4-13-12 Jesus Was Tried By The High Priest

Jesus Was Tried By The High Priest

2012 NIU & DuPage UBF Easter Bible School Friday    Lecture 1     Part I         David Kim

Luke 22:63-71                                                                        Key Verse: 70

“They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’   He replied, ‘You are right in saying I am.’”

          Welcome to our 2012JointEasterBibleSchool! As we studied through Shepherd Jeremy’s message last Sunday, after Jesus’ prayer on theMount of Olives, he was arrested. Through hisGethsemaneprayer, Jesus was fully ready to face his trials, submitting himself to God’s will. In my message, Part I, I want to think about Jesus’ trail by the high priest only. Then in part II Amanda will deliver her message about Jesus’ trail by King Herod and by Pilate, the Roman governor. All these three trials happened in the Good Friday within 12 hours. How did Jesus face his trial before the high priest?

c  Verse 54 tells us that the temple guard seized Jesus and led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Look at verses 63-65. The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. They blindfolded him and demanded, ‘Prophesy! Who hit you?’ And they said many other insulting things to him.” The temple guards mocked, beat and insulted Jesus. Jesus could have summoned twelve legions of angels in order to protect himself (Mt 26:53). But in order to fulfill God’s will for him, Jesus allowed himself to be mocked, beaten, and insulted by these temple guards.

Since Jesus was neither tried nor found guilty of any crime, they should have treated Jesus with proper decency. But these temple guards showed no mercy to Jesus. Once binding him, they began to abuse Jesus, mocking him, beating him, blindfolding him and insulting him as if he were a condemned criminal. We are the ones who deserve to be mocked, beaten, blindfolded and insulted because of our sins. But Jesus, the sinless Son of God, suffered these things for us in our places.

Look at verse 66. At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.” When the news of Jesus’ arrest spread across the city of Jerusalem, the religious leaders gathered at the court of Caiaphas, the high priest. They had been plotting the ruin of Jesus for a long time. Now their task was to find evidence against Jesus so they could put him to death. According to other synoptic gospels, many false witnesses came forward. But they could not produce any crucial charges against Jesus.

The high priest tried to condemn Jesus with the charge of being a terrible criminal, but he could not. He realized that the only charge he could pull out of Jesus was that Jesus claimed himself to be the Christ. So the high priest and the Sanhedrin members asked Jesus this important question about his identity. Look at verse 67a. If you are the Christ,” they said, “tell us.” Their question was a self-incriminating question. It is like asking a robber, “If you are the robber, tell us.”

Jesus had a right to remain silent to this question. If Jesus said, “No,” he could have been set free. How did Jesus answer? Look at verses 67b-69. “Jesus answered, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.’” In his answer, Jesus pointed out their unbelief as well as deceit. Even though he knew their evil intention, Jesus clearly identified himself as the Christ, the promised Messiah. Jesus’ being the Christ has the implication that he would be seated at the right hand of Almighty God and judge the world as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

As was prophesied concerning the Messiah, Jesus had to undergo trial, suffering and the pain of crucifixion for the sin of the world.  But ­that would not be all. Jesus would rise again, ascend to the heavens and sit at the right hand of God. He would come again in his glory to judge the living and the dead.  Jesus who was tried before the Sanhedrin will sit high as the Judge and the high priest. And all the Sanhedrin members who tried to condemn Jesus will be judged accordingly. Jesus had no fear of people. Jesus was sure of his final victory. Then the Sanhedrin members asked a second, follow-up question.

Look at verse 70a. “They all asked, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’” How did Jesus answer? Look at verse 70b. “He replied, ‘You are right in saying I am.’” Once again, even though Jesus knew that answering this question would convict him and put the sword of condemnation into his enemies’ hands, Jesus clearly identified himself as the Son of God. Why? It is because Jesus is the Son of God and he cannot deny himself at any case. Some people claim, “Jesus never claimed to be God or the Son of God anywhere in the four gospels.” They say that this claim was what Paul added to Christian doctrine. But that is not true. In this verse, at the height of his trial before the high priest and the Sanhedrin, he clearly and boldly identified himself as the Son of God, saying, “You are right in saying I am.”

We see a clear contrast between what Jesus did and what Peter did. Peter, when he was challenged to identify himself as one of Jesus’ disciples, he replied, “Man, I am not.” (26:58) He was driven by fear and denied his own identity. But when Jesus was asked whether he was the Son of God, he replied, “You are right in saying I am.” He was tried before the high priest and the members of Sanhedrin and their only charge against Jesus was that he identified himself as the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus’ bold and clear answer about himself could have planted the fear of God in the hearts of the Sanhedrin members. Look at verse 71. “Then they said, ‘Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.’” They had no fear of God. They were glad to get the answer that they eagerly waited from Jesus and proceeded to condemn Jesus for the sin of blasphemy.

*Conclusion: Through this passage, I learn that I should remember Jesus who stood firm in his time of trials for me and in order to obey God’s will for him. Sometimes it is not easy for me to introduce myself as a servant of God because the worldly people see a pastor as an uncompromising fundamentalist. May God help me to look at Jesus so that I may identify myself as a servant of God saying, “You are right! I am a full time bible teacher.”  May God help each of us stand firm in Jesus, pass all our trials! Help us to be used by God as his servants and receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.



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