Dr. Montia Setzler, Senior Pastor
March 6, 2016
Series: March to the Cross
Let the Trials Begin
Matthew 26:57–68 (HCSB)
57 Those who had arrested Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. 58 Meanwhile, Peter was following Him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the temple police to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so they could put Him to death.
60 But they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. Finally, two who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can demolish God’s sanctuary and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 The high priest then stood up and said to Him, “Don’t You have an answer to what these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. Then the high priest said to Him, “By the living God I place You under oath: tell us if You are the Messiah, the Son of God!”
64 “You have said it,” Jesus told him. “But I tell you, in the future you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Look, now you’ve heard the blasphemy! 66 What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spit in His face and beat Him; others slapped Him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who hit You?”
1. THE OUTCOME WAS DECIDED BEFORE THE TRIAL BEGAN
• So as not to be confused by the facts, they were looking to condemn Jesus.
Luke 4:24 (Msg)
“Well, let me tell you something: No prophet is ever welcomed in his hometown.”
• The trial was not about justice, it was about control.
• Often people’s fears cause them to condemn that which they do not understand.
2. THE TRUTH WAS EVIDENT, BUT IT WASN’T BELIEVED
• The Jews were looking for a Messiah.
John 1:41 (NIV)
The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).
• Jesus clearly declared that He was the Christ.
Luke 9:20 (NASB-U)
And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.”
3. THE FUTURE WAS PREDICTED, BUT IT WOULD BE IGNORED
• Jesus predicts His Second Coming.
1 Timothy 6:15 (CEV)
The glorious God is the only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords. At the time that God has already decided, he will send Jesus Christ back again.
Matthew 24:44 (TEV)
So then, you also must always be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.
• Jesus establishes His position as the Righteous Judge.
2 Timothy 4:8 (NASB-U)
…in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
• Jesus’ claim of being who He was brings his sentence of death.
While the trial before Caiaphas was anything but fair, it launched the journey to the Cross that Jesus would make willingly for us. Scripture predicted it, God’s providence allowed it.