Intro: The passage before us describes in detail the trial of the Lord Jesus
Christ before the Jewish Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin. It was this trial that
paved the way for His subsequent trial and conviction before Pontius Pilate.
This was the first step, as far as the Jews were concerned, in getting rid of
Jesus of Nazareth.
As we enter this precious time of the year, a time when we all should
stop to contemplate the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of our
Lord, this is a good time for us to reflect on what He endured for us, in order
that He might redeem us from our sins. Over the next four Sunday
mornings, I will preaching about the King of Kings. We will consider Him in His Condemnation, in His Crucifixion, in His Conquest and in His
Coronation. I want to focus our attention on Him and what He did for you
This morning we are going to study The Condemnation Of The King.
I would like for us to see how the Judge of the universe allowed Himself to
be judged by His Own creation, and what His trial before the Jewish leaders
has to say to us today. There is a word here for our hearts as we consider The Condemnation Of The King.
The last night our Lord lived here on the earth, before the crucifixion,
was a night filled with many events. The Lord partook of the Passover with
His men. He taught them many truths concerning Himself, the Holy Spirit
and what their relationship to Him should be like. They learned about Servants (John 13), Steadfastness (John 14), Service (John 15), The
Spirit (John 16), and the Savior (John 17). They heard about the Cross
and the Crown. They learned that one of their own would betray Him. It
was as eventful a night as the world had ever known.
After Jesus and His Disciples left the upper room where they had
observed the Passover, Jesus led them out to Gethsemane where He
prayed for all His followers, including you and me. After He finished praying,
a mob led by Judas the traitor came to arrest Jesus. Even in His arrest, He
displayed the power that was His as the Son of God, John 18:2-8.
I would like for us to focus in on the events that occurred just after Jesus
was arrested in the garden. I want to look at His trial before the Jewish
authorities this morning and preach for a time on The Condemnation Of
I. WE SEE THE KING ARRAIGNED
A. The Place Of His Arraignment - After Jesus is arrested, He is taken
to the home of Annas, the father-in-law of the High Priest, John
18:13. Then, He was taken to the home of the High Priest,
Caiaphas. According to history, the homes of these two men were
connected by a courtyard. While Caiaphas may have been the high
Priest, Anna was the real power in Jerusalem. He was over the
business of the Temple and he was the person who oversaw the
tables fo the moneychangers. He was a man who hated Jesus for
obvious reasons, John 2:15-17. They arranged for the trial of Jesus
to be held in a private setting to conceal what they were doing from
B. The Participants In His Arraignment - We are told that the "scribes and elders" were already assembled. This proceeding
had been planned in advance and all the people necessary were
already present when Jesus arrived. The term "scribes and elders"
refers to the Sanhedrin. It was comprised of 71 men, presided over
by the High Priest. This would be the Jewish equivalent of the
Supreme Court. Jesus is arrested and immediately arraigned before
the highest court in the land. These were men who should have
been doing everything in their power to being men to God, instead
they were doing everything in their power to keep men away from
God! (Ill. Isa. 53:3; John 1:11)
C. The Problems With His Arraignment - The trial of Jesus was
plagued by many illegalities. For instance:
•The Sanhedrin was designed to save life not take it away. Yet,
these men have gathered for the sole purpose of putting Jesus
•This trial was conducted at night. The Law specified that any
trials were to be held during the day.
•The accused was always allowed to call witnesses in is defense.
Jesus was not given the privilege of calling a single witness.
•The Sanhedrin was to judge the case, not prosecute it. In the
trial of Jesus, they assumed both roles.
•If any witnesses were found to have given false testimony before
the court, they were to be given the same punishment being
sought for the accused.
•If the death penalty was being sought, the Sanhedrin was
required to observe a three-day waiting period of prayer and
fasting before judgment was rendered. Jesus was tried,
convicted and dead before 24 hours had passed!
•The Sanhedrin could not condemn anyone
to death on a unanimous vote. A
unanimous vote for condemnation suggested that the element of
mercy was missing. Yet, Jesus is condemned by all!
•Trials were only to be held within the Temple
•It was illegal to bribe witness to give false testimony.
•It was against the law to force a prisoner to testify against
•It was against the law to use a prisoner's confession.
There are more errors that could be pointed out, but these are
enough to demonstrate the fact that Jesus did not receive fair trial,
but He was convicted by a kangaroo court that had its mind made up
before the trial ever convened!
II. WE SEE THE KING ACCUSED
A. V. 59-60 The Treachery In This Trial - as we have already
demonstrated, this was not a fair trial, Jesus was already convicted
before He ever entered the room. This was not a court of law, it was
a lynch mob! These men were out for blood and they got it!
B. V. 60-64 The Testimony In This Trial - As the trial progressed, the
Jews sought for people to testify against Jesus. They found many
willing to give false testimony, but evidently, their testimonies did not
agree, which was required under the Law for a conviction, Deut.
1. V. 60-61 The Testimony Of The Sinners - Finally, two men
came forward who agreed in their statements against Jesus.
They twisted His Own words and accused Him of speaking
against the Temple. Under Jewish Law, this was blasphemy and
was punishable by death, Lev. 24:14-16. Of course, Jesus was
not speaking about the Temple in Jerusalem, but of His Own
body that would be nailed to a cross and raised three days later, John 2:19-21. His words were taken out of context, but they
held a ring of truth for the Jews who were looking for any excuse
to put Jesus to death.
(Note: Could Jesus have found any that would have testified for
Him? What about the man He had healed at Bethesda? What
about the woman He had spared who had been taken in
adultery? What about a blind man who had been healed in
Jerusalem? What about a little family that lived just 5 miles
down the road, in which was a man named Lazarus who had
been raised from the dead? What about the thousands He had
fed in the wilderness? Yes, thousands could have been called
in His defense in that day. Why, there are people in t his room
who could testify to His power and His identity. He has made all
the difference in your life and you know Who He is! There is still
a need for me to testify about Him today!)
2. V. 62-64 The Testimony Of The Savior - When pressed by the
High Priest to answer the allegations, Jesus remained silent, as
Isaiah had prophesied He would, Isa. 55:7. However, when the
High Priest said, "I adjure thee by the living God", this put
Jesus under oath and compelled Him to answer. And answer He
did! He boldly proclaimed His identity as the Son of God.
Further, He proclaimed His Own resurrection, exaltation and
return to rule and reign on the earth.
(Note: Imagine the scene. Here stands a man covered in blood.
He is weary from being up all night. He looks totally helpless.
Yet, He talks about being on a throne! He talks about His Own
glory. He identifies Himself as the Son of God and claims that
there is coming a day when He will rule the world! Those claims
must have sounded ridiculous to those who heard them, and yet
they were 100% true! Friend, don't be mistaken! The claims of
Jesus to be the only way to God may sound foolish to modern
ears, John 14:6, but it does not change the fact that he is Who
He says He is and He is the only way anyone in this room, or in
the world for that matter, will ever see God.)
C. V. 65-66 The Tragedy Of This Trial - When the High Priest heard
the words of Jesus, he had what he wanted! He had just heard the
truth, but he dismissed the truth as blasphemy! He really puts on a
show for those assembled. He tears his garments, pronounces
Jesus guilty of blasphemy and calls for a vote! The tragedy in this trial lies
in the fact that the creature has the audacity to judge and condemn his Creator!
(Note: What Caiaphas does in rending his garments is worthy of
note. The High Priest was forbidden from doing this under the Law, Lev. 21:10. For a High Priest to rend His garments was to disqualify
himself from his office! Do you see what is happening here? The
pretender has disqualified himself before the TRUE High Priest! The
inferior was stepping down in the presence of the Superior! You
see, Jesus was on the way to the cross to abolish the old Jewish
sacrificial system forever. Caiaphas didn't realize the significance of
what the was doing, but he was last High Priest of the end of the
sacrificial system, he was merely abolishing the role of the human
priest forever! Once Jesus died and rose again, He would serve
forever as the perfect, eternal High Priest. Now, men do not have
to access God through other men. We access Him through our High
Priest, the Lord Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5. He and He alone makes
intercession for us before the Father, Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34.)
(Note: Caiaphas might have denied Jesus when he met Him the first
time, but the day is coming when this same little man will cry out for
the mountains and te rocks to fall on him to hide him from the wrath
of the Lamb! Jesus Christ is the ultimate destiny for every man!
One day, Caiaphas will stand before Jesus and he will be forced to
give an account of His life before the judge of all hearts. On that
day, Caiaphas, along with everyone who denies Jesus will receive
a just trial and a righteous sentence. Friend, you may walk away
from Him today, but there is a day coming in which you will be made
to face Him, bow to Him and give an answer before His throne, Rev.
20:11-15. Are you ready for that day?)
III. V. 67-68 WE SEE THE KING ABUSED
(Ill. The accusation has been made, the testimony has been given and
the verdict has been rendered. Jesus has been declared guilty of
blasphemy. The mob now unleashes their anger against Him in a most
A. It Was Pathetic - They spit upon Him. They punched Him. They hit
Him. They slapped Him. Here are religious men, preachers if you
will, attacking the Son of God! What a brutal scene this must have
been! Imagine the blood beginning to flow as they beat His face.
Imagine His face beginning to swell as they brutalize Him. Then,
remember, it was all for you! He did this because He loves you! If
you want to see the depths of human depravity, then look no further
than this moment in time. Here man is revealed at his worst! He
brutally rejects His Maker and attacks Him in anger. If anyone ever
needed proof that Rom. 3:10-12 and Rom. 3:23 were true need
look no farther than this episode! While this scene displays in graphic
detail the fallen and totally depraved nature of humanity, this scene also
pictures the boundless depths of the love of God for those whom He would save.
Here is God in the flesh! At His word, His tormentors would have dropped
dead. Yet, He endured their abuse and went to the cross to die for us so
that we might be saved. What love!
(Note: As they beat Him, they demand that He identify those doing
the beating. They say "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he
that smote Thee?" They have rejected His claims to be the Son of
God and their Messiah. They abuse Him and mock Him openly!
Did you know that the question they asked that night is still valid
this morning? Who is this room is guilty of smiting the Lord Jesus?
You say, "I would never spit on Him or hit Him!" I say that if you
reject His offer of free salvation, then you are essentially spitting in
His face and telling Him you want no part of Him! Yes, if you reject
His call to come to Him, you are guilty of abusing the Lord Who
However, the blow that hurt the worst that evening was not
inflicted by any member of the Sanhedrin. You see, out in the
courtyard, beside a small fire was a man named Peter. Three times
he was asked about his relationship to the Lord, three times he
denied even knowing Him, Matt. 26:69-75. That was the cruelest
blow delivered the evening! "Who is he that smote Thee?" The
answer is this: every one who claims a relationship with Jesus, but
who denies Him by the life they live is still guilty of spitting in His
face. You, sir, are guilty of punching Him. You, ma'am, are guilty of
slapping the blessed face of our Redeemer! It is absolutely pathetic
how some people treat the One Who died to redeem them! You
need to make that right today!)
B. It Was Prophetic - All the events that took place that night were
bad, but they were all part of God's plan! The prophets had foretold
the sufferings of the Christ, "I gave my back to the smiters, and
my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face
from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me;
therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my
face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.", Isa.
50:6-7. Even though these events were foretold centuries before
the transpired, each participant was responsible for his part in what
happened. You see, there was at least one member of the
Sanhedrin, possibly two, who was probably absent that evening.
That man's name was Nicodemus! He had met Jesus one evening,
John 3, and had later defended Jesus before the Sanhedrin, John
7:50-51. Had he been there, he would have taken the part of Jesus!
Another member of that body who came to faith in Christ was
Joseph of Arimathea, Mark 15:43. After the death of Jesus both of
these men took the body of Jesus and prepared it for the burial,
John 19:38-42. If these two men could see the light and be saved,
the rest could have as well! The bottom line is this, you are
responsible for what you do with Jesus! You can try to blame it on
anything you may choose, but you are responsible before God for
C. It Was Productive - This trial and the abuse that followed was
horrible beyond description, but it was glorious in that it prepared the
way for the cross to come to pass. For it was on the cross of
Calvary that Jesus demonstrated the love of God for lost humanity. Rom. 5:8. Thank God for the events that led to the cross, for it was
there that our redemption price was paid, 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
Conc: I would just remind you that what Jesus suffered that night He
suffered just for you! He went through this so you might be saved and so
you might miss Hell when you die. Here is the question you must answer:
Since the Bible says Jesus died for your sins, and since the Bible also says
that He is the only way to God, have you ever trusted Jesus as your
personal Savior? Have you been born again? If you have never been
saved, this altar is open to receive you will you will come. Jesus will save
you if you will call on Him by faith!
For those who are saved, are you guilty of abusing your King? Does your
life spit in His face? Do the things you do and say sting Him like brutal
blows in the face? If your Christian walk in not all it should be, I call on you
to get before Him this morning, repent of your condition and get back in line
Whatever the needs may be, He has already met them. Whatever the
burdens, He is the answer. Get to Him today, while there is time!
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