Summary: This is the fifth sermon in a series about Jesus being The Great Nevertheless. He keeps wonderfully surprising us. Using the Lord’s "nevertheless" statement in the KJV we get a delightful glimpse of our awesome Savior.
• Have you ever been in a courtroom? Certainly we all have through the aide of TV – Perry Mason, Judge Judy, and Court TV.
• Many of us have actually served on a jury. If you have, did you take your work serious?
• Anybody enjoy jury duty? Was it easy?
• It’s tough to choose, Guilty or Innocent.
• In a sense life is a courtroom and each of us is the jury – a jury of one.
• Well, if we are the jury (jury of one) then who is on trial and what are we examining for?
• The words of Pilate in Matthew 27:22 give us the answer.
• Jesus is on trial. Sure He was tried way back then by priests, lawyers, theologians, governors, and a king. But you must decide as well. Why?
• Why would a man who lived nearly 2,000 years ago still be on trial today? Return to Pilate’s words, “Jesus which is called Christ”.
• The word “Christ” is the same word as “Messiah”, the “anointed One” – the long awaited Son of God who was to come and deliver God’s people.
o He was the One to whom all the OT sacrifices looked forward to.
o He was the One who would make it possible for humans and God to come together.
o He was to be the only hope of mankind.
• Yet the question must be asked, “Was Jesus the Messiah, the Christ?” Not only is that a question for a first century Jew to be interested in, but it is a question that affects you as well.
• This Jesus claimed in John 14:6 to be the only way to have a right relationship with God. If He spoke the truth, then He is the Christ. If He spoke a lie, then He is the greatest Imposter. Which is He, the Christ or and imposter. Each of us must decide!
• If He is the Christ, then make Him your Christ.
• If He is not the Christ, then you are wasting your time here this morning, for the Church is built on the foundation that Jesus is the Christ.
• Maybe you haven’t decided yet. In that case, let’s hold court. Let’s go back in time and imagine we were there when they brought Jesus in for His trail. Let’s follow Matthew’s narrative and BE THERE!
• What’s the setting? Those whom we have sent to arrest Jesus are now returning with Him. Notice your surroundings – a home – a very nice home – it’s Caiphas’ home – he is the high priest.
• Now usually these meetings were done in the Temple and never at night. You don’t have a watch but you’re aware that you were awoken from sleep to be here. It must be 1 or 2 in the morning.
• Why the secrecy? Why can’t this wait till morning? Is this a railroad job? I guess that is something each of us needs to decide for ourselves.
• In any case, the trial is about to begin. The prisoner has arrived. We are here. And considering the time, we shouldn’t be interrupted. So let’s get started!
• Matthew takes a moment to introduce us to one of this Jesus’ followers. What about those who followed Him?
• Why they had scattered and run when Jesus was taken captive.
• Doesn’t that grab you? If they are the closest to Him and yet they won’t stand up for Him (you don’t see any of them here do you?), then that doesn’t speak well of this Jesus they have been following.
• Only one follows…and then at some distance…out of sight…led more by curiosity than conviction.
• It makes me mad. He and the others could be so much help to us in deciding about Jesus, but they are not here to speak up.
• [Whisper] Of course being from the 21st century, the scene has not changed much has it? Where are His bold followers back in China Grove?
• Ah, but back to the trial.
• OK, were here so let’s bring on the witnesses. Maybe we can get back to bed before too long.
• If His followers aren’t here to give testimony, certainly there are others lined up to speak.
• “false witnesses” – Now those are the words of one of Jesus’ followers, who by the way didn’t think it important enough to be here. And he calls those witnesses who did come forward “false”. Hey, he wasn’t much better. And we have to remember, Matthew is prejudiced.
• It does raise my curiosity that we have so many witnesses to speak at 2am in the morning. They must have already been lined up – subpoenaed.