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Summary: Jesus the High Priest after the Order of Melchizedek (Part 1)

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The trials of Jesus.

The night before Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion, He was arrested and tried seven times (some note six based on how these trials are counted). They included:

1. The trial before Annas: John 18:12-14, 19-23 include the details of the first Jewish trial of Jesus. Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas the high priest.

2. The trial before Caiaphas: All four Gospels record this trial (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54, 63-65; John 18:24), with Matthew offering the most detailed account. We are told Caiaphas was high priest that year and had predicted one man should die on behalf of the people. In this second trial, the religious leaders gathered together, bringing many false witnesses against Jesus. Jesus spoke of Himself as the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, a clear reference to Himself as Messiah. The high priest tore his clothes, claiming Jesus had given evidence worthy of death on His own.

3. The trial before the Sanhedrin: All three Synoptic Gospels record this third Jewish trial (Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71) that took place "as soon as it was day" (Luke 22:66). Jesus again referred to Himself as the Son of Man and was delivered to the Roman leader Pilate for trial.

4. The trial before Pilate: All four Gospels record this trial (Matthew 27:1-2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-7; John 18:28-32, 33-38), with John giving an extended account. Pilate found nothing worthy of death to condemn, sending Jesus to King Herod.

5. The trial before Herod: Only Luke records this trial (Luke 23:6-12). Herod hoped to see a miracle, though Jesus answered none of the charges against Him. Herod and his men mocked Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate with a kingly robe.

6. The second trial before Pilate: All four Gospels record this trial (Matthew 27:15-23; Mark 15:6-14; Luke 23:13-22; John 18:39-19:6). In the end, Pilate claimed to have nothing to do with the punishment of Jesus, leaving the fate of Jesus to the crowd in the form of allowing them to choose freedom for Jesus or to release a known criminal named Barabbas.

7. The trial of the Jewish people: The Jews who had gathered for Passover shouted "Crucify! Crucify!" and chose freedom for Barabbas rather than Jesus. Jesus was then sentenced to Roman crucifixion.

In total, three Jewish trials took place followed by three Roman trials, concluding with an appeal to the Jewish people with the consent of a Roman leader. Both Jews and Gentiles were responsible for the call to put Jesus to death.

Jesus the New High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Part 1)

Matthew 26:57-26:65

This study is designed to strengthen our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and how He interacts with His children. It is my hope that by studying the ancient customs and cultures of the Bible God’s Word will come alive for you, and you will be that much more confident in the truth found in its pages.

The Aaronic priesthood originally instituted by God in the wilderness had reached the end of its usefulness by the time that Christ was born into this world. The priesthood was corrupt and defiled and so God transferred the honor and glory of the priesthood onto Christ, His Son.

Now, how does the author of Hebrews go about persuading first-century Jews to follow Christ? Not by telling them that everything they previously believed and practiced was wrong. Because it wasn’t. He did it by telling them the truth; that the religion of the Old Testament was always intended to be temporary, and that it was now being replaced in God’s sovereign plan for his people by something better, something which is built on the foundation of the Law but which now supplants it. And he does this by making four points. First of all, he argues:

1. Not that the law of Moses was wrong in itself, but that it was ultimately weak and useless, unable to cleanse from sin, and therefore is now being changed.

Heb. 7:12, 18-19a, ESV “12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well . . . . 18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect)”

The Old Testament Law was appropriate for its era; it was what they needed prior to the coming of Christ, but it was fundamentally flawed. It was “weak and useless”, and is therefore now being changed. What was its weakness? It was powerless against sin. It couldn’t cleanse from sin. It couldn’t erase the guilt of sin. It couldn’t prevent people from continuing to sin. All it could do was document all the ways in which they did sin. In fact, Paul tells us in Romans chapter seven that the Old Testament Law, far from restraining sin, actually provoked people to sin more! And so it was ultimately useless.

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