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2008-02-24_You Have Said It Yourself_Matthew 26.57-68_SL

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You Have Said It Yourself

Matthew 26:57-68   |   Shaun LePage   |   February 24, 2008

You Have Said It Yourself

Matthew 26:57-68   |   Shaun LePage   |   February 24, 2008

I.       Introduction

A.    Bruce Godschalk convicted 1987 for 2 rapes; 15 years later his attorneys asked for DNA testing (unavailable in 87); Prosecutors opposed—no way he could be innocent; finally testing done—finding? could not have committed the rapes; released February, 2002; Slow in coming, but justice finally done to a man unjustly accused and convicted.

B.    Matthew 26-27 describes even greater injustice; trial(s) of Jesus was a travesty and most now agree, but Jesus still on trial: if we reach correct decision it should change everything.

II.     Body—Matthew 26:57-68

A.    (57-63) The Question: Are you the Christ, the Son of God?

1.     (57) What a crowd! Jesus; Caiaphas, the high priest; teachers and elders; chief priests; whole Council” (59, Israel’s Supreme Court; also “Sanhedrin”); many false witnesses

2.     (58) Mt: don’t forget about Peter; continue later, but for now lurking in shadows

3.     (59-60a)

a)     Our own system of justice is based on the system found in the Bible—the rules of law developed by the Jews. We know from history that the Sanhedrin had developed a fair and impartial system of justice based on Dt 16:18-20 and 19:16-19. Principles: Fairness, justice, impartiality (rich and powerful get same treatment as poor and weak); Perjury unacceptable.

b)     Rules developed based on principles in the Law: a) An accused criminal was presumed innocent until proven guilty; b) An accused criminal had the right to a public trial; c) An accused criminal had the right to defense counsel; d) An accused criminal had the right to bring forth his own witnesses and evidence; e) Conviction was only on the basis of two reliable witnesses; f) The sentence of death could not be carried out for three days to allow time for more evidence—on the third day the Council would reconvene and each judge would be asked if he had changed his vote; g) No trial could begin at night or continue into the night;

c)     Jesus did not get a fair trial. According to v.59, they looked for false evidence against Jesus. Why? No real evidence—“they did not find any” (v.60). Their goal: Put Jesus to death. They were trying to look good—look legitimate; as though they were giving Jesus a fair trial according to the Law. In reality, they themselves were law-breakers on several counts and they seem to be completely ignoring God’s existence.

4.     (60b-63) “two came forward…destroy the temple” this was against the law, but Mk 14:57-59; Jn 2:19-22 Jesus spoke metaphorically; “High Priest…do you not answer?...silent” they would not listen, did not want the truth—fulfilled Is 53:7 (700 years earlier; See Ac 8:30-35). (63) High Priest demanded Jesus tell them if He was the Christ, the Son of God. This is really a question—question Mt has been answering throughout: “Who is Jesus?” Mk: “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” (14:61); High Priest not seeking truth, trying to get Jesus to incriminate Himself. The Law allowed for the death penalty for someone who “blasphemed” (Lev 24:16), but rules of Sanhedrin, no self-incrimination; confession not sufficient for conviction.

5.     Write: What will I do with this question? What’s your answer? All of life comes down to this: Is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God? Question every person in all of history must ask—same question Jesus posed in 16:15; if He wasn’t, nothing matters. If He was, nothing else matters; Asking others? don’t get sidetracked too long—creation/evolution, existence of evil, hypocrisy of Christians important, but don’t forget heart and soul of the meaning of life is wrapped up in this question: “Is Jesus…?”

B.    (64) The Answer: Yes and Yes!

1.     Jesus broke silence and answered positively, “You have said it yourself” (same answer He gave in v.25); in case that wasn’t clear enough, “Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven” said 3 things: 1) “Son of Man”=Messiah (Dan 7:13,14); 2) “sitting at the right hand of power”=God (equality with God); c) “coming on clouds of heaven”=Judge—future prediction “you will see” He said (24:30). “Son of Man” (Dan 7) “was given authority, glory and sovereign power.” By rejecting Him as Christ and God, they were sealing their own judgment.

2.     Yes, Jesus is the Christ and yes, He is the Son of God—Judge of true Supreme Court

3.     Not only ask the question, “Who is Jesus?” all must examine His claims: Several times, made Himself equal with God: received worship, claimed to forgive sins, to be Judge of all, to fulfill OT prophecies about Messiah, only way to know God and be saved from sin—then, demonstrated power over disease, demons and nature.

4.     Write: What will I do with this answer? Jesus’ answer/other claims cannot be ignored; don’t let people get away with “great teacher”—not an option!

C.    (65-68) The decision: He has blasphemed! He deserves death!

1.     (65-68) Still not sure if Jesus was really clear? Look at reaction: “high priest tore his robes” (shock and outrage) “He has blasphemed!.. deserves death…spat on His face and beat Him with their fists…slapped Him” mocked Him—can you imagine? Total pandemonium! They lost it!

2.     Blasphemy is showing a lack of respect for God or falsely claiming to be God. Jesus not guilty blasphemy! He was and is God. The accusers, not the accused were guilty of blasphemy that day. Read Luke 22:63-65. Greek “blasphoumentes”

3.     The Council/Sanhedrin didn’t believe claim to be Christ/Son of God, though DNA conclusive—hatred so blinding, ignored legal restrictions, railroaded conviction, like animals verbally and physically abused Him.

4.     Write: What will I do with this decision?

a)     Most people believe Jesus blasphemed—claimed to be someone He wasn’t. Don’t believe? Same people—50 days later: Ac 2:36-40; “repent (turn away from trusting yourself, trust Jesus!)…be saved from this perverse generation!” 3,000 did!

b)     Disagree with decision—believe like Peter (16:16)? Implications are enormous—look what Jesus said to Peter (and thus, all who agree)! 16:17-20—Identity of Jesus divine revelation (be grateful; pray for others); He is building His church on this truth (get in on the project: Eph 4:11-16 survey) What did the repentant do in Ac 2 (survey Ac 2:41-47)?

c)     Is Jesus “the Christ, the Son of God”? If you say yes, then follow through! Jesus connected this fact with the building of His Church! He will build it! He is building it! Only question: Will you be part of it? Will you stop with the foundation and say, “Good enough” or will you let Him use you as a framer/electrician/foreman? Did He give you to be an evangelist? Pastor-teacher? Are you equipping others? Are you getting equipped (learning, maturing, doing your individual part?

d)     Horrific sin to receive forgiveness of sins/eternal life at such a high cost and then live a mediocre, self-focused life; Is Jesus the Christ? God? Judge? Truly your “Head”? His work important to you? Today be changed forever, declare Him to be Lord of your life! What is your decision? Don’t ride the fence any longer!

III.   Closing: Don’t let today be just another Sunday. Close eyes/meet with God right now. Write pray/tell God what you need to say today. Repent? Believe? Recommit?

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