Summary: Jesus was accused of many things: Breaking the Law of Moses, crimes, blasphemy. He was not guilty of any of them. They found no fault in Him. But Jesus was guilty of three things.
“Three Things Jesus Was Guilty Of”
“Then Pilate gave Jesus to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led him away. Carrying the cross by himself, Jesus went to the place called Skull Hill (in Hebrew, Golgotha).” John 19:16-17
Intro: Just outside of Jerusalem, on the road leading into the Holy City, is a place called Skull Hill. The Romans used this highly visible place, to make an example to the people by many executions. The condemned man was forced to carry his cross along the main street to the execution site as a warning to other people. Crucifixion was an ugly, painful and slow death by suffocation because the weight of the body caused blood and water to surround the heart and fill the lungs until the person could no longer breathe and they drowned in their own fluids.
Today we are going to go back to the things leading up to Jesus arrest and trial and crucifixion of Jesus. There were several things the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, people at the temple and religious teachers, the temple guards, the priest accused Jesus of breaking the law. They and their witnesses could not agree on any of them and they could not prove Jesus had broken any of the laws.
But Jesus did confess that he was guilty of three things. Jesus confessed that he was guilty of:
I. Healing on the Sabbath
“Jesus replied, “I worked on the Sabbath by healing a man, and you were offended.” John 7:21
On the Sabbath Jesus is in the synagogue teaching. The enemies of Jesus watched him closely. They were fault finders looking for ways to judge and criticize Jesus and even condemn him to death. Jesus noticed a man with a misshaped withered hand. Since it was the Sabbath, everyone was watching to see if Jesus would heal in the Synagogue on this Holy Day. Jesus commanded the deformed man to come and stand in front of everyone.
Jesus turned to his critics and asked, is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, is it a day to save life or destroy it? But they would not answer him.
It’s interesting that Mark describes Jesus as getting “angry” here with the Pharisees. Jesus knew their hard hearts and could see their uncaring attitudes. Anger itself is not wrong. It depends upon what you do with your anger that makes it right or wrong. You can get angry at someone and talk about them and criticize them and express that anger in selfish and destructive and harmful ways. Or you can take your anger and use that energy to correct a problem and be part of a constructive solution rather than tear people down. So if you are guilty of the wrong kind of anger then you need to be on this altar and ask God to forgive you of the gossip and slurs and saying bad things about people. Ask God to give you the words and actions and strength to say good and do good and to heal. In Matthew 12 “Jesus said, anyone would had one sheep and it fell into a well on the Sabbath wouldn’t you get to work and pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep!” In Luke 6: Jesus looks at them “one by one.”
So, Jesus reaches out his hand. Jesus reaches out to the deformed. Jesus reaches out to the withered. Jesus reaches out to me and you. And he heals and makes normal again the broken, the shattered, the damaged, the ruined, the destroyed, the defeated, the lost, the abandoned, the crushed, the dispirited, and the withered and not working lives.
The Pharisees and Jews were adamant about their church and religious traditions. Keeping the Old Testament laws was more important than changing lives and helping people.
But many believers expected the messiah to do miracles and signs. So they began to follow Jesus. “When the Pharisees heard that the crowds were murmuring such things, they and the leading priest, sent Temple guards to arrest Jesus.” John 7:32 (Though they did not arrest him then because it was not yet his time.)
But later when Jesus did stand trial though they accused him of many things that were unlawful they could not prove any crime or find any fault in him. One thing Jesus was guilty of was healing on the Sabbath. Today Jesus wants to heal you. Will you let him?
Jesus confessed that he was guilty of:
II. Being a friend of sinners
“As Jesus was speaking, the teachers of religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.” John 8:3