April 10, 2022 Service
The Hour Has Come: The Political Trial of Jesus
- I Love to Tell the Story
- Not Much About Palm Sunday TodayThat’s because it puts things out of sequence for the preaching points I have been sharing with you from the Gospel of John since February 13. I began at the end of the Seder meal that was Jesus’ last supper. To start, we looked at the new commandment that Jesus gave us to love one another, which I tied with 1 Corinthian’s 13.I stayed in the Gospel according to John, following the journey that began there, looking at the final lessons that Jesus was teaching his disciples on the way from the upper room to the Crucifixion. And then next week we will be celebrating the resurrection.We are finishing up chapter 18 of John, coming today to chapter 19, where the crucifixion is recorded So I’m skipping Palm Sunday and teaching instead about the coming crucifixion. That means I’m using the other term for today, Passion Sunday which is church lingo for the self-sacrifice of Christ because of the immeasurable love of God.The entry into Jerusalem was recorded in John chapter 12, so we won’t go back to that just to wave some branches and pretend we are welcoming the King.Recalling the Religious Arrest, Trial and Hand-offTwo weeks ago we taught about the prayer of Jesus for himself, his disciples, and even for us. Last week we walked out of the Upper Room, and into the Garden with Jesus, only to see his betrayal by Judas, Peter’s brave but misguided attempt to protect Jesus in the garden, but then his fear outside the home of Annas the Priest and Peter’s denial of knowing Christ 3 times as the rooster chimed in after the last, as Jesus said would happen.Well, while Peter was hanging out, Jesus’ hanging death was being planned inside. The abuse against the Son of God was beginning even their, as you see the repetitive questions and cross examination was answered by Jesus with sort of a non-answer approach that told them to go see what people really knew about him. Although the one acceptable sacrifice for the sin in their lives was right in front of them, they mocked him and the slapping began.46 Who among you can convict me of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?Well, Annas wasn’t getting anywhere, so he shuffled Jesus off to his son-in-law Caiaphas whom was the Roman-appointed high priest that year. We don’t have anything from John about what went on there; he didn’t have access like he did at the house of Annas.That’s were we start our message today. After opportunities to set Jesus free. Caiaphas has finished his questioning,28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They did not enter the headquarters themselves; otherwise they would be defiled and unable to eat the Passover.So because John had followed them there, and they did not enter the governor’s headquarters, John is again sharing as an eye-witness. And so he records the encounter with Pilate:29 So Pilate came out to them and said, “What charge do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you.”Jesus’ words were coming true, like lined up dominoes, the fall of one leads to the next, and the next, and the next.39 Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.”33 “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death. Then they will hand him over to the Gentiles,22 saying, “It is necessary that the Son of Man suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.”The Drama Continues as Jesus Faces PilateWhen they first brought Jesus to the Roman Governor Pilate, a man already known for his brutality against any challengers, John tells us Pilate didn’t want to be bothered with their arguments first thing in the morning. They not bring any real charges against Jesus that Pilate had to deal with.31 Pilate told them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.” “It’s not legal for us to put anyone to death,” the Jews declared.Now the ones who had plotted against Jesus were showing their hand to the governor. First they claimed he was a criminal, and now Pilate hears that their goal is the death of Jesus. And no longer was it about the community of Jews stoning Jesus; now it was to be a Roman execution.32 They said this so that Jesus’s words might be fulfilled indicating what kind of death he was going to die.Pilate Interrogates Jesus About Who He Is33 Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about me?”35 “I’m not a Jew, am I?” Pilate replied. “Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 “My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”Jesus Invites Pilate to See the Truth37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”Jesus was inviting Pilate to see who he was. A King indeed, but not trying to take the place of Pilate or Caesar. A king with a kingdom, but his armies were not here to fight against the prophecies.Pilate was not fond of religious claims and the practices of the Jews who were a hard people to manage. So when Jesus comes to testify about truth, Pilate was not interested. Still, He did not find Jesus guilty of any crime against Rome.38 “What is truth?” said Pilate. After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging him.Pilate Offers to Release Jesus39 You have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at the Passover. So, do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?”Pilate didn’t care about Jewish customs, but he did want Jesus off his hands. His question did not get the response he expected:40 They shouted back, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.Pilate Hopes a Beating Will Be Enough1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers also twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and clothed him in a purple robe. 3 And they kept coming up to him and saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” and were slapping his face.This too was a fulfilment of Jesus’ words to His disciples:32 For he will be handed over to the Gentiles, and he will be mocked, insulted, spit on;Pilate Wants Jesus Acquitted4 Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing him out to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging him.”So he brings out Jesus, beaten, bloodied, wearing a crown of thorns, and with a purple robe as a king might wear.5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”This crown of thorns could have been twisted together out of thorny palm leaves. There are some that are very thorny, and if so, this would have looked like the Emperor’s crown of laurel that was designed like a sun with rays shooting out. Imagine now a little different picture of Jesus standing before them, with this “radiance” on his head and his purple robe. Representing a king, still glorious in his capture.Why would they need Jesus killed now?The Drama of the Death Sentence6 When the chief priests and the temple servants saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate responded, “Take him and crucify him yourselves, since I find no grounds for charging him.”The Words That Trouble Pilate7 “We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.”This brutal, confident suppressor of uprisings was not worried about Jesus as king of the Jews.But now he was faced with the fact that the Jews who brought Jesus here under false charges now were claiming that Jesus was lying about being the Son of God.And so, when liars claim another person in lying, it’s probably the truth: Jesus is the Son of God?8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever.If I were in Pilate’s shoes, I’d be scared of this news too. And John says Pilate had never been more scared.Pilate Wants to Find Out Who Jesus Is9 He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer.Pilate Threatens Jesus10 So Pilate said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?”11 “You would have no authority over me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”Pilate Doesn’t Want to Execute Jesusbut the Jews were insistent, and threw a threat back to Pilate:12 From that moment Pilate kept trying to release him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!”Pilate On the Judgement Seat13 When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s seat in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Aramaic, Gabbatha).14 It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about noon. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”The Jews Demand Execution15 They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?” “We have no king but Caesar!” the chief priests answered.No king but Caesar. That’s not the claim of the Jews he was used to hearing. They kept calling the Lord God their king.So enough is enough.This is where the death sentence had been pronounced. Not by Pilate but by the Jews. They show more guilt than Pilate. At this point Pilate knew he was being played, but he gives in.And that’s when . . .Pilate Hands Jesus Over for Crucifixion16 Then he handed him over to be crucified. Then they took Jesus away.Jesus Carries His Cross17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.Jesus is Crucified Between Other Criminals18 There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.Pilate Posts the Truth on the Cross19 Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.20 Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek.Not to humiliate Jesus any further, but to humiliate the Jews who brought him for execution. That’s why they complained.21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The king of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the king of the Jews.’ ” 22 Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.”More Prophecy Fulfilled23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, a part for each soldier. They also took the tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.24 So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it, to see who gets it.” This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They divided my clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. This is what the soldiers did.Jesus Tells John to Care for Mary25 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.It Is Finished28 After this, when Jesus knew that everything was now finished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, he said, “I’m thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was sitting there; so they fixed a sponge full of sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it up to his mouth.30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.
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