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Summary: 3rd in 5 part Series using the popular TV show, CSI, to investigate the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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THE GREAT INJUSTICE: Caiaphas’ Conspiracy

CSI: Murder of God - Week 4

MATT.26:57-68

INTRODUCTION: (Intro mpeg to CSI:31)

It’s amazing that sometimes in our twisted world that what’s right can be unjust - that some things that are legal don’t give justice to others. Perennially perky lawyer, Elle Woods understands that. She had just discovered that the mother of her Chihuahua, Bruiser, is being used in animal testing. She asks that the company release the dogs that they are mistreating with their testing but they refuse. But she finds hope when she discovers that her own law firm represents the animal testing company. Surely the partners will do the right thing for these unfortunate animals.

{Video Clip: Legally Blonde 2 - Start: Chap. 7:10:43 - End: Chap. 7:13:10 = 2:33}

While Elle’s request is played for laughs, the underlying principle behind it is serious. The partner’s response - that justice and the law are not the same thing - unfortunately, is all too often true. In fact there have been many who have used and abused the law to promote their own agendas. That is never more clearly seen than in the judicial proceedings that led to the guilty verdict of Jesus Christ.

Today, as we come to the 4th message in our investigation of the murder of God we come to Jesus’ trial before the religious leaders. The trial of Jesus Christ may have been portrayed as legal, but was the world’s greatest miscarriage of justice. Not only was Jesus innocent of the charges but He was innocent of any charge. The Bible teaches us that Jesus was a sinless, perfect, person, yet he is falsely accused. The leading character in this despicable act was a man named Caiaphas. This man, the high priest & leader of the Jewish supreme court called the Sanhedrin, was the catalyst behind the unfair trial and execution of Jesus. The Bible tells us he was envious of Jesus’ leadership, goodness and influence. So, he used the tools of his legal system to bring about his own selfish desires.

So this morning I want us to study the tactics of Caiaphas but more importantly I want us to watch the composure of Jesus. We need to see how Jesus responded to this unfair mistreatment. Jesus was a victim of lies, deceit, physical abuse, cowardice, desertion, betrayal, and manipulation. Yet never once did he lose his composure or sense of purpose. My hope is that this study will provide some comfort for those of you who are presently enduring unjust treatment but also help all of us cope better when we are treated unfairly. So, let’s look at what Caiaphas did, how Jesus responded and then apply some lessons on how we can handle injustice in our lives.

I. THE INJUSTICE OF CAIAPHAS:

First, let’s look at this man who was the leader of the unjust treatment of the Son of God. Caiaphas is described in vs:57 of our text from Matthew 26, as “the high priest.” We don’t know a whole lot about him personally from Scripture. However, historians reveal Caiaphas to be a very politically ambitious man. In fact Caiaphas was given the office of high priest by Rome in 15A.D. He did not ascend to the position due to any great spiritual depth but only because Rome did not like his father-in-law, Annas, who should of been the high priest. The fact that Caiaphas was a political appointment makes it a little more understandable, although certainly not right, why he did what he did. You see, Caiaphas had little regard for spiritual things. In fact, he is described by Jewish historians as a malicious, insecure, politically power-hungry man. One who cared nothing about the people but everything about his position and standing. And this man took his evil, malicious nature out on Jesus.

I want you to see his terrible treatment by looking at the fact that he tried Jesus illegally. In fact, according to Jewish law the entire trial of Jesus was a farce. Here are five proofs of that. (1) They met at night. The rule was that no one was to be arrested, tried and sentenced during the night because it might look like a “rush to judgement.” Good rule, but totally ignored in this case. But it’s why Jesus said in Lk. 22:53 when he was arrested, “..this is your moment... when the power of darkness reigns.” It may have been “night” chronologically, and that was wrong, but it showed how dark spiritually it had really become.

(2) They also hired false witnesses to lie about Jesus. Interestingly, they apparently didn’t have time to coach the ones they had hired to lie. Notice vss:59-60 of our text. “Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find false witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, there was no testimony they could use.” Why? Mk 14:56 gives the reason, it says: “..they contradicted each other.” They paid these men to tell lies but un-coached their testimony was obviously a put up job. Vs:61 says that two of them heard Jesus say he would rebuild the temple in three days finally came forward and agreed. But even that was taken out of context because Jesus, when speaking about the temple, was actually referring to His own body, not a building. No honorable judicial system would ever condone the prosecutor hiring false witnesses.

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