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Summary: Each of us plays a part in the crucifixion of Jesus. Many of the characters are discussed in this sermon.

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MUB

GOOD FRIDAY 2005

INTRO; I WAS TALKING TO SOMEONE THE OTHER DAY, AND THE TRIALS OF ROBERT BLAKE, AND SCOTT PETERSON CAME UP. ONE IS FOUND NOT GUILTY, THE OTHER IS CONVICTED, AND THE PENALTY IS DEATH. IN THE COURSE OF THE CONVERSATION, THEY SAID, IT IS RUMORED THAT THE EXECUTION OF PETERSON WOULD BE TELEVISED AS A PAY PER VIEW, THE MONEY GOING TO THE FAMILY. PUBLIC EXECUTION. ITS NOT SOMETHING THAT I WANT TO WATCH. BACK IN THE 1800’S PUBLIC EXECUTION WAS COMMON PLACE..

ON AUGUST 14, 1936 RAINEY BETHEA WAS HANGED IN OWENSBORO, KY. 20,000 PEOPLE WATCHED. THE OUT CRY WAS SO GREAT THAT IT PUT AN END TO PUBLIC EXECUTIONS IN AMERICA.

TODAY, I WANT US TO TURN OUR ATTENTION TO ANOTHER PUBLIC EXECUTION, THIS ONE TOOK PLACE OVER 2000 YEARS AGO. IN TRUTH, THE PLAN FOR THIS EXECUTION TOOK PLACE MUCH EARLIER THAN THAT. IN FACT, FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME, THIS WAS EXPECTED.

WHEN ANYONE IS PUT TO DEATH TODAY, THEY GO THRU A LONG SERIES OF APPEALS, THE PROCESS CAN LAST YEARS. WHEN THIS EXECUTION TOOK PLACE, THERE WERE NO APPEALS, THERE WAS NO DEFENSE ATTORNEY. THE PROCESS TOOK A FEW SHORT HOURS. THE VERDICT- DEATH ON A CROSS.

THERE ARE MANY CHARACTERS INVOLVED IN THIS EXECUTION. EACH HAD A PART TO PLAY. AS WE LOOK AT SOME OF THEM, WE ARE REMINDED, THAT WE TOO PLAYED A PART IN THIS.

THE CHIEF PRIEST AND THE SANHEDRIN. THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF THE DAY. IT WAS AT THEIR HANDS THAT THIS WHOLE PROCESS BEGAN. THEY HAD PAID JUDAS THE 30 PIECES OF SILVER TO BETRAY CHRIST. THEY WERE THE ONES WHO HAD JESUS ARRESTED IN THE GARDEN. THEY WERE THE ONES WHO FIRST PUT JESUS ON TRIAL. AS YOU WATCH THEIR ACTIONS, THEY ARE FILLED WITH HATE FOR JESUS. WHY? BECAUSE HE WAS A THREAT TO THEM, AND TO THEIR BELIEFS. THEY CONTROLLED PEOPLE WITH THE LAW, THEY KEPT PEOPLE UNDER BONDAGE, JESUS GAVE PEOPLE FREEDOM. THEY HAD IT THEIR WAY FOR YEARS, AND NOW JESUS WAS GOING TO CHANGE IT ALL. THEY PRACTICED RELIGION, JESUS WAS ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS.

PETER. AT THE SAME TIME THE SANHEDRIN WAS PASSING JUDGEMENT ON JESUS, PETER WAS IN THE COURTYARD, WAITING AND WATCHING. HE WAS THE ONE WHO HAD JUST A FEW HOURS EARLIER SAID, I WILL GO TO PRISON OR EVEN DEATH FOR YOU LORD. AS HE WAITS, A SERVANT GIRL ACCUSES HIM.

HE DENIES THAT HE EVEN KNOWS JESUS, AGAIN, HE IS ACCUSED, AGAIN HE DENIES, THIS TIME WITH A CURSE. ONE OF THE CLOSEST OF THE DISCIPLES, NOW HE HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON JESUS.

JUDAS. ANOTHER OF THE DISCIPLES, THE TREASURER OF THE GROUP. JESUS DIDN’T DO WHAT JUDAS EXPECTED. HE WANTED JESUS TO BE AN EARTHLY KING. HE SAW HIMSELF IN A POSITION OF POWER IF THAT HAPPENS, NOW HE KNOWS IT WONT HAPPEN. SO, FOR 30 PIECES OF SILVER, HE HAS BETRAYED JESUS. HE REALIZES, TOO LATE, THAT HE WAS WRONG, HE IS GUILTY, AND HE KNOWS IT. HE TRIES TO GIVE THE MONEY BACK. THEY LAUGH IN HIS FACE. IN HIS GUILT, HE TOOK HIS OWN LIFE.

HEROD. A PUPPET RULER OF THE ROMANS OVER THE JEWS. HE WAS THE ONE WHO HAD JOHN BEHEADED. HE HAD WANTED TO SEE JESUS FOR A LONG TIME. BUT HE TREATED JESUS LIKE A CARNIVAL SIDE SHOW. PERFORM A MIRACLE, DO ME A TRICK. JESUS WOULD HAVE NONE OF IT. HE STOOD SILENT BEFORE THIS ACCUSER. FINALLY, HEROD, DRESSED JESUS IN A ROYAL ROBE, AND SENDS HIM BACK TO PILATE.


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