Summary: Life is harsh, people are often cruel, and accusations leveled at the innocent are crippling and inhumane. What can we learn from the Master when evil surrounds us? How do we handle betrayal and condemnation? We learn from Jesus as He faced opposition.
Message by: Tom Clark
Slide 1 (Title of Series) Good morning, Church. I hope you, like I, have been enjoying and gaining some wonderful insights from our current 12-part series derived from the Stations of the Cross.
At the first station, the Last Supper, we learned about our need for relationship and the importance of Fellowship in our faith. Last week we focused on Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane where we gained insights into intercession thru prayer and spending time to listen to what God has to say to us.
Today we will look at the third station of the cross – the trial before the Sanhedrin – and how we should respond to the fact that we live in a largely imperfect and unfair world.
Today’s message is entitled Slide 2 (Title of Message): The Sanhedrin – The cruelty of Injustice. (Sermon 3 of 12). The Key people we will look at are: Jesus, The Sanhedrin, Pontius Pilate. Our key teaching is PERSEVERANCE/TENACITY. The Key Scriptures are Luke 22:66-Chapter 23:7 and verses 13 to 19.
We’ll look at what we can learn from the unjust condemnation of Jesus before the Jewish, then Roman authorities, then extrapolate the teachings and principles and close with a practical application we can all take way as we strive to apply principles to make us more like Jesus and less like ourselves.
Because not everyone is familiar with the term, let’s help out those that don’t know what the Sanhedrin was. It was the supreme council or court for the Jewish nation. It was comprised of 71 members, all who were over 30 years of age and married, of good reputation and learned in the Law.
Now that is out of the way, let’s look at Luke 22:66 to Chapter 23:7 and verses 13 to 19.
Slide 3a (verse) [Luke 22: 66-71] “At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, (that is the Sanhedrin) met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. Slide 3b (verse) But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying that I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from His own lips.” Slide 3c (verse) Luke 23:1-7. Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.” So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. Slide 3d (verse) Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by His teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. Slide 3e (verse) When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time. Slide 3f (verse) Luke 23: 13-18. Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Slide 3g (verse) Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”
Talk about a travesty of justice! Arresting Jesus in the cover of darkness, Caiaphas and a majority of members in the Sanhedrin were able to strong-arm the others and gain approval from the Roman appointed authorities to execute Him. But this should not surprise us.
People fear what they do not understand and hate what threatens what they believe true about themselves. And Jesus was very precise in pointing out their faults and shortcomings, wasn’t he?
Jesus warned all those who followed Him about this Truth. In John 15:18 He tells us, Slide 4 (verse) “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.”
My dear brothers and sisters, I have to ask you: “Is life any different for us today?”