What would you do if you were accused of a crime you didn’t commit?
How would you respond as large groups of people came forward and testified to you being somewhere you never were?
What would you do if prosecuted and questioned by those who assumed you were guilty before proving your innocence?
Yesterday we learned about the unjust trial (or mistrial!) of Jesus with the Sanhedrin. We learned that the trial was lacking three important elements:
1. A public trial
The Sanhedrin always allowed there to be 3 days for a capital offense. That would give the judges time to consider all the evidence and for others to come forward and refute the initial evidence. When we study Jesus’ trial, we see it is private and discreet, at night, without anyone being able to defend Jesus.
2. The right of defense
Jesus is given a chance to defend Himself, but no one else is submitted to help defend Him. John and Peter are nearby but are not brought in as witnesses to Jesus’ innocence. In fact, Jesus stays silent when accused, a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7. He was silent before His accusers. He trusted the Father to be sovereign and to come to His defense.
3. Solid eyewitness evidence
God commanded there to be at least two or three witnesses so justice wasn't perverted (Deut. 19:15-19). The Sanhedrin entertained the testimony of many false witnesses, but even their evidence didn’t add up. Finally someone stated that Jesus wanted to destroy and rebuild the temple within 3 days, a misunderstanding of Jesus’ prophetic word of His own impending death and resurrection.
Throughout the Graeco-Roman world, the destruction or even desecration of important places of worship was immediately regarded as a capital offense, worthy of death. The irony is that this temple of Herod's would be utterly destroyed in 70 A.D.! The temple may have been central in OT worship, but now it is Jesus Himself! We don’t enter fellowship with God, access to life and hope and forgiveness through the blood of bulls or goats, but through the blood of the atonement Lamb who was slain.
He has the power to lay His life down to death and to pick it up again in resurrection power:
John 10:17 | Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.
Jesus has the power to take up His life again, and He gives that power to us who believe. Isn't that remarkable?! Jesus was raised to life! You and I have that same power alive in us!
We'll be celebrating that truth this Easter with the theme: #RAISEDTOLIFE
We hope you will make plans to join us Sunday, March 27th at 10am. The entire family is invited and will be joining the adults in one large celebration service at Shoreline!