Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jesus on Trial

1. Story (based on Luke 22:63-71; 23:1-25)
(Option: get kids to act out the trials etc. Can be impromptu or rehearsed.)
  • Last week we learned that Jesus was arrested and brought to the High Priest’s house.  
    • The Jewish religious leaders did not like Jesus.
    • They felt threatened by Him because of His growing popularity — ever since Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they have been trying to get rid of Him.
    • They thought He was wrong to claim that He was the Son of God.  They called that blasphemy.
  • So they put Him through several trials in an attempt to find him guilty of something so he could be punished with death.
  • Jesus & the Council of Elders (Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law)
    • In the morning, the council of elders met together, and Jesus was brought before them.
    •  They tried to look for evidence against Jesus, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against Him, but their statements did not agree (Mark 14:55-56)
    •  They challenged Him: “If you are the Messiah, tell us.”
    • Jesus did not want to answer: “If I tell you, you will not believe me.  But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
    •  They asked Him again, “Are you then the Son of God?”
    • Jesus still didn’t fall into their trap. So He answered, “You say that I am.”
    • At that, the High Priest tore his clothes and said “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from His own lips!”
    •  They condemned Jesus. Those guarding Him began mocking and beating Him. They blindfolded Him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” And they said many insulting things to Him.

  •  Jesus & Pilate
    • The soldiers and the council then took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.
    • They accused Jesus, saying that Jesus was trying to lead a rebellion, that He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be the King of the Jews — the Jews were under the Roman’s rule at that time.
    • Pilate took Jesus into his judgement hall and talked to him for a while. He was surprised at His wisdom.
    • Pilate asked, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
    • Again Jesus replied saying, “You have said so.”
    • Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
    • The crowd was still not happy. They still cried out for His death.

  • Jesus & Herod
    • When Pilate heard that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to see King Herod, who was in charge of Galilee.
    •  Herod was very pleased to see Jesus because He had heard a lot about Him and had wanted to see Him for some time.
    • He wanted Jesus to perform a miracle for Him. He asked Him many questions. But Jesus did not answer.
    • Then Herod got impatient, and he and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked Jesus. They put a robe on Him and sent Him back to Pilate.
  • Jesus & Pilate again, with the crowd
    • Pilate called the people together and told them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.  Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” 
    • But the crowd insisted that Jesus be crucified. “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
    • Three times Pilate tried to reason with them. “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
    • But at the crowd’s insistence, and Pilate’s fear of being rejected by the people, Jesus was handed over to be crucified.

2.  Lesson: 
  • 3 groups of people examined Jesus:
    • The Religious Council — Chief Priests and Teachers of the Law
    • Pilate, the Governor
    • Herod, the King
  •  All of them could not find anything against Jesus.
    • There were NO evidence, NO basis, NO grounds
    • Pilate himself said, “He has done NOTHING to deserve death.”
  • At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus was tried and tested and tempted in the desert by Satan, and He was found sinless.
  • At the end of His ministry, Jesus was tried and tested and tempted by the religious council, Pilate and Herod, and He was found innocent.
  • Heb 4:15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
  • Jesus is the holy, righteous and sinless Lamb of God who was qualified to take away the sins of the world — your sins and my sins. If He had sinned, He would not have been able to die in our place. But because He was tried and found sinless, He can take all our sins in exchange for His righteousness.
  •  Memory Verse: 2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

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