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May 6, 2021 8:00 am
The trial of Jesus Christ before Jewish authorities was a travesty, complete with markers, haters, wires and ruffians today on the Bible study our Dr. James Boyce will unravel the CD web of characters and motives from that distant trial.
Finally, pulling its relevance forward to today with one question. What will you do with Jesus. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce prepare you to think and act biblically millions of people today are careless about the claims of Christ and the reasons he stood trial so long ago. These things are worthy of careful investigation because our lives really do depend upon them. Open your Bible to Matthew 26 says Dr. Boyce begins something about trials, especially trial of a great man or trials of the effective flow of history of the capture our attention. Some days we've had an example of lab in the trial of Pres. William Jefferson Clinton by the house managers.
They presented the case.
The justice of the supreme court conducted the proceedings and the decision was rendered by the United States Senate was reported extensively in the media and at times it seems that people were not watching anything else that communications media seemed every reporting about trial almost exclusively.
Same thing happened number of years ago and the case involving a Republican president. All of the issues growing out of the break-in at the Watergate complex in Washington DC in 1972 strove that the chief defendant in that case, Richard Nixon himself never came to trial, but a lot of his associates did and it resulted inevitably as you now in his resignation of office, effective 9 August 1974.
Two years later the peak of the investigation was one lady or one committee televised its hearings from the caucus room businessman brought television sets to their offices in Mars were running the case in their establishments and in the evening. The public broadcasting system reran the days hearings and experience the greatest listenership that they had had all their history and it's the same with other trials anything further back in history. A great deal of attention has been drawn to the famous trial of Socrates before the leaders of Athens are Charles I, before the English Parliament Erin Dreyfus and France Mary Stuart in England Aaron bar in America in the Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg terminate all these trials over the years would gauge the intention that captured the imagination of millions of people of all of history there has been both trial that has so charged our emotions or been so monumental for the flow of history is the trial of Jesus of Nazareth by the Jewish and Roman authorities in the year A.D. 30 Walter Chandler was a member of the New York bar lawyers and he did a very thorough study of the trials of Jesus entitled the trial of Jesus from a lawyer standpoint and in the preface and see introduce the subject. He wrote these words, these other trials. One of all or tame and commonplace, compared with the trial and crucifixion of the Galilean peasant Jesus of Nazareth. These were three trials on earthly issues before earthly courts trial of the Nazarene was before the high tribunals of both heaven and earth before the great Sanhedrin's judges were the master spirits of the divinely commissioned race before the court of the Roman Empire the control the legal and political rights of man throughout the known world. That's what were beginning to study. We reach that portion of Matthew's gospel that begins to tell us how. Following his arrest. Jesus was brought first before the court of the Jews, and after that before the court of the Romans now.
No single gospel writer gives a full account of the trial, but we put what they tell us. Together we find it all together the events unfolded in four stages. First of all, that was the arrest took place in the garden study that then there was the Jewish trial and that was the Roman trial, and finally that there was the carrying out of the sentence or the execution now. Each of the two trials that is the Jewish trial in the Roman trial fell in the three parts. Let me just take you through it. So we have in mind what happened. The first part of the Jewish trial was a preliminary hearing before AMEX. It seems to be what John is describing in his gospel John 18, 19 to 23.
Although the issue there is confused because of both Annas and Caiaphas being the high priest reason for that is that Annas was the hereditary high priest, the one that the Jews would recognize as the legitimate high priest, but it had been the practice of the Romans for many years to displace these priests appoint someone of their own. So Caiaphas was the latest of the Roman appointments and so he was called the high priest, but were actually tonight. John when he's referring to the high priest doesn't always make clear which that is but it seems to be. There was this preliminary hearing while they were trying to find out that timeless if there were any grounds for bringing a formal charge against Jesus, they were getting anywhere because Jesus wasn't saying anything and they didn't have any witnesses present and so finally Annas gave up the fact and since the party on the Caiaphas.
Now that was sleep. Part of the trial that was most significant. And so it's that part of the trial that is reported by Matthew Mark and Luke extensively in Matthew and Mark and briefly in Luke 22 verse 54. Here, witnesses were brought forward the details are going to examine in a moment in the outcome of that trial was the decision that Jesus had committed an offense worthy of death, and should be killed, and of course was not a formal trial because by Jewish law, you couldn't have a trial by night. This was taking place in the middle of the night and so the next morning the entire Sanhedrin was brought in as soon as the first light began to dawn, they reviewed what had been done the night before the charge was made. The evidence was given and this particular court ratified what had happened during the night from the stone hall of the Sanhedrin. Jesus was then sent on to pilot was necessary because although the Jewish court had condemned Jesus to death in order to carry out an execution. You had to have the Roman court agreed, because they held that power in these days on the Roman trial also had three parts. First of all, there was a prearranged conference with pilots and that's described in all four Gospels you have it in Matthew 27 verse two. Also, 11 to 14 your habit in the first five verses of Mark 15 is in the first five verses of Luke 23 and most extensive of all you have an John XVIII chapter and eventually in the 19th chapter 2 how at this particular trial. The anticipation of the Jewish leaders was frustrated.
They presumably had expected a pro forma trial and judgment that had probably arranged that the night before Caiaphas warning that they were able to arrest Jesus undoubtedly gone the pilot and said would you hear this case it would bring it to you in the morning, but what surprised him is that contrary to their expectations pilot reopened the case and began to judge it and tried actually to free the prisoner that they were clamoring for his execution. So pilot trying to escape responsibility when he learned that Jesus was from Galilee said all well this is my jurisdiction belongs to Eric because Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee and so they sent Jesus on the Herod will. Herod wasn't fooled by that he wasn't about to be drawn any just have a little bit of fun tried to get Jesus to do a miracle when he wouldn't ability sent them back to pilot where trial actually concluded here at this final stage of the trial. Jesus was condemned to death even though he had done nothing wrong. And even though pilot had declared three times previously that he actually was innocent John records it three times over pilot set I find no basis for a charge against him. John 1838, 19, four, and also verse six.
Now this was a significant part of the Roman trial and therefore it also is reported in each of the four Gospels you have it in Matthew 27 the end of the chapter.
Your habit of Mark 15 Avenue, Luke 20 3 AM as I said in John 18 in 19, looking at the Jewish trial today so we go back and take a closer look at what was going on. The illegalities in this trial. The arrest itself is illegal, it was by night Mishnah clearly forbid that they used a trader to identify and secure Jesus and that was illegal. Also according to Jewish law that was no formal charge was a rush trial.
They did it duration of less than a day. In the case of capital cases. You always had to draw that out in order that life might be saved if at all possible high priest intervened in the proceedings. There was the lack of a defense regard look at that a little bit later and it was a unanimous verdict. You couldn't even convict somebody unanimously because the argument went under Jewish law that if it was a unanimous verdict, the court was stacked against the priest. Nobody actually on his side will be thrown out for that. All those things were illegal.
According to the legal procedures of the day and yet in spite of all this illegality was as strong undercurrent of concern for legal measures. That's particularly true in the calling of witnesses. Matthew indicates that in verses 59 and 60, the chief priests of all Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they can put them to death that they did not find any. Even though many witnesses came forward of the trial were so evil and the character of these men, particularly the leaders were so basic that almost feel sorry for them, especially perhaps for Caiaphas taken a chance resting Jesus on short notice and they were clearly unprepared. If they had been prepared, they would have a charge ready to bring against him. They didn't, they would've had witnesses available but they didn't. So what they did was scramble around to see if I could find some in the middle of the night was so easy to do, where in the world were they going to find witnesses that could bring significant accusations against Jesus in the middle of the night. How could they possibly find them. The judges couldn't be witnesses themselves. It had to be somewhere else. And even if witnesses like this could be found.
They still had to satisfy the strict requirements of Jewish law, where the receiving of testimony was concerned. There were three categories of testimony.
According to Jewish law, number one, a vein testimony number two is standing testimony number three.
Inadequate testimony in elevating testimony was testimony didn't hold up and was irrelevant anyway.
It's a sort of thing that we would refer to in one of our courts. We tell the judge says that those words should be stricken from the record or when he'll address the jury and chosen to disregard what they just heard that's a vein testimony that sort of thing happen when the evidence was thrown out testimony. That's an adequate testimony is based on standing testimony, standing testimony was testimony that seem to be significant that they could be corroborated, but I did just sort of stand there on the side until you had the corroboration when you finally establish the fact that it was significant of it had bearing on the case then it became adequate testimony and you could have a conviction you had two or more witnesses reading out most of the testimony that they were able to collect at that late hour was obviously vein testimony. That's what Matthew is talking about.
He says many false witnesses came forward. All I heard him say this, I heard him say that, but none of it had any real bearing on the case and a great deal of time must've been wasted in this way, probably hours would call it a fishing expedition. Yet they didn't get anywhere and I finally two men came forward with some evidence that at once put the trial on an entirely different footing. Matthew says that they testified this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days, refers to in verse 61.
Now that was important because in the first place was apparently true. Very fact that you had to witnesses testifying to. It indicated that it was probably true, but even in addition to this was, not uncommon cases in the Gospels, where something in one gospel substantiate something in another. John actually records the incident in which this took place on tells about an early was at that time of the cleansing of the temple.
Jesus said in John two verse 19 destroy this temple, and I'll raise it up again in three days. John himself doesn't refer to that saying in his account of the trial, but that's assignments referred to in the other Gospels.
So it was something that was true when had been spoken in the presence of witnesses in the courtyard very kind of people that were likely to be hanging around the courtyard of the high priest, even at this late date, and it was also serious because if it was substantiated.
It could be construed perhaps a source array. Nobody could tear the temple down the building again except by what we would call black magic sort of say he was in league with the devil, something like that or it could be construed as sacrilege because the temple was the most holy site in the Jewish land fee said he was going to destroy the obviously had no regard for things were holy and then there's something else I'd mention the name of Frank Morrison based on a very interesting study of the trials and he observes this although the site tear it down and build it again in three days varies in the way. It's reported in the different Gospels.
One thing is present in every case and that's the reference to the three days I was a phrase that Jesus had used another occasion in which it was evident that he was prophesying about his resurrection. This was an event that was going to validate his claim to be the son of God Amanda shrewdest Caiaphas certainly knew that the apartment and he would be unaware of what Jesus saying implied.
He must've understood perfectly must realize that it was a veiled claim to divinity, although it was not expressed in the form that would enable him to guarantee a formal verdict in this capital case that Caiaphas and the others did actually understand this phrase three days in that way is proved by something that happened after the crucifixion. I get Matthew reports that he reports in verses 63 and 64 that after the crucifixion, the leaders went to Pilate and they said sorry we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said after three days I will rise again in the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body until the people that he has been raised from the dead and then Alaska section will be worse than the first. Obviously, these men understood after three days refer to Jesus predicted resurrection.
So here's the situation Jesus was accused of having claim to be God and saying that he was able to prove it by rising from the dead was a serious minds of the accusers a fatal accusation and yet strikingly important, as it was the testimony of these two witnesses was overthrown. Mark says Mark 1459 it was because there testimony didn't agree doesn't tell us why it might've been the what they said.
Barry didn't small details they might've disagreed about where they actually heard it was that I heard in the temple area. One would say I heard it outside the temple area. That's the way these things were conducted.
We don't know exactly what it was.
What we do know that it didn't stand up standing testimony, but when they examined that it failed and did not become an adequate testimony and surprised by that. After all, this incident happened three years before and memory is faulty. I think of Caiaphas. At that point he must've been seething with anger and frustrated. He had taken a chance in having Jesus arrested at this late date in Passover week he understood what Jesus was claiming he had a good case, but he could secure a legal verdict. He was right. He was close but the situation was slipping from his grasp. Now at this point Caiaphas revealed that shrewdness for which the Romans had undoubtedly made him the chief Jewish ruler. What he did was illegal high priest was forbidden to intervene in a capital trial as a matter of fact he could only cast his vote after all the others and voted because his position was considered so important would be understood that that would bias the trial.
Nevertheless, in spite of all of that. What he did was a stroke of political genius, he saw that the case was slipping away, dissolving, and so he suddenly turned to the prisoner and demanded on the basis of the most solemn oath and is really oath of the testimony I charge you under oath by the living God tell us of you are the Christ, the son of God was shrewd for several reasons. For one thing, the wording was precise. If Caiaphas had merely asked Jesus if he was the Messiah Jesus could've said yes without running into any particular problems. There were many people over the years of the claim to be Messiah. It wasn't a capital offense to make the claim time would prove either. Whether it was right or whether it was long, or again if Caiaphas, it merely said are you the son of God. Jesus could have handled that well as he did on an earlier occasion because when the accusation was made, he dissolved the tension on the situation by referring to Psalm 82, six, in which all Jews are at least leaders in Israel are called sons of God is a girl called sons of God. What's wrong with that, but that's not the way Caiaphas raised the question by combining the two ideas Messiah and son of God. He was really asking whether Jesus was the divine Messiah Jesus said yes to that, then he could be convicted of a capital crime of blasphemy was a second reason why this was so brilliant and that is that although Jesus wasn't obliged to give testimony against himself anymore than a person in our court is required to testify against himself. He was nevertheless a pious Jew and when he was charged under oath in the name of the living God to give an answer. He wouldn't refuse he been silent up to this point Gary spoke up and gave the answer yes. He said it is as you say that he went on to add this but I say to all of you in the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the mighty one coming on the clouds of heaven wasn't any point there in remaining silent any longer. Once he had said yes they had what they wanted. So we added the matter of the judgment and he did it by reference to a passage in Daniel which they certainly all know because what Daniel writes in the seventh chapter is this there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the ancient of days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion will not pass away in his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed, that the judges didn't misunderstand that reference.
So what we read. Is this the high priest tore his clothes and said he is spoken blasphemy. What need we have a more witnesses look you've heard blasphemy.
What you think and they replied unanimously. He is worthy of death really assuming that a prima fascia case of guilt had been made as seems to have been in spite of the evidence having been obtained illegally. What should have been.
The next step under law.
While quite clearly, the Sanhedrin should have begun to inquire diligently into the truth or falsity of the claim.
We might think that by its very nature Jesus claims would put them beyond any meaningful investigation, but that isn't the case. The scribes were masters of the Old Testament. The elders were charged with the defense of anyone in danger of being put to death.
They should've asked whether Jesus claims matched what the Old Testament said and taught concerning the Messiah that investigated carefully, they might've discovered one.
According to the Scriptures, Messiah was to of been born in Bethlehem. Micah 52 Jesus was born in Bethlehem number two Messiah was to be virgin born and Jesus was born of Mary, it was a virgin at the time. Isaiah 714 Messiah was to be of David's line. Jesus was descended from David, find that in Matthew one and Luke three Messiah was to be preceded by a figure like Elijah and John the Baptist fill that role. Malachi 3145 Messiah was to do many great works of Jesus had performed what had been prophesied in Isaiah 61 verses one and two for one example number six Messiah was to make a public entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey and Jesus had done that. Just a few days before Zechariah 99 Messiah was to be betrayed by a close friend of Jesus was so betray Psalm 41 verse nine, number eight the Messiah was to be despised and rejected by his people to be familiar with suffering and Jesus was Isaiah 53. What about the second part of the accusation that Jesus had claimed to be God's son that was undoubtedly a shocking claim to the Judaism of that day must've been deeply important to go but it wasn't so inconceivable that they couldn't have investigated in all fairness, whether anything like that. It never occurred in the history of Israel if they had searched carefully, they would've found this. There are references in the Old Testament to precisely the kind of unique son of God Jesus claimed to be Psalm to verse seven for example, or Isaiah 96 they made a find as well that the Old Testament speaks of God becoming flesh Isaiah 714, and there are Old Testament passages in which Jehovah is said to have appeared among men. Several examples with Abraham in Genesis 16 and 18 again in the days of Daniel. Daniel 325 was passages contain references to the appearances of God on earth and suggests that Jesus met every test that might reasonably have been raised to determine if his claim was the right one. They might not of been convinced. Probably they would not of been but it's still a reasonable defense in its absence from the trial indicates that this was not a fair trial, but rather exposes close minds and the jealous parts of those who were Jesus judges on the point of all of this is to say that these leaders were not substantially different millions of careless people in our day.
Jesus Christ is proclaimed as God's unique son of the Savior, but millions reject that claim without even bothering to consider the evidence is evidence is presented regularly and countless Christian churches on radio and television and books, magazines, and other forms of communication, but they will not hear it, they will not go to church. They robot read the Bible, they will not associate with Christian people, they will not study Christian books read to say people like that. Are they honest no more than Caiaphas brings me to the biggest question of all you stand you yourself considered price claims you ponder his defense. You have and I challenge you to do it now because the last analysis is not Jesus who is on trial I was plastics over it's really you who are on trial question before you is the difference between life and death. What will you do with Jesus. We will acknowledge the evidence you admit that he is who we claim to be that he didn't.
The Bible tells us he did that he is the son of God and the Savior.
So you need to turn from your sin and place your trust in him is is what Christianity is all about. That's what he came to lead you to do is buy that commitment that you pass from death to life. Spray father. We do thank you for your word in the clear way in which the claims of Christ are presented to us and speak to us as we think of these things.
If there are those here have never investigated these claims, but they do so, will you lead them by your grace to do it. They understand these things would've never committed themselves to Christ by that same grace will you bring them to place their entire faith in him. We pray this in the name of Jesus are you listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by. We seek to provide Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place. Alliance broadcasting includes the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce every last word with Bible teacher, Dr. Philip Reich and and Dr. Barnhouse in the Bible featuring Donald Barnhouse. For more information on the alliance including a free introductory package for first-time callers or to make a contribution.
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