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Let's Make You Alive Again

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This morning we are picking back up in our study of the Gospel of Mark.
If you’re new to our church, it would be good for you to know that we practice a form of preaching called “Expository Preaching”. What that means is we believe the Bible is best taught by taking books of the Bible, and then studying them from beginning to end, chapter by chapter, verse by verse, in order to understand what they mean in our lives today.
With that said, we are currently walking through the Gospel of Mark.
If you’re not familiar with the Gospel of Mark, it’s one of four books in the NT that tells the story of Jesus. And in the case of Mark’s Gospel, it’s a book primarily written to tell us who Jesus is, what he’s come to do, and what it means for you and I to follow him.
So, if you haven’t been with us, I would encourage you to go online to marysvillefellowship.com where you can listen to all the messages in our Mark series.
Today, as we come back to our study, we find ourselves at the end of chapter 14, and the end of Jesus’s public ministry.
It’s the end because Jesus has just been arrrestedwhich marks the beginning of the trial and execution of Jesus. A trial that will be held in the darkness of night. A trial that will be illegally held. And a trial that will seal the fate of Jesus and further reveal who he is and why he’s come.
It’s the end because as we saw last week, having been arrested, Jesus and is now on his way to His trial.
A trial that will be held quickly and in the darkness of night.
A trial that will be held secretly and illegally.
A trial that will seal Jesus’s fate as he is condemned to death.
And maybe most important of all, it’s a trial that in many respects will reveal the true identity of Jesus and further highlight our need to follow Him.
That being the case, if you’ve ever wondered why you need Jesus or if you’ve ever had somebody ask you why they should follow Jesus and you’re not sure what to tell them, today’s message is for you. Because the trial of Jesus, without a doubt proves two facts concerning Jesus: Who He is and why you should put your hope in Him.
So, to help us get mentally and emotionally engaged with our passage this morning, I want to begin by laying some framework for this trial. And to do that I’m going to get political. Political in the sense that I want to paint a picture of Jesus’s trial by drawing your attention back to the election of President Donald Trump.
If you weren’t with us last week,
So,
Now, before some of you start jumping to conclusions, and maybe even getting a little upset, let me clarify a couple things as I bring up the topic of Donald Trump.
First, my goal in talking about the election of Donald Trump isn’t to convince you of whether you should or shouldn’t be a supporter of President Trump. I’m not a politician, I’m a Pastor.
Honestly, I don’t care if you’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist, or a Chiefs fan. All I care about is if you’ve put your faith in Jesus and you’re a Christian. Because at the end of the day, Jesus is the true King regardless of what political party is in control. And like it or not, Jesus is a Broncos fan.
Second, my goal in bringing up the election of President Trump isn’t to compare Donald Trump to Jesus or insinuate that President Trump is some kind of messianic figure that has all the answers. So, nobody better leave here today and say, “Pastor Brad said President Trump is like Jesus.” Because at the end of the day there is only one Messiah and one King, and his name isn’t Donald Trump, it’s Jesus.
That being said, I do want to make some comparisons between the election of Donald Trump and the trial of Jesus that I think will help us get a better grasp on what we are about to read.
So, with that said, let’s talk some politics.
Donald Trump Illustration: It goes without saying that the election of Donald Trump as President is probably one of the most controversial and mind blowing elections in American History.
It’s controversial because he is probably one of the most unorthodox candidates ever to run for the office of President. A rich business man who’s never been a politician and who starred on a reality television show telling people they’re fired. Not the most likely candidate for the highest office in the land.
And that’s what makes it so mind blowing. Mind blowing because nobody though he’d win, but he did. In fact, I’ll never forget the look on the faces of so many in the main stream media as it became clear on election night that Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States. They literally didn’t know what to say. They were bewildered. And the truth is, after almost two years, many are still living in shock and denial, including his opponent Hillary Clinton. They just can’t believe Donald Trump is President.
And as a result, it’s become one of the most heated elections and Presidency’s of all time.
But the pollsters were wrong. I’ll never forget the look on the faces of many in the media as it became clear on election night that Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States. They literally didn’t know what to say. And the truth is, after almost two years, some of those people are still living in shock and awe.
And as I think about President Trump’s election, there have been two outcomes of the election and his Presidency that I find fascinating.
First, I find it fascinating on how he got elected. Because in my opinion he wasn’t elected based on experience or political know how. I think we all know that. He was elected based on the promotion of one statement. A statement that was plastered on t-shirts, hats, and billboards. A statement that many Americans resonated with. A statement that Donald Trump repeated over and over and over again throughout his candidacy. A statement that simply said, “Let’s Make America Great Again”.
It was and still is a powerful statement. Powerful, because it spoke to an underlining frustration among many conservative Americans.
Americans who wanted to see change.
Americans who felt our country had lost its way.
Americans who felt our country had lost sight of our American heritage, principles, and moral foundation.
So, when Donald Trump said, “Let’s Make America Great Again!”, it resonated with people, they voted, and Donald Trump became our 45th President, with the promise, that he would make America Great Again. It’s rather fascinating how one phrase of hope had so much power.
The second outcome of President’s Trump election that fascinates me has to be the relentless attacks he’s received from his opponents since he was elected. In my lifetime I’ve witnessed 6 US Presidents, and never have I seen a President so viscously attacked.
Almost on a daily basis his opponents grasp for anything and everything that might bring him down. Whether it be hearsay, a rumor, false testimony, trumped up witnesses, or something from his past, it seems they will do anything it takes to discredit and destroy his presidency. Impeach 45 is their mantra.
And what’s funny is, the harder they try to discredit him, the worse they look and the more frustrated and unhinged they become as their false or shaky allegations never seem to stick.
And the truth is, President Trump doesn’t help matters. When attacked he fights back. Using Twitter like a sword he lashes out to defend himself and slander those who slander him, sometimes causing more hare than good to his credibility.
But at the end of the day, regardless of what his opponents say or do, the question that remains for those who put their stock in President Trump, is, “Can he make America better again?” Will President Trump be able to follow through with that promise? I guess time will tell.
In fact, I would say his opponents are hoping at some point he’ll say or doing something they can use against him. The truth is, it’s an insane game of politics like our country has never seen, at least in my lifetime.
To be honest, it’s
But at the end of the day, regardless of what his opponents say or do, the question that remains for those who put their stock in President Trump, is, “Can he make America better again?” Will President Trump be able to follow through with that promise? I guess time will tell.
Now, you might be wondering, “Pastor, where are you going with this? How does the election of Donald Trump relate with Jesus and his trial?”
If you think about it, there are many similarities.
For instance, at first glance, in the political context of the first century, nobody would have ever imagined Jesus as a future savior and King. To begin with, he was born in a barn not a palace.
Not only that, but he grew up in a rural community out in the middle of nowhere called Nazareth where he worked as a carpenter. I mean he might as well been Jesus from Oketo, or Jesus from Bettie. He was from a remote place in the middle of nowhere. From the outside looking in, Jesus didn’t seem to have much to offer.
But as time went on, that all changed. Because one day, out of nowhere, Jesus showed up on the scene. And in the midst of hopelessness, in the midst of a people who were looking for a savior, Jesus had a message of hope. A statement so to speak. And thankfully no, the statement wasn’t, “Let’s make America great again.”
But as time went on, that all changed.
No, the statement was much more powerful than that. The statement is found in . Listen to how Jesus describes what he offers:
10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (ESV)
Jesus came with a promise of life. A life that went beyond this life. In fact, if I were going to turn this scripture into a campaign slogan, and I were trying to convince you to elect Jesus as your king, I think it might be something like, “Let’s make you alive again.”
Because the truth is, wherever Jesus went, that’s what he did. He brought life.
He brought life to hopeless situations.
He brought life to sick bodies.
He brought life to blind eyes.
He brought life to dead ears.
He brought life to dead bodies.
He brought life to a generation of people who had lost hope.
And in the end he would bring life to dead souls.
And that’s why the crowds followed him. He was a man of the people for the people, and he brought a message of hope that mankind had been waiting for since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. The hope of spiritual salvation for all mankind. A hope of restoration and reconciliation with God.
And while his message resonated with the people, it didn’t resonate with his religious opponents. In fact, as Jesus’s popularity grew, as hope grew, his enemies became more and more willing to do anything and everything it would take to stop him.
Which brings us to the trial of Jesus. A trial where the enemies of Jesus are desperately looking for a way to destroy him. A trial where hearsay, rumors, false testimony, and false witnesses will take the stand.
Listen to how Mark describes it as we come to our passage today. Picking back up in , Mark writes:
Mark 14:53–65 ESV
53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.
Mark says, in a moment of desperation, after being arrested, Jesus is taken to the home of the high priest where a special trial is held. A trial where testimony is given. A trial where the enemies of Jesus seek to put him to death.
Like the opponents of President Trump, the opponents of Jesus have come unhinged. They are desperate to find a way to get rid of him. Desperate to find a way to discredit him. Desperate to find a not to just impeach him, but kill him.
And thankfully, this is probably where the similarities between President Trump and Jesus end. Because as we’re going to see in a moment, the way Jesus responds and the way President Trump responds are completely different.
Because the truth is, President Trump doesn’t help matters. When attacked he fights back. Using Twitter like a sword he lashes out to defend himself and slander those who slander him, sometimes causing more harm than good to his credibility.
In fact, I would say Trumps opponents are hoping for the day he’ll say or doing something they can use against him. The truth is, it’s an insane game of politics.
But not Jesus. Jesus doesn’t fight back. Mark says he just stands there and takes it as he is condemned to death.
So, what’s going on here and what is this trial all about?
The truth is, this trial is mean to answer one question. To answer the question, “Is Jesus who he says he is, and can he do what he says he can do?” Does Jesus really have the ability to “Make me alive again?” Is it something he can really do, or is it just a slogan?
And now, with Jesus on trial, and his death soon to come, the question that remains for those who have followed Jesus is simply this, “Will Jesus be able to do what he said he’d do?” Despite the attacks, despite the trial, despite his soon coming death, does Jesus really have the ability to “Make me alive again?”
Is it something he can really do, or is it just a slogan?
That’s what this trial is all about. To be honest, this trial will determine the worthiness and legitimacy of Jesus. The verdict of this trial will determine if Jesus can do what he says. The verdict of this trail will determine if Jesus is somebody we can put our hope in.
That being the case, here’s what we are going to do this morning. In order to answer those questions, we’re going to be like flies on the wall. We’re going to sit in and listen as the allegations are made. We’re going to listen as the witnesses are brought forward. And in the end, we’re going to determine if it’s just a slogan or if it’s the truth. We’re going to determine if Jesus is somebody we can actually put our hope in.
Now, let me say this before we go any further. Unlike other trials, this trial is going to be a little different than what you might expect. You see in most trials the goal is to either find a defendant innocent or guilty. And the fact is, when it comes to Jesus, from the perspective of the religious leaders, there’s only one verdict concerning Jesus, and it’s guilty.
But what I want to suggest to you this morning is that there are really two verdicts in this trail. In fact, what I want to suggest is that from the evidence that is going to be given, that Jesus is both innocent and guilty at the same time. And while that may sound odd, both verdicts are necessary for Jesus to be who he says he is and for Jesus to do what he says he can do.
So, let’s listen in as the evidence is presented. Beginning in verse 55 Mark writes:
Mark writes:
Mark 14:55–59 ESV
55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’ ” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.
Mark says as the trial begins, Jesus is brought before what he calls “The Whole Council”. So, let’s stop here for a moment and answer this question, “Who is the whole council?”
The whole council would have included all three sects of the religious leaders of that day. Specifically the Sadduccees, Pharisees, and Scribes. We’ve seen all three groups interact with Jesus throughout his ministry. And the fact is, all three groups have an ax to grind with Jesus. All three hate him and want him gone. And now, finally, they have the upper hand, and they gather together in one place to tag team their attack on Him.
So, how do they start the attack? Mark says they begin by seeking testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death.
Mark says they begin by seeking testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death.
Now, let’s stop for a moment and think about that statement. Mark says, “They were seeking testimony against Jesus.” That almost sounds backwards, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
Because the truth is, they really don’t have anything to charge Jesus with. They’ve arrested Jesus prior to any charges. Unlike a typical trial where a person is arrested, charged, and evidence is presented, the council has arrested Jesus and is now looking for the evidence to charge him with.
So, now they need some charges. They need some evidence of wrong doing. The need to drum something up. They need some dirt to stick to Jesus in order to justify their arrest.
The problem though is, there is none. In fact Mark says at the end of verse 55, “They found none.” In other words, as they seek testimony, nobody comes forward, nobody has anything negative to say, nobody has any dirt.
The problem though is, there is none. In fact Mark says at the end of verse 55, “They found none.” In other words, nobody comes forward and nobody has anything negative to say.
Verdict 1 - Jesus is innocent of all wrongdoing.
Uh oh. Now what do they do? Well, they did what wicked desperate people do. They decided to make stuff up. They tried to fabricate false charges. Mark writes, “For many bore false witness against him...”
In other words, since nobody had any legitimate testimony, they encouraged people to come forward and make false claims. Think of it like this:
They needed a Russian collusion story. So they say, “Find somebody whose willing to say they saw Jesus do something illegal. We know he hung out with tax collectors. Surely he cheated on his taxes. Maybe one of them will testify to that.”
Again it’s similar to what we see even in our own day. Whether it’s Russian collusion or Stormy Daniels,
They need a Stormy Daniels to come forward. They need somebody to say, “Me too”. At that this point, the only way Jesus’s credibility can be damaged is through some sort of false, shady, or questionable association.
They need a Stormy Daniels to come forward. “Find that prostitute Jesus stopped us from stoning? Jesus must have had a thing for her. He must have paid her off. Maybe we can get her to testify.”
They need somebody to say, “Me too”. “Find that Samaritan woman Jesus was alone with at the well? Surely Jesus did something inappropriate to her. Maybe she will testify to that.”
At that this point, the only way Jesus’s credibility can be damaged is through some sort of false, shady, or questionable testimony or association.
You see, with no witnesses coming forward, the only way Jesus’s credibility can be damaged is through some sort of false, shady, or questionable testimony.
But guess what, that doesn’t work either. Because Mark writes, “but their testimony did not agree.”
In other words, as hard as they try, they can’t get the false testimony to line up. Because in the Jewish court system, there had to be at leasts 2-3 witnesses in 100% agreement in order to condemn a person to death. But in the case of Jesus, the lies don’t line up. Each time they bring somebody on the stand, they say something that disqualifies the previous testimony. It’s not working.
So, now what?
Well, now they resort to hearsay and rumors as they begin trying to use Jesus’s words against him. As they start pulling his teaching statements out of context. Mark writes, “And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.”’ (ESV)
Mark says people start standing up and saying, “Well I heard him say this concerning the temple...” And somebody else says, “Well so and so said that she said that he said this about the temple...”
Their tactic is now hearsay and rumor concerning the Temple. Maybe that will line up.
Now, you might be thinking, “What’s the big deal here? So what if he said, ‘I will destroy the temple.’ Or something to that affect. Why is that something they’d try to prove?”
Well, what you have to understand is the Temple was sacred. In those days, to make a threat against the temple or a sacred building of any kind was a capital offense. So, if they can get the testimony to line up that Jesus said he’d destroy the temple, then they have him.
But again, their efforts fail. Mark writes, “Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.”
Well, what you have to understand is the Temple was sacred. In those days, to make a threat against the temple or a sacred building of any kind was a capital offense. So, if they can get the testimony to line up that Jesus said he’d destroy the temple, then they have him.
And the reason it wont’ line up is because there are a couple different versions of the story. One version probably was based on what Jesus said in mark 13.
Remember, Mark tells us after visiting the temple, his disciples are ewing and awing over how magnificent the temple is. So Jesus says, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (ESV)
In this instance Jesus is referring to afuture date when the Temple will be destroyed by the Romans. Something that eventually did happen in 70 A.D. So in this stance Jesus isn’t saying he’s going to destroy it, but what he’s saying is someday it will be destroyed.
Another version of the story can be found in . Listen to what John tells us, “So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?”19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” (ESV)
What he was saying is although his body would be destroyed on the cross, he would rise and he would be the new temple. The temple where true salvation is found.
In this passage, the religious leaders are asking Jesus for a sign to back up his authority. So Jesus tells them they’ll get their sign. And the sign will be the destruction of this temple and a new temple in three days.
So, what is Jesus talking about here? In this moment Jesus isn’t speaking literally, he’s speaking figuratively. How do we know? Because of what Jesus says next. John goes on to write, 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” (ESV)
The temple Jesus was talking about was his body. And what he was saying was, although his body would be destroyed on the cross, he would rise again in three days and become the new temple. The temple where true salvation is found. And that would be the sign of his authority.
So because there are different versions of what he said, and there’s even a question of what he was referring to, they can’t get 2-3 people to agree on exactly what Jesus said. So the testimony falls through.
This now leaves the council in a real quandary. They’ve apparently arrested an innocent man. They thought they could fabricate some charges. But nothing will stick. They can’t prove any guilt in Jesus.
As a result, they’re coming unhinged. Why? Because not only are they unable to prove any guilt in Jesus, Jesus won’t say anything. Mark writes, “And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, ‘Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?’ But he remained silent and made no answer.” (ESV)
At this point, Jesus doesn’t defend himself. He doesn’t get on twitter and start a word battle. He doesn’t create names like “Crooked Hillary, Lying Ted, Little Marco, or Crazy Maxine Water” He doesn’t do that. In fact, he doesn’t make a peep.
So, why doesn’t he say anything and why is it so upsetting to the religious leaders?
Let’s start with why they are so upset about his silence. Primarily, they’re upset because they want Jesus to try and defend himself. They want an opportunity to catch him in his words. An opportunity to trip him up and get him to say something that would incriminate or contradict himself.
But Jesus won’t give them the opportunity. He just stands there in silence.
So, why the silence? Is Jesus afraid he might say something they could use against him? Is Jesus tongue tied? If the allegations are false, why won’t Jesus defend himself?
Two reasons Jesus remains silent. First, in this moment Jesus is fulfilling an OT prophecy concerning himself. In , the prophet Isaiah prophesies about this moment. Listen to what the prophet says, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” (ESV)
In this moment Jesus is fulfilling this prophecy. And in the prophecy Jesus is the one who is being oppressed. He is the one who will be afflicted. And like a spotless lamb going to slaughter,Jesus will stay silent as he is led away to be sacrificed. You see, what this prophecy points to is the crucifixion of Jesus, the spotless lamb of God.
Now, you might say, “Ok pastor, I guess I see that, but why is it so important that Jesus fulfill this prophecy?” That leads us to the second reason Jesus doesn’t say anything.
Second, Jesus doesn’t say anything because the prophecy is about an innocent man who doesn’t try and justify his innocence. Because the fact is, Jesus is innocent. So, if Jesus wanted to justify himself he could. They have nothing on him. In fact, in the same way he could have called down legions of angels in the garden to rescue himself, Jesus could blow this trial out of the water. Jesus is a master attorney.
But he doesn’t do that. He knows who He is and what He has to do. And so he keeps his mouth shut. He fulfills the prophecy concerning himself. For this to work, an innocent man must be condemned.
And really, at this point, with no evidence of guilt, the trial should be over. No credible witnesses could be found. The false witnesses have been disproved. Jesus is innocent. And this is where the verdict should come in. And the verdict should read:
Verdict 1 - Jesus is innocent of any and all wrongdoing.
But while that’s what the verdict should be, the trial isn’t over. There’s still more to come. But before we get to that, let’s stop for a moment and talk about whatJesus’s innocence means for us. In other words, why is it so important that we understand the innocence of Jesus? Why has Mark gone out of his way to show us that Jesus isn’t guilty of these accusations and charges?
The reason this is so important, is if Jesus isn’t innocent, then he can’t be our savior. He can’t make us alive again.
You see, in order for Jesus to save us, he has to be better than us. He has to be different than us. And what this trial has proven, is he is different. In fact, he’s nothing like us. Because unlike us, no fault can be found in him. Unlike us, Jesus is without sin.
The Apostle Peter puts it like this in :
“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” (ESV)
What you have to remember is, Peter witnessed the entire trial. He’s standing outside the door warming himself by the fire. He’s hearing everything that is being said and not said. And Peter says, as they reviled him, they could find no sin in him. He was a spotless lamb. A perfect sacrifice. And it’s what allowed him to bear our sin, and to die for our sin, so we could live. In other words, it’s Jesus’s innocence and sinlessness that allows him to “Make us alive again”.
Without that were doomed. Without that there can be no payment for our Sin. And thanks to the enemies of Jesus, they’ve proven that Jesus is a worthy lamb. They’ve proven that Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for our sin. The writer of Hebrews puts it like this concerning Jesus, “For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.” (ESV)
Jesus had no sin or fault. And part of our assurance of that comes form the fact that those who hated Jesus most couldn’t prove him guilty of sin. Because believe me, they searched high and low for fault. They were desperate to find it, to the point they tried to make it up. To the point they tried to fabricate rumors. To the point that they came unhinged. But nothing worked. They could prove no fault. Instead they proved he was innocent. Innocent of sin. And that’s good news for you and I. Because without that, we’d have no hope.
The Apostle Paul puts it like this:
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (ESV)
You see, Jesus does have the ability to make us alive again because he who knew no sin can extend new life to us.
But it doesn’t end there, because there’s one more aspect of Jesus that still needs to be proved. Something that Jesus is actually guilty of but is necessary for Jesus to fulfill the promise he’s made to us. And once again, the enemies of Jesus are going to help him prove it. Listen to what happens next as the trial continues.
Mark writes, “Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?’” (ESV)
Mark says, after coming unhinged, the high priest finally cuts to the chase, and he asks Jesus, “Are you the messiah? Are you the son of God.”
At this point, all the chips are on the table. This is the question everybody has wanted the answer to since Jesus showed up on the scene. It’s been hinted at throughout the Gospel and declared by Jesus in private, but now before everyone the question is on the table, “Jesus are you the Son of God?”
And really the question is meant as a trap. Because if the high priest can get Jesus to admit this, it’s blasphemy. If he can get Jesus to claim that he is God, then it warrants a capital offense. If Jesus admits to this he will be found guilty.
So, what does Jesus say? Mark tells us. He writes, “And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.’” (ESV)
Jesus says, “I am guilty as charged. And let me tell you just how guilty I am. Someday you’ll see me seated next to God. It will become a reality for you. And someday I will return on the clouds of heaven.”
In this one statement Jesus declares his ascension into heaven after his resurrection and his return at the end of the age. Jesus says, I am the Son of God. I am guilty of what you say.
And it was all the high priest needed to hear. Listen to his response to Jesus’s claim, “And the high priest tore his garments and said, ‘What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?’” (ESV)
Mark says the high priest is so blown away by Jesus’s response that he tears his clothes off as a sign of indignation. If he wasn’t completely unhinged before, he is now. So he shouts, “Call CNN, get MSNBC on the line, inform Maxine Waters! He’s finally admitted it. He thinks he’s a king. In fact he thinks he’s God. He’s admitted it. You all heard it. So what do you say now?!”
Mark writes, “And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, ‘Prophesy!’ And the guards received him with blows.” (ESV)
Jesus’s fate is now sealed. The verdict is in. His admission has condemned him. The verdict reads as follows:
Verdict 2 - Jesus is guilty of being God.
So, why did he do it? Why did he admit guilt? Because it’s the only claim he could make. You see, to not make that claim would discount his innocence. Because unlike us, if he’s innocent of sin, then there’s only one other possibility for his identity. If he’s without sin. If he’s spotless, then he must be God. Because only God is perfect. Only God is without sin. He had to admit his guilt. So he said, “It is as you say. I am”.
You see, the enemies of Jesus though the trial would disprove and discredit Jesus. But it didn’t do that. What the trial did is the exact opposite. What it did is prove the credibility of Jesus. What it did is prove that Jesus is exactly who he says he is. He is the spotless lamb of God. He’s the one who can pay for the sins of mankind and reconcile us to God. He is Jesus, the son of the living God.
You see, the religious leaders thought they were putting Jesus on trial. And even this morning, maybe you thought this passage was about the trial of Jesus.
But the truth is, this passage isn’t just about the trial of Jesus, it’s our trial as well. But the reality is, without Jesus, our trial doesn’t end well for us.
Because unlike Jesus, we are guilty of wrongdoing, and there is only one verdict for us. Because the fact is, if anyone of us were brought up on the stand this morning, there would be evidence that would prove our guilt. Witnesses that would be able to say, “Yes, they are guilty. Guilty of lying. Guilty of sexual immorality. Guilty of drunkeness. Guilty of pride. Guilty of gossiping. Guilty of dishonesty.” And the list goes on.
And unlike Jesus we’ll try and defend ourselves. We’ll try and justify our actions. But it'll do no good, because like it or not, admit it or not, we are guilty as charged. If we were the ones on the stand this morning, unlike Jesus we would be found guilty of sin.
In fact, the Bible says one day we will be on the stand. It will happen at the end of time. And in that moment the evidence will be presented that proves our guilt. The book of Revelation tells it like this, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” (ESV)
The Bible says there will come a day where men stand before God, and the evidence of their guilt will be presented, according to what they have done. And we will be found guilty.
And because we are guilty, we will deserve death. The Apostle Paul tells us that in Roman 6. He says “For the wages of sin is death...” (ESV)
And in that moment we are declared guilty, we will be condemned to eternal death. John writes, “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (ESV)
Because of our sin, because of our guilt, that’s our fate. But unlike Jesus, it’s a death we can’t come back from. A forever death that separates us from God for all eternity. It’s a place called hell.
But the good news of the gospel is this, if we will put our faith in Jesus, we can be saved from that death. If we will make Him Lord and believe that he died for our sins, we can be saved from enteral death.
We are the ones on trial
In fact, what the Bible says, is if you’ll put your faith in Jesus, he’ll defend you. He’ll stand up for you. In fact, he’ll take your place and pay the penalty for your sin.
The Apostle John puts it like this, “…we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins...” (ESV)
“…we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins...” (ESV)
You see this isn’t just Jesus’s trial, it’s our trial as well. And the question at the end of the day is, “Will you put your faith in Jesus? Will you make Him Lord? Will you acknowledge your need for him?”
You see, this is our trial and it applies to all of us.
It applies in the sense that if you’re looking for hope this morning, then there is one who can bring hope.
It applies in the sense, that if you’re tired of living in the muck and mire of sin, there is one who can lift you out of it.
It applies in the sense, that if you’re ready to quit living a life of meaningless, there is one who can bring meaning and purpose to your life.
It applies in the sense, that if you’re finally ready to admit your sin and be right with God, there is one who can heal that relationship.
It applies in the sense, that if you’re tired of walking around feeling dead, there is one who can make you alive again.
His name is Jesus. He’s the spotless lamb. The son of the living God. The perfect sacrifice. The one who loves you so much that he gave his life for you. And the fact of the matter is, if you’ll put your hope in Him, he can make you alive again.
Let’s Pray
But the truth is, this passage isn’t just about the trial of Jesus, it’s our trial as well. But the reality is, without Jesus, our trial doesn’t end well for us.
Because unlike Jesus, we are guilty of wrongdoing, and there is only one verdict for us. Because the truth is, if anyone of us were brought up on the stand this morning, there would be evidence to prove that. Witnesses that would be able to say, “Yes, they are guilty. Guilty of lying. Guilty of sexual immorality. Guilty of drunkeness. Guilty of pride. Guilty of gossiping. Guilty of dishonesty.” And the list goes on.
And unlike Jesus we’ll try and defend ourselves. We’ll try and justify our actions. But it'll do no good, because we are guilty as charged.
In fact, the Bible says at the end of time, the evidence will be presented that proves our guilt. John the Revelatory tells us this, “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.” (ESV)
John says there will come a day where men stand before God, and the evidence of their guilt will be presented, according to what they have done.
You see unlike Jesus, we are guilty and there are witnesses who can attest to that fact.
And because we are guilty, we will deserve death. The Apostle Paul tells us that in Roman 6. He says “For the wages of sin is death...” (ESV)
And in that moment we are declared guilty, we will be condemned. John goes on to tell us, “Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (ESV)
But unlike Jesus, it’s a death we can’t come back from. A forever death that separates us from God for all eternity. It’s a place called hell.
But the good news of the gospel is, if we will put our faith in Jesus. If we will
We are the ones on trial
“…we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins...” (ESV)
But unlike the slogan of President Trump’s opponents, their slogan wouldn’t be “impeach Jesus”. Their slogan would be, “Crucify him”.
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