

[Read John 11:51-52] Not realising, that by God’s Spirit, this will surely happen. Because it is God’s plan to sacrifice the Lamb Jesus to bring redemption, not just to the Jewish nation but to the whole world (the scattered children of God).

And so the Bible says in 11:53 “So from that day on they plotted to take his life.”

It was not in Caiaphas’ mind to give Jesus a fair trial. His plot was to remove Him.

• This trial was a cover-up, to justify their decision to kill Jesus.

• He has no intention to really understand Jesus or ponder about His claims. His questioning was to give support what he believes.

• He has already made his choice – a sinful choice.

Such an attitude has been there for quite some time.

Last Sunday night, Pastor Yang De Kang shared about the woman caught in adultery.

• I want you to see John 8:3-5. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"

They sounded so righteous, but then their motivation was fishy.

• Why did they bring her to Jesus, if they do not recognise him as an authority figure?

• In fact, why to Jesus? He is not a judge, not in the Sanhedrin or an official of the Jewish council.

• And where is the other party – the man guilty of the same crime.

We read on and we understand. Verse 6 tells us, “They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.” Their intention wasn’t about a fair trial. Their concern wasn’t about justice or punishing this crime committed by the woman.

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