Sermon Tone Analysis
Overall tone of the sermon
This automated analysis scores the text on the likely presence of emotional, language, and social tones. There are no right or wrong scores; this is just an indication of tones readers or listeners may pick up from the text.
A score of 0.5 or higher indicates the tone is likely present.
Tone of specific sentences
.5 - .6
.6 - .7
.7 - .8
.8 - .9
Anger is a dangerous sin because it’s one of the easiest sins to justify.
When we are sinned against, we feel justified responding sinfully.
Isn’t it so easy to feel good about your anger, when your anger is brought about by someone else’s sin?
Sinful anger is contagious.
We are sinned against, and then we respond sinfully to being sinned against.
Aren’t you most tempted to lose your temple when someone loses their temper on you?
Last week, on Easter Sunday, we were studying the passage in Mark where Jesus is betrayed by Judas, arrested by the religious leaders, and abandoned by his disciples.
Now, we’re going to continue studying this dark night.
The betrayal has taken place, Judas identified Jesus with a kiss so that the guards could arrest him.
They seized him and took him away in the middle of the night.
The disciples all abandoned him.
And now, one of the strangest ironies in the Bible takes place.
In our text we will see Jesus face a shame trial, in a kangaroo court, with lying witnesses, all done in an illegal fashion.
The religious elites, who prided themselves on being fastidious keepers of the law, begin the proceedings in the most unlawful ways.
Representatives of the law, they are lawless.
This whole event is a mockery of justice.
The irony is that these religious leaders were the creators and meticulous enforcers of the law, and they abandoned the law in order to kill Jesus.
None of what they’re doing is legal, none of what they’re doing is legitimate, none of what they’re doing comports with the proper jurisprudence of the day.
In our text, Jesus will see the grossest violation of justice and the radical nature of the corruption of the religious leaders.
And what’s most incredible is how he will face it.
How do you do when you suffer injustice?
As we study Jesus’ response, my prayer is that we would not only love and appreciate him more, but that we would seek to imitate him and follow his example.
John 18:13 includes the detail that they do a quick stop at the house of a man called Annas, who is probably the mastermind of this thing, but it’s so brief that Mark doesn’t include it.
Annas questions him briefly and sends him to his son-in-law Caiaphas, which was probably another short walk.
This is where we pick up in Mark 14:53 “And they led him to the high priest.”
This is Caiaphas’s house.
Caiaphas would have lived in a palatial estate.
It’s not in a courtroom.
Ordinarily, the Sanhedrin convened in the market halls during the day, but here they’re doing it in his house, in the dead of night.
It’s clear they’re not interested in doing it right, they’re interested in getting a sentence of death and pushing it through before morning.
Remember, they’ve been wanting to avoid the rioting of the people who are there for passover week.
They need to have the decision to kill Jesus ratified before sunup.
The powers of evil and darkness are working full-tilt until morning.
So they gather in Caiaphas’ house.
We know it’s large because it says “all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together.”
This is a group called the Sanhedrin, which was a group of 71 Jewish leaders who were supposed to function like the supreme court.
They assemble in the middle of the night.
At this point, it’s between midnight and 3am.
Verse 54 gives us a little glimpse of what Peter’s doing.
He fled at the arrest, but seems to have gotten a hold of himself for the moment, and he’s following Jesus at a distance, and he follows all the way into Caiaphas’ massive courtyard, where the guards - yes, the same ones who just arrested Jesus - are standing and waiting.
They didn’t want to arrest Peter.
They let him just stay there and get warm on the cool night.
Mark mentions this to prepare us for what's about to happen to him in the following section - his denial of Christ.
And so here we encounter our first point: he chose arrest, not escape.
Take a look back at verse 53.
“And they led Jesus.”
This is one of the rare times Jesus is being acted upon.
Most of the gospel, Jesus is teaching, Jesus is acting, Jesus is healing, Jesus is speaking, Jesus is instructing.
And here, Jesus is being acted upon.
He is being led away, unjustly, to a room full of ferocious wolves who claim to be doing God’s work.
He had the power to calm a raging storm.
He had the power to make something out of nothing.
He had the power to raise the dead.
He could have escaped.
But now, he allows these people to lead him away.
The words remind us of Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus: that he was like “a lamb that is led to the slaughter.”
He chose arrest, not escape.
He understood his arrest as a part of the reason he came.
As he was being arrested, he said in verse 49, “But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”
He had come to lay his life down, to suffer and die.
He was sent by God to lay down his life to die for the sins of his people.
He did not swerve from the purpose of his coming.
Be reminded, church: The one we follow is a one who chose to suffer rather than disobedience to his calling.
Have you settled it in your mind, that it is better to suffer than to sin?
Verse 55 “Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none.”
Here they are in the high priest’s private estate, a quorum of the sanhedrin has gathered.
And they want to kill Jesus.
This is the opposite of how trials ought to go, right?
You don’t start with the death sentence, and then work backwards toward the crime.
But that’s what they’re doing.
They’ve already decided that they want him dead.
But they want it to look somewhat legitimate; now they need charges.
Now, let me just give you some context here.
The Jewish people had developed their law code from the law of Moses.
The Torah, the books of Law, were the basis for law and justice in Israel.
And based on that, they had a thoroughly developed justice system.
When someone was accused as a criminal, there were protections for the accused.
They were allowed a public trial during daylight hours.
They were allowed adequate opportunity to make a defense.
Before a person could be declared guilty, there had to be at least two witnesses, and the witnesses had to agree.
This is what Numbers and Deuteronomy both taught.
And for the most part, this was the practice.
There were rules in place that if the witnesses even disagreed on small details at all, the charges could not stand.
If the witnesses agreed, the Sanhedrin would vote on the penalty.
The junior members of the Sanhedrin would vote first so they wouldn’t be influenced by the senior members.
It was done in order, with decorum.
All of that is thrown into the wood-chipper to get rid of Jesus.
None of this is legal.
None of this is just.
This is the biggest miscarriage of justice the world has ever seen.
They needed a crime.
More than that, they needed a capital offense.
And the reason is because - remember - the Jews were under Roman rule, and Rome actually held the power of the sword.
The religious leaders were given a lot of freedom to exercise their religious authority over the Jewish people, but Rome did not allow them the authority to execute.
That had to go through Rome.
So before sunup, they need to concoct a capital crime that they can bring to the Roman lead - Pilate - so he can initiate the execution.
.5 - .6
.6 - .7
.7 - .8
.8 - .9