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THE SAYINGS OF THE CRUCIFIXION (10)
Jesus before Caiaphas (2)
Matthew 26:63b-68; Mark 14:61b-65; Luke 22:66-71
Victor M. Eskew
A. In our studies thus far about “The Sayings of the Crucifixion,” we have seen the following:
1. Jesus’s prayer in the Garden
2. Jesus’ arrest
3. Jesus before Annas, the high priest
4. Jesus before Caiaphas, the high priest
B. In our last lesson, Caiaphas was upset with Jesus because He would not answer any of the accusations made by the false witnesses brought against Him.
C. In our lesson tonight, Jesus is still standing before Caiaphas.
1. A single question will be posed to Christ.
2. His answer will spark outrage on the part of the Jews.
3. His answer will move the Jews to bring Jesus before Pontius Pilate.
D. Let’s look at the statements that are made as Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas comes to an end.
I. THE QUESTION ABOUT IDENTITY (Matt. 26:63; Mark 14:61; Luke 22:66-67a)
A. Matthew presents the most detailed account of the question asked by Caiaphas to Jesus (Matt. 26:63).
…And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
B. The Jews had failed to bring charges against Jesus up to this point.
1. The only way to convict Him was by means of His own words.
2. This was a skilled question that was put to Jesus.
C. He was binding Jesus by an oath before God to declare whether He was the Son of God.
1. According to Robertson, this was unlawful under Jewish jurisprudence (e-sword).
2. They were intentionally trying to get Jesus to incriminate Himself.
D. The question was simple: “Tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.”
1. Are the “anointed one”? Are you deity?
2. If He answered,
a. “Yes,” He would be condemned for blasphemy.
b. If He answered, “No,” He would be condemned as an imposter.
c. If He answered not at all, His silence would be construed as being a denial of His
E. LESSON: There may come times in our lives when others are “out to get us.”
1. The individuals are evil and crafty.
2. They will devise questions that are intended to entrap us.
3. They are only interested in our conviction.
II. THE RESPONSES OF JESUS ABOUT HIS IDENTITY
A. Luke is the only gospel writer to record Jesus initial answer to the high priest’s question (Luke 22:67b-68).
1. He points out their unbelief (Luke 22:67b)
And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe.
a. Jesus understands their intent. The question is designed to entrap not to produce truth.
b. Jesus knows their heart. They are not there to receive the truth. The truth will not cause them to believe.
2. He reverses the situation (Luke 22:68).
And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.
a. If He were to ask them: “Am I the Christ, the Son of God?” this would be how they would handle the question.
b. They would refuse to answer. And, they would not let Him go.
c. Jesus was in a “no win” situation.
1) No words He spoke would be believed.
2) No questions He asked would be answered.
3) No release was in their agenda.
B. Jesus’ second response was: “Yes.”
1. The three ways the answer is recorded by the gospel writers.
a. Luke: “Ye say that I am” (Luke 22:70).
b. Matthew: “Thou hast said” (Matt. 26:64).
c. Mark: “I am” (Mark 14:62).
2. All of the responses are an affirmative answer.
a. Jesus was saying: “You have been saying that I am and I agree with you.”
b. This was not the first time Jesus’ deity was proclaimed.
1) By the angel to Mary (Luke 1:32)
2) By the Father at His baptism (Matt. 3:17)
3) By Peter in the coasts of Cesarea Philippi (Matt. 16:16)
4) By demonic spirits (Matt. 8:28-29)
5) By Jesus (John 10:36)
3. Jesus was not going to hold back the truth when placed under an oath before God.
a. He loved the truth.
b. He cared not about the consequences.
c. He trusted in His Father.
C. The interesting third response of Jesus to their question (Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62 Luke 22:69).
…nevertheless, I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
1. Jesus now looks almost 40 years into the future.
2. He references the Fall of Jerusalem that would come in the year A.D. 70.
a. Jesus would be accompanied with “power,” that is, the Almighty God.
b. He would come, that is, come in judgment upon the nation.
c. See Matthew 24:27-31
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels, with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds from one end of have to the other.
3. The Jews will exercise their power against Him during this hour, but another hour was coming when divine power would come against the Jews to destroy them.
III. THE SENTENCE BY THE COUNCIL (Matt. 26:65-66; Mark 14:63-64; Luke 22:71)
A. The answer that Jesus gave is just what the Jews wanted to hear.
B. The high priest answered first (Matt. 26:65)
The high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
1. The reaction of the high priest was highly emotional.
a. He rent his clothes.
b. He may have been extremely surprised that Jesus would be so bold to answer.
2. He then charged Jesus with blasphemy.
1) Strong (987): to vilify, to speak impiously
2) Thayer: to speak reproachfully
b. The Jews were monotheists. They believed in only one being in the Godhead. When Jesus made himself equal with God, this was a reproach. It was blasphemy.
C. The high priest then calls upon the rest of the council to answer: “What think ye?” (Matt. 26:66).
1. “They answered and said, He is guilty of death” (Matt. 26:66)
2. “And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death” (Mark 14:64).
3. Death was the penalty in the Law of Moses for blasphemy (Lev. 24:15-16).
…And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, she shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him…
4. NOTE: There was one who was there who did not cast a vote of condemnation upon Jesus, Joseph of Arimathaea (See Luke 23:50-51).
D. NOTE: The Jews have a problem.
1. Jesus is guilty of blasphemy and worthy of death.
2. However, Roman law did not allow the Jews to put a man to death.
3. To do this, the Roman authorities must be contacted.
IV. THE MOCKING BY THE COUNCIL (Matt. 26:27-68; Mark 14:65)
Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him: and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us thou Christ, who is he that smote thee.
A. Those who had guarded Jesus had already resorted to this type of behavior (See Luke 23:63-65).
B. When evil men have power over a fellow man whom they hate:
1. They have no conscience.
2. They abuse their power.
3. They abuse the person.
C. They spit on Him, hit Him, and mocked Him.
1. The first two things were an assault on a man.
2. The second was an assault on deity.
D. We are reminded of lines from Isaiah’s prophecy concerning “The Suffering Servant” in Isaiah 53.
1. “He is despised and rejected of men” (v. 3).
2. “…yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (v. 4).
3. …he was bruised for our iniquities…” (v. 5).
A. Jesus has finished His trials with the Jews. He will now be led into the presence of Pontius Pilate.
B. However, before we get there, there is another event that has been happening simultaneously while Jesus’ trial has been going on. We will look at that event in another lesson.
C. What we have plainly seen is a miscarriage of justice on an innocent man. This will continue throughout the rest of this morning and into the afternoon as well.
D. There is no stopping the death of the Nazarene at this point.