Summary: Jesus the true High Priest.

The trials of Jesus - Part 2

Jesus the New High Priest after the order of Melchizedek

Jesus had become a grave threat to the priesthood and religious powers of the day. Here was a man who was forgiving people of sins, healing people, bringing people back to life. He challenged the strict manmade dictates of their religion that put meaningless tradition above the needs of the people. He taught the multitudes and cared for them.

Basically, Jesus did everything that the Aaronic priesthood was supposed to be doing, but wasn’t. He had truly taken on the role of a priest. He was threatening the power that the religious authorities had over the people, and they didn’t like it.

But He was a threat to the political authorities of that day as well, because Jesus had been born of the house and lineage of David, the rightful King of the Jews. So, Jesus was a man with the power and authority of a priest and a king, and the people loved Him. On Palm Sunday the Jews of the city hailed Him as their king and Messiah.

Jesus was a political threat to the Roman government who didn’t want an uprising of the Jews to have to deal with, and He was a religious threat to the Aaronic priesthood who could see their authority being undermined by their peoples’ worship and following of Him as their Messiah.

A. Jesus before Caiaphas.

So the priests arrested Jesus and brought Him to trial, and this is what our main teaching is going to concern today.

Let’s look at Matthew 26:57-59, “Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. [58] But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. [59] The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. [60] But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.”

These men were so afraid of the power that Jesus held and the things that He was teaching that they wanted to kill him. They wanted to get rid of Him so badly that they were looking for false evidence against Him. They didn’t want the truth, they were looking for lies. They wanted to get rid of Him even if the witnesses and evidence brought against Him were false. That’s how threatened they felt.

But notice that even though they found many people who came forward and lied about Jesus, they still didn’t find any evidence against Him powerful enough to sentence Him to death.

B. No Defense

Let continue reading with Matthew 26:61-63, “Finally two came forward and declared, ‘This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’’ [62] Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” [63] But Jesus remained silent…”

Jesus didn’t say a word in His defense against the false witnesses or all the false testimony being brought against Him. Truthfully, it probably wouldn’t have done much good anyway. His accusers were going to believe what they wanted. They were searching for any reason they could find to kill Him.

But it is important that Jesus remained silent, because in doing so He fulfilled the prophecy about Him found in Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”

So Jesus didn’t speak in His own defense, but then something changed in the next few verses of this story.

C. Oath of Swearing

Matthew 26:63-64, “…The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” [64] “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied, “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus answered Caiaphas’ demand here? Until this moment Jesus didn’t even open His mouth in His own defense, but now all of the sudden He answers the high priest. Why? Why didn’t He remain silent like He had before?

Well, the answer stems from how Caiaphas phrased his demand. He said, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

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