Summary: Seventh in a 12 part series examining THE most important week in all of history: The Passion Week, when Jesus fulfilled Mark 10:45. The Servant Suffers - He Is Rejected; Israel is guilty in their Convocation, Confrontation & Condemnation.
The Passion Week of Christ: A Study from the Book of Mark
Week 7: The Servant Suffers - He Is Rejected
A. You know life is full of paradoxes, particularly 21st Century America. Daylight Savings Time - 1st two weeks can't stay awake to experience it! We spend more and have less, we have bigger houses and smaller families, we have more degrees and less sense, we have multiplied our possessions and reduced our values.
B. The Bible has it's share of paradoxes as well. G.K. Chesterton defined biblical paradox as "truth standing on her head to attract attention." Such as...1st will be last & last will be 1st; find your life & lose it, lose your life and find it; foolish shame the wise, weak shame the strong; more blessed to give than receive; gate is wide, way is easy leads to destruction & many find it but gate is narrow, way is hard leads to life & few find it.
C. Here's two more: John 1:11 tells us that "He (Jesus) came to his own people, and even they rejected him." (NLT) So far in our Passion Week series, we've seen this play out over and over. No more so than on the night that our Lord stood before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. For all intents and purposes, Jesus appeared to be the one on trial, Jesus appeared to be the guilty one. Yet, it's not so much Jesus on trial as it is Israel on trial. They are in the presence of their Messiah, their King, their God, and their Judge, but they are too blind to see Him for Who He is. The nation of Israel was on trial that night. And in the end, it wasn't Jesus who was guilty but them. And here's the big point I want us to get - these weren't hooligans, hellians, unbelievers; these were church going, alms giving, mission trip taking, Bible reading, Scripture quoting, three time a day praying people of God. And if they were guilty in their dealings with Jesus, we can be as well...and are! Let's explore how as Israel rejected their Messiah, the Christ, they were guilty in their Convocation, their Confrontation and their Condemnation.
II. Scripture Reading & Prayer
A. Stand with me to honor the reading of God's Word. Read Mark 14:53-65.
B. Pray - Father, that last verse makes me angry, makes me physically sick and yet I, and I dare say we, are just as guilty at times in our dealings with Jesus as the Sanhedrin that terrible night. Forgive us, convict us, transform us.
III. Guilty In Their Convocation (Read and explain Mark 14:53-59)
A. What a night this had been for Jesus! One of many spiritual highs and lows - HIGH of the Passover & Lord's Supper, LOW of Judas Iscariot's betrayal, HIGH of teaching of Disciples on the way to Gethsemane, LOW of the spiritual agony in the Garden, HIGH of total submission and surrender to Father's Will, LOW of Judas' kiss and arrest by soldiers. In spite of all this, the night was far from over. Before dawn came, Jesus had many more difficulties to face.
B. And when the word went out that Judas was leading the soldiers to Jesus’ location, the Sanhedrin began to gather together. Like sharks in the water, these powerful, religious men could smell blood. They had wanted to destroy Jesus for some time (cf. Mark 3:6), and this was their chance. So, they came together to judge Him. They basically had two tasks before them. Recall who's in power? Rome! The Sanhedrin had full power over religious matters, but it had none to inflict the death penalty. #1 They had to formulate a legal charge adequate to justify the death penalty. Even if they could find some clear breach of the Torah, sufficient in Jewish eyes to warrant death, they still must convince Rome. So #2 They had to produce some political charge adequate in Roman eyes for death. First things first...first the legal charge, first the Jewish trial. As we explore their little convocation that Thursday night/Friday AM, we see that it was illegal on multiple levels:
- When It Was Held: Recall it's Passover. And it's night - they've arrested Jesus in the cover of it to prevent a riot. Mark tells us Peter was warming himself at the fire suggesting it's still night as April nighttime temps are in the 40s in Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin court could not meet at night, nor could it meet at any of the great feasts.
- Where It Was Held: The official meeting place of the Sanhedrin was the Hall of Hewn Stone which was within the temple precincts. Decisions were not valid unless reached at a meeting in that place. Mark tells us that Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest.