Due to the video service format, where you are is the house of the Lord today. We pray that God will bless this service and where you are as we worship God sincerely in spirit and in truth.
The entire ministry of Jesus’ 3 years was His path to the cross. Satan the devil tested Jesus in the beginning and throughout Jesus’ ministry; Satan continued to look for ways to kill Jesus and to stop His atoning work.
Today we will think about how Satan uses different ruses to accuse Jesus. So that we can overcome these tests and hardships too.
1. With whose law did they accuse Jesus?
They brought Jesus out to Pilate a Roman governor, presenting a case that is offensive to the Roman law. During that time the Jews were under the Roman regime, the leaders like the Pharisees and religious leaders had limited power to rule over themselves.
They can’t put anyone to death, that’s why they brought Jesus to the Roman court. Satan makes Jesus look like He is against the nation, in order to use the Gentile law to kill Him.
Now we are going online because of the national law of Singapore. We are a church that cooperates and is helpful to our society. Satan tried to make churches look bad, like they are against society.
2. Who made the decisions? Who gave the sentence?
(i) Among the Jews it was the high priests Annas and Caiaphas.
Under the Jewish law and Jewish society, they made the decisions. John 18:12-13
The Romans brought soldiers to arrest Jesus at Gethsemane. These Roman soldiers’ intention was not to kill or crucify Him, they only escorted Jesus down. They brought Jesus to Annas who was high priest that year, then to Caiaphas his son in law.
In the biblical law God gave, a high priest remains until his death, then his firstborn son succeeds him. Thus each generation should only have 1 high priest, but here there are 2. This is because they bought the high priest position from Herod the king with the highest bid. According to the historian Josephus, Annas had the high priestly position because he was the richest and then his son, his son in law, his other son, his grandson continues on the position.
(ii) Secondly King Herod made the decision.
Herod was the son of Antipater, an Idumean, of the descendants of Esau. During this time, Esau’s descendants were ruling over Jacob’s descendants. Satan uses the Gentile law to arrest Jesus, and used the cursed people to curse Jesus.
3. Let us think about the basis of accusations which they want to crucify Jesus with.
(i) First it was because Jesus did not deny to be the King of the Jews (Messiah). (Matthew 27:11 NKJ)
When Jesus claims to be the king, it is against the national law of Rome. They brought this case to Herod and up to Rome, so that a death sentence can be issued from a higher judiciary level. (John 18:33-37 NKJ)
(ii) Secondly they accused Jesus because Jesus claims to be the Son of God. (Matthew 26:62-66 NKJ)
They made it look like Jesus was against the Roman regime. Now this new accusation was brought to make the Jews agree Jesus deserved death because it was blasphemy. (Mark 14:61-64 NKJ) Jesus revealed the truth, the people of that time were not ready to take the truth.
(iii) Third basis of their accusations was Jesus said to destroy the temple for He will rebuild it. (Matthew 26:59-61 NKJ)
Bible tells us they tried to find false testimony against Jesus. And the spirit of deception and lying made them think they are doing the righteous work. (Mark 14:55-60 NKJ)
Jesus came to restore the eternal temple. Because the false temple they had was built by Herod to gain the Jews’ favour.
(iv) Fourth foundation of their accusation was that Jesus broke the Sabbath. (John 5:18 NKJ)
They were practicing Sabbath wrongly, and the temple was being used for selfish human gains. Today we must reflect and repent: did we keep this house of God, the Sabbath and worship properly?
Mankind accused and killed Jesus with their deformed faith. Yet Jesus took the cross in order to restore the Seed, and the temple, and worship. These 3 things were the exact things used to accuse Jesus.
Now we need to accuse ourselves of these 3 things. Are we believing in Jesus according to my own ways? Because right now, the world, and Satan continues to accuse the church, the Word of God, for the same reasons. Satan tries to make us forget about our true identity and forget Jesus, so that we will fall away. The importance of the church becomes less. Keeping the Lord’s Day becomes optional. Lesser people are actually waiting for the Lord’s return.
As we prepare for the Passion Week and Jesus’ resurrection, let us invite the Lord into our lives. Jesus restores the pathway to the Tree of Life. Where we will enjoy restoration of true Sabbath and peace. That is the state of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
This priestly task was Jesus’ task in the New Testament. But now He is sending us, after opening up the way to the Tree of Life, He says, “Go with peace and the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel, and the sins of many will be forgiven. But if you don’t proclaim this gospel, the sins will be retained!”
Let us accept His goodness, His grace and mercy, so that all Zion Church members and everyone worshipping here will be fully restored by Jesus