TEEN TREE            OF LIFE



Part 8

May 31, 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.”


We’re now at the fourth trial of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the first trial before Pontius Pilate in which Scripture declares that Jesus witnessed or testified an honorable confession. Paul refers to this very confession in 1TI 6:12-13 (New International Version): Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession… What Paul is doing in this verse is drawing a parallel between Timothy’s good confession in which he acknowledged before many witnesses that Jesus is the Messiah, and Jesus Christ’s confession in the presence of Pontius Pilate. In front of Pilate, Jesus Christ confessed, in His own solemn words, that He was the Messiah—the long-looked-for King of Israel. Paul’s letter to Timothy was written just 30 years after Jesus’ confession, which makes it an important example of early written records of Jesus’ ministry.


The apostle John revealed a substantial conversation between Pilate and Jesus Christ. Here is John’s account: Jesus said, “My kingdom is not from this world. If it were, those who serve me would fight. They would try to keep the Jewish leaders from arresting me. My kingdom is from another place.” “So you are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, that’s the reason I was born. I was born and came into the world to be a witness to the truth. Everyone who is on the side of truth listens to me.” (JOHN 18:36-37 New International Reader’s Version) Like Timothy in 1TI 6:12-13, and as Jesus did before Pilate, Christians are also supposed to speak a confession or witness before others – which is that Jesus is the Messiah!


The fourth trial was Jesus’ second trip before Caiaphas that morning: Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning. The Jewish leaders did not want to be made “unclean.” They wanted to be able to eat the Passover meal. So they did not enter the palace. Pilate came out to them. He asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” (JOH 18:28-29 New International Reader’s Version) Now remember, this was the day the Passover supper would be eaten so the reason why the Jews took Jesus to the Roman governor was an attempt to evade Jewish law concerning the holy days. The Jewish leaders wanted to keep their hands “clean” in order to be able to eat the Passover supper that night. Now think about this: in the Jewish religion, the Passover spoke of the death of Christ on The Cross. A roasted lamb bone was traditionally included in the Passover supper and eating the lamb was a picture of believing in Christ; yet, they had rejected Him! The reason Pilate had to go out to the Jews was because they could not come inside a Gentile dwelling on a holy day.


The entire procedure is very interesting. Pilate was keeping very cool. He wanted to know what the indictment was. He had undoubtedly observed the magnificent Person of The Lord Jesus Christ amid all the ruckus and shouting. Pilate knew that there was no evidence to establish a charge against Jesus. The Jewish leaders wanted to condemn Him without a trial; They were afraid of losing their power. With characteristic hypocrisy, they pretended to be righteous men who would never think of arresting an innocent man. Pilate asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” “He has committed crimes,” they replied. “If he hadn’t, we would not have handed him over to you.” (JOH 18:29-30 New International Reader’s Version) The Jewish leaders were essentially trying to justify their own wicked behavior.


The fifth trial was before Herod. The apostle Luke tells us: When Herod saw Jesus, he was very pleased. He had been wanting to see Jesus for a long time. He had heard much about him. He hoped to see Jesus perform a sign of some kind. Herod asked him many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there. With loud shouts they brought charges against him. Herod and his soldiers laughed at him and made fun of him. They dressed him in a beautiful robe. Then they sent him back to Pilate. That day Herod and Pilate became friends. Before this time they had been enemies. (LUK 23:8-12 New International Reader’s Version)


You have to imagine that Herod was excited at seeing Jesus. He had surely heard a great deal about Him, but his only interest was a desire to be amused and entertained. This son of Herod the Great never took Jesus seriously. So, hoping for entertainment, he attempted to persuade Him to perform one of His miracles. When Jesus refused, Herod angrily ordered Him to be tortured. Jesus was not only tortured; they also threw a beautiful robe around Him and mocked Him. The mockery made it plain that Herod didn’t take the charge seriously. That’s the really frightening thing about the incident. With the Son of God before him, all Herod could do was mock Him. Pilate and Herod had been enemies; but this mutual crisis had made them friends. How very sad that they found no common ground except their opposition to Our Lord and Savior.


The sixth trial was before Pilate. Judging there was something different – and innocent – about Jesus, Pilate hoped the Jewish custom of releasing a prisoner during Passover might help deliver this Man whom Pilate knew was innocent. But the crowd rejected Jesus and chose Barabbas instead. This is taught in JOH 18:39-40 (New International Reader’s Version):  But you have a practice at Passover time. At that time, you ask me to set one prisoner free for you. Do you want me to set ‘the king of the Jews’ free?” They shouted back, “No! Not him! Give us Barabbas!” Barabbas had taken part in an armed struggle against the country’s rulers. Pilate had hoped they would spare Jesus, but the crowd instead condemned Him.


MATT 27:20 says: But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to put Jesus to death. So this wasn’t a spontaneous response from the crowd, but one deliberately promoted by the religious leaders! When the crowd chose Barabbas instead of Jesus, it reflected the fallen nature of all humanity. They chose a false, violent man instead of the true Son of God.


As we close, we’re going to look in detail at the reason why Our Lord came to this earth in which we live. He explains it in His own words in LUK 19:10 (New International Reader’s Version): “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Let’s look at the chronology of The Crucifixion along with the words He uttered, as He hung upon the Cross, which are all further evidence of Jesus Christ’s uniqueness.


It’s interesting to note that no one Gospel records all the events, because each one has a different emphasis. First there was the procession of Roman soldiers and religious leaders arriving at Golgatha. This is covered by the apostle Matthew in MAT 27:32-34 (The Message Bible): The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor’s palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun. They stripped him and dressed him in a red toga. They plaited a crown from branches of a thornbush and set it on his head. They put a stick in his right hand for a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mocking reverence: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” they said. “Bravo!” Then they spit on him and hit him on the head with the stick. When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put his own clothes back on him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion. Along the way they came on a man from Cyrene named Simon and made him carry Jesus’ cross. Arriving at Golgotha, the place they call “Skull Hill,” they offered him a mild painkiller (a mixture of wine and myrrh), but when he tasted it he wouldn’t drink it.


Then Jesus was crucified between the two thieves: Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution. When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. (LUK 23:32-33 The Message Bible). At this point, we have the first cry on The Cross when “Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.” (LUK 23:34-35 (The Message Bible)


Next, the soldiers gambled for His clothes. This was actually a Roman custom: After they had finished nailing him to the cross and were waiting for him to die, they whiled away the time by throwing dice for his clothes. Above his head they had posted the criminal charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Along with him, they also crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!” (MAT 27:35-40 The Message Bible)


Then, the Jews began to mock Him: The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—he can’t save himself! King of Israel, is he? Then let him get down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then! He was so sure of God—well, let him rescue his ‘Son’ now—if he wants him! He did claim to be God’s Son, didn’t he?” Even the two criminals crucified next to him joined in the mockery. (MAT 27:39‑41-44 The Message Bible) And although the thieves joined in on “poking fun” at Our Lord and Savior, look at what happened next: One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!” But the other one made him shut up: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him—he did nothing to deserve this. (LUK 23:39‑41 The Message Bible) Then the second cry was uttered:” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.” He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.” (LUK 23:42-43 The Message Bible)


The third cry was Our Lord seeing to the care of His earthly family after His Resurrection: While the soldiers were looking after themselves, Jesus’ mother, his aunt, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved [John] standing near her. He said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment the disciple accepted her as his own mother. (JOH 19:24-27 The Message Bible)


At exactly 12:00 noon, darkness covered the earth which was followed by the fourth cry: From noon to three, the whole earth was dark. Around midafternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (MAT 27:45-46 The Message Bible)


The apostle John records the fifth cry in JOH 19:28 (The Message Bible): Jesus, seeing that everything had been completed so that the Scripture record might also be complete, then said, “I’m thirsty.” Jesus didn’t accept a pain-numbing drink at the beginning of His ordeal (see MAT 27:32-34 above); but now He accepted a taste of greatly diluted wine, to wet His parched lips and dry throat so He could make one final announcement to the world (the sixth cry) with a clear, loud voice: After Jesus drank he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died. (JOH 19:30 New International Version) The Work, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior was complete.


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