TEEN TREE               OF LIFE



Part 7

May 24, 2020



Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”


As we continue our study, we are going to look at the six trials of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which preceded His Resurrection. To add to the immense sadness of what Our Lord had to suffer, these trials were illegal and unjust; but their significance lies in the AMAZING LOVE Our Lord showed us by dying for our sins.


The first trial was before Annas: Then the Roman soldiers under their commander, joined by the Jewish police, seized Jesus and tied him up. They took him first to Annas, father-in-law of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the Chief Priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people. (JOH 18:12-14 The Message Bible) But get this!! Annas was not a judge!! That’s why this was an illegal trial. Annas had been High Priest and then became the political boss of Jerusalem. He was engaged in criminal activities connected with every system of corruption in Jerusalem, as well as with the bands of robbers in the Negev, who owed their protection to him. (Today, he would be considered a politician involved with the Mafia or with gangs. YIKES)


It’s important to note that at the very start, the people who brought Jesus to trial were all religious and legalistic. Included among them were the Chief Priests, Scribes and Pharisees. We’ve studied what it means to be legalistic but let’s review it. When you’re legalistic, you’re ignorant of God’s Word and Divine Power. Our Lord describes the legalistic and pompous attitude of the Pharisees and Scribes in MAT 23:1-3 (The Message Bible): Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It’s all spit-and-polish veneer. Annas was religious and legalistic, and because he was no longer the High Priest, he wasn’t a judge; but as the political boss, all matters had to be cleared with him before going to court. So, Annas, the most legalistic of them all, approved Jesus Christ’s first trial, as advised by the counsel of the Chief Priest Caiaphas.


Even before the second trial began, Jesus was already considered guilty because Annas had given Him a “thumbs down.” The gang of people who had taken Him to Annas, then took hold of Him and led him away to Caiaphas, where the Scribes and the Elders were assembled for the second trial. MAT 26:57-57 (The Message Bible) describes what happened next: The gang that had seized Jesus led him before Caiaphas the Chief Priest, where the religion scholars and leaders had assembled. Peter followed at a safe distance until they got to the Chief Priest’s courtyard. Then he slipped in and mingled with the servants, watching to see how things would turn out.


An interesting fact to note about Caiaphas is that, although he was not a prophet, he unintentionally prophesied the death of Our Lord and Savior: That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did [raised Lazarus from the dead], and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.” Then one of them—it was Caiaphas, the designated Chief Priest that year—spoke up, “Don’t you know anything? Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” He didn’t say this of his own accord, but as Chief Priest that year he unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was about to die sacrificially for the nation, and not only for the nation but so that all God’s exile-scattered children might be gathered together into one people. (JOH 11:45-52  The Message Bible).


To put it plainly, Caiaphas was just a practical man who recognized the need of finding a scapegoat for the anti‑Roman activities that were happening in Israel. He knew Rome would demand that the lawlessness in Palestine be rectified by the death of “the culprit.” So, the Romans had to be made to think that the Jews were cleaning house without Roman help or interference. Caiaphas’ plan: Kill Jesus!


Now, if Jesus Christ had possessed an Old Sin Nature, like every other member of the human race does, He would have reacted. Instead, He accepted God’s Plan for His Life, knowing the important lesson in ECC 3:7 (The Message Bible): A right time to shut up and another to speak up… That is one of the most important things to learn and put to use, as Christians – to know when to speak and when not to! There are times and situations in which silence is the best policy, especially when you’re being tested by God in situations in your life. Rather than responding to people who are trying to make you angry or hurt, if you, “shut up” – you’ll be a better Christian!


The Lord Jesus Christ showed no emotion and put the whole matter of being treated so horrifically in His Father’s Hands. Do you remember what the Faith-Rest Drill? First, it’s one of the Ten Problem-Solving Devices (tools) which were given to us by God to carry out His Plan for our lives. Every moment Jesus Christ lived on earth, He lived the Faith-Rest life!


There are three parts to the Faith-Rest Drill. First is remembering God’s many promises.  Knowing these promises strengthen our faith in Him. One GREAT promise is found in DEUT 31:8: The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” You should remember His Promises when you are worried or troubled because the second part to the Faith-Rest Drill is applying His Word. Let’s look for a moment at how to apply DEUT 31:8 to our lives. We all have moments when we are afraid that we will not be able to get through something we have to do. Maybe you have to give a book report to your class and you’re very afraid of speaking in front of people. You worked really, really hard on the report, because you needed a good grade in order to pass English that semester. You even practiced reading it out loud, but you’re scared to death of presenting it. All these things run through your mind: “Will the other kids laugh at me?”; “Will they think my report is lame?”; “Will I make mistakes reading it?”


To apply DEUT 31:8 to the situation, remember God’s promise that He “goes ahead of you” and that “He will be with you.” This will give you the courage to stand up and give your report! Using the third part of the Faith-Rest, you put it in God’s Hands AND STOP WORRYING. Now, you’re able to rest because you know He’ll take care of the fear you have in giving the report and doing a good job. He’s got you!! In any situation, always try your absolute best and once you’re done, stop worrying and TRUST GOD!!


You should also think about what Our Lord and Savior went through in His Life, especially during these trials – when you are worried or afraid – because we have the same Divine Power and Bible doctrine that He used during them. Nothing we could ever go through is even a tiny bit as difficult as what He went through for us. In fact, when they were through with His second trial, Jesus no longer looked human. They kept punching Him until His face was destroyed: Many people were shocked when they saw him. He was so scarred that he no longer looked like a person. His body was so twisted that he did not look like a human being anymore. (ISA 52:14 New International Readers Version)


The third trial was held early the next morning by the Jews. This was because the first two trials – the one in front Annas and the one on front of Caiaphas – had both been held at night, which made them illegal. The religious leaders, who were called the Council of Elders, suddenly realized that the trial at night was illegal. Also, the Council knew that it was a feast period (the feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread) and they could not sentence someone on a holy day according to their law. So they said, “Let’s pass Him off to the Romans.” This was when Our Lord finally spoke to them: When it was morning, the religious leaders of the people and the high priests and scholars all got together and brought him before their High Council. They said, “Are you the Messiah?” He answered, “If I said yes, you wouldn’t believe me. If I asked what you meant by your question, you wouldn’t answer me. So here’s what I have to say: From here on the Son of Man takes his place at God’s right hand, the place of power.” They all said, “So you admit your claim to be the Son of God?” “You’re the ones who keep saying it,” he said. But they had made up their minds, “Why do we need any more evidence? We’ve all heard him as good as say it himself.” (LUK 22:66-71 The Message Bible)

{to be continued}

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