1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of  Luke, The Trials of Christ - Lesson 235

 

Luke 22:63-71,  And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 64And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. 66And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, 67Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. 69Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

Jesus Christ was governed by one passion and that passion was to do the will of His Father.

At the young age of 12 he expressed this by telling his distraught parents "I must be about my Fatherís business."

This mission to be about his Fatherís business was Christís passion and this passion extended to his final week on earth which included great suffering on his part.

However his desire to be about his Fatherís business would not let him avoid any suffering at all.

That is why this final week is called Passion Week for it was with passion that Christ fulfilled His Fatherís will and willingly went to the cross for the sins of His people.

He went with passion and would allow nothing, absolutely nothing, to stop him from doing so, even referring to his favored disciple, Peter as Satan when he opposed him from doing His Fatherís will.

The final week of Christís life on earth, called the Passion Week extends from Palm Sunday through Resurrection Sunday.

Passion Week is described in all four Gospels, Matthew, chapters 21-27; Mark, chapters 11-15; Luke, chapters 19-23; and John, chapters 12-19.

Before we delve into todayís passage in Luke, concerning the trials of Christ, I want to recap or summarize the Passion Week for it is easy to get deep into the details of the week and lose sight of the panorama that is taking place.

The choice of the days and the dates of the occurrences of these events are sometimes controversial and varied among expositors.

However looking at one expositorís explanation will give us a framework of sorts which may help our understanding in fitting the pieces together in order to see the whole picture.

I am using the summary of the Passion week that is given in Ungerís Bible Handbook.

It probably reflects the traditional understanding of this week however there are many other understandings of the chronology of this week that also make sense.

Unger considers the year to be 30 AD and the month April.

In Israel it would be the month Nisan which is the month in which the Passover is observed.

Unger has Jesus arriving in Bethany on Saturday after the Sabbath day ended, some expositors say it was the 9th of April, where he was anointed by Mary unto his death, with oil of spikenard.

On Sunday, April 10th he entered Jerusalem in what is called His triumphal entry thereafter going into the temple area and retiring at night to Bethany.

On Monday, April 11th, he cursed the fig tree causing it to wither, he then performed the second cleansing of the temple.

Tuesday, April 12th was his last day in the temple and as reported by Matthew and Mark his authority was challenged by the chief priests and the elders as he taught there.

On this same day he told several parables including that of the two sons, the wicked tenants of the vineyard, and the guests bidden to the wedding feast.

He answered questions about the resurrection, tribute to Caesar, the greatest commandment, and asked the question regarding how David could be father to the Messiah and still call him Lord.

He then pronounced woes upon the scribes and the Pharisees, lamented over Jerusalem, and told of the widowís two mites.

On this same day, after departing from the temple he taught his disciples of the end times and the signs of those times, the parables of the ten virgins, the talents, the separating of the nations, and his teaching concerning our need to satisfy those who hunger and thirst.

He also told his disciples of the conspiracy that was taking place against him which would result in his betrayal and crucifixion.

This was also the day that Judas bargained to betray Jesus.

According to Unger, Wednesday April 13th was a day of quiet at Bethany.

There are others who disagree with this position and place that which Unger says happened on Thursday, happening on Wednesday.

There are those who believe that the crucifixion took place on Thursday, believing that Friday was one of the Jewís seven High Sabbaths that were observed in addition to the weekly seventh day Sabbath.

If that were the case then there were two Sabbaths in a row that week, both preventing any crucifixion and making it happen on Thursday.

But Unger and church tradition tell us Thursday April 14th was a day of preparation for the Passover.

There is no recognition of a second Sabbath in this tradition.

Based upon this thinking the eating of the Paschal meal and the institution of the Lordís Supper took place on Thursday.

Jesus washed the disciples feet, he signaled Judas as the betrayer, he held the great upper room discourse as given to us in John Chapters 13-17.

Jesus prayed the great intercessory prayer.

He suffered his agony in Gethsemane, and then his betrayal and arrest, his confrontation with Peter, and His healing of the ear of Malcus the servant.

Friday April 15th was the day of the crucifixion.

It was a day of threes.

Three times did Peter deny the Lord.

Three times he was tried by the Jews and three times he was tried by the Romans.

It began with the first Jewish trial before Annas which was the go signal to liquidate Jesus.

The second Jewish trial was before Caiaphas where the death sentence was declared based upon the charge of blasphemy after Jesus had declared himself Messiah.

The third Jewish trial was before the Sanhedrin where the death sentence was made legal according to the Jewish authorities.

His three Jewish trials were followed by three Roman trials, the first before Pilate where he was declared not guilty.

The second before Herod where again he was declared not guilty.

And the third before Pilate and again declared not guilty but given up to the Jews to have their way.

The whole thing ended up being a political execution for according to the High Priest Caiaphas, it was expedient for them that one man die for the people and that the whole nation perish not.

It was an execution of expediency.

This Jesus was a threat to the nation, meaning he was a threat to the place of the High Priest and the Elders and the scribes.

They choose to sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

But arenít we glad that God was in charge and that that sacrifice reached much farther than that little group of evil men had planned.

God is like that in all things for we propose, but God disposes.

We cast into the lap but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.

So Pilate gave Jesus over to the Jews on this day.

Judas committed suicide on this day.

Jesus walked to Calvary, the site of the crucifixion.

He was on the cross for 6 hours.

During the first three hours, between 9:00 AM and 12 noon, he said, "Father, forgive them", he said, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise", and he said "Woman behold thy son."

The second three hours, between 12:00 and 3:00 PM four sayings are recorded: "My God, My God", "I thirst", "It is finished", and "Into thy hands I commend my spirit."

We are told that supernatural phenomena accompanied Jesusí death bringing darkness, earthquake, the rending of the temple veil.

He was buried in a tomb built for another man from Arimathaea, a man with the same name as his earthly father, a man named Joseph.

Saturday, April 16, our Lordís body lay in that tomb with his spirit in a place called Sheol.

And on Sunday April 17, our Lord was not found in that tomb having risen from death, bodily and was seen by many.

Having said all this let us get to the details of our passage for today.

Luke 22:63-71,  And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 64And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. 66And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, 67Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. 69Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

This passage tells us of mockings and abuses of our Lord which took place before this trial.

Matthew and Mark tell us of similar things which took place after the Lords "trial" before the Sanhedrin.

It is clear that Jesus Christ suffered great abuse before and through his trials up to the time of his death.

Luke does not fill us in on many details of that abuse but makes sure that we see a Jesus who is fully in control.

It is obvious that the authorities are out of control but Jesus is always in control and says and does only that which is needed.

They mock Jesus as a prophet wanting him to give them some kind of magical display of His powers.

In that very mocking, they are fulfilling Jesusí own words, that a prophet is persecuted, not praised, for his work.

So Jesus is here identified with the prophets who have gone before Him to Jerusalem, to be rejected and to die.

The other Gospels give a much fuller account of the "mock trials" of the Sanhedrin.

But none of the trials are easy to piece together for none of the Gospels gives a full account.

We know that there were two "pretrial hearings" late that night, the first in the home of Annas, a kind of high priest emeritus, and the second in the home of Caiaphas, the high priest and son-in-law of Annas.

Annas was the scoundrel who owned the famous Bazaars of Annas which ran a monopoly on the sale of animals for the sacrifices and also owned the stalls used by the money changers.

The two cleansings of the temple by Jesus hit Annas right between his wallets.

Luke does not get into these details but focuses on that which brought a guilty verdict upon his Lord.

The Sanhedrin which is the Council of Elders, had once ended up in internal discord regarding Christ and now at this trial it was possible this would happen again.

They had to get Jesus to convict himself by his own words.

They had to get Jesus to bear witness against himself.

The law of that day prevented accusers from forcing a man to testify against himself, a law similar to our fifth amendment.

But unless that was done they had no case against Jesus.

They needed to get him to acknowledge that He was the Messiah, and better yet that He was the Son of God.

If so, then they could find Him guilty of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death, for they would not believe that he was indeed the Son of God.

Luke concentrates on this effort.

I want to read this passage from the New American Standard Bible for Christís acknowledgement that He is the Son of God is clear.

Luke 22:66-71,  When it was day, the Council of elders (which is the Sanhedrin) of the people assembled, both chief priests and scribes, and they led Him away to their council chamber, saying, 67"If You are the Christ, tell us." But He said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe; 68and if I ask a question, you will not answer. 69"But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." 70And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I am." 71Then they said, "What further need do we have of testimony? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth."

The King James version, uses the phrase , "Ye say that I am." which means the reason that you say it, is because I am the Son of God.

The New American Standard says Christ simply said "Yes, I am."

The response of the Sanhedrin clearly shows that they understood the simple declarative affirmative, "Yes I am".

They understood that Jesus declared himself to be the Messiah.

Jesus had never been this clear in past encounters with the authorities but those times had not been the right time.

But on this occasion His time had come.

Godís plan brought him to this time where he would fulfill His Fatherís will.

Jesus answered their question, not because they had the right to ask it, and not because it would bring about pleasant results, but because His time had come.

It was obvious that these trials were a sham.

They had produced no evidence against Him to justify the death sentence.

They would not believe that he was the Messiah and they would not allow cross examination of Him.

Their skills produced no results, only Jesus revelation gave them ammunition for their evil deeds.

He was in charge for this was His time.

Jesus gave them a firm "yes," the precise answer they had been looking for.

Their trials had been a sham, his rights had been violated, no witnesses could agree on the charges against Him.

He had been beaten beforehand and testimony had been drawn from Him and now they had all the evidence they needed.

With this conclusion, all they needed now was the cooperation of the state, to kill Him.

But the message is clear. They were not in charge.

Jesus was in charge, even at the time of His arrest, His trials, His abuse, and His denials.

Not one man was faithful. Not one man understood fully what was going on.

No one man stood by the Lord.

Everyone has or will soon abandon Him.

But He is faithful to His calling.

And even in this "hour of darkness" He is in control.

His prophecies are coming to pass, even if by sinful men.

Jesus is not overtaken by His enemies.

Jesus went out to them, and He was taken captive and condemned because He purposed to do so.

Men did not even take His life from Him.

He gave it up Himself.

Jesus was in charge, even in the worst hour of history.

Every section of Lukeís account is the fulfillment of something which Jesus told His disciples earlier in the book.

Prophecy is fulfilled perfectly.

Even at such dark hours as this, He is in control, and His purposes and prophecies are being fulfilled.