This sermon was preached in two parts. The first part was followed by a time of sung and spoken confession.
This Powerpoint presentation was used:-
Part 1 – Four portraits
(a) Caiaphas – perverted justice.
‘Looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death,’ v59.
Looking for the expedient solution – Jn 11:49f “It is better that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
(b) Witnesses – twisted truth.
V61 – “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days’”.
What he actually said, Jn 2:19-21 – ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days…The temple he spoke of was his body.’
(c) Others – ignorant abuse. A grotesque version of ‘blind man’s bluff’. Standford prison experiment.
(d) Peter – fragile faith. He follows ‘at a distance’, ‘midway between courage and cowardice’ (Carson). He has already lost this battle, at Gethsemane.
A proneness to put expediency before justice, self-interest before truth, verbal or physical spitefulness before gentleness and kindness. And a proneness, in the would-be faithful, to stumble, just when they’re feeling strong.
Here are four pictures of a fallen humanity to which we all belong. Were you there when they crucified my Lord? ‘Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice call out among the scoffers.’
“Father, forgive them,” Lk 23:34.
Part 2 – “Who Are You?”
‘Have you stopped beating your wife?’
How rarely Jesus gives a straight answer to a simple question!
(a) Listen to his silence, v63. Caiaphas: ‘“Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.’
There is the silence of awe, of confusion, of contempt, of fear, of guilt. This is the silence of a man who has already submitted to his Father’s will, who has already accepted his destiny: “Not as I will, but as you wil,” v39; “May your will be done,” v42.
(b) Listen to his reply, v64. Placing Jesus under solemn oath, Caiaphas says, “Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.”
Finally, Jesus speaks. “Yes, it is as you say”, v64. A reluctant affirmative.
“But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Daniel 7 – the Son of Man comes to (not from) the Ancient of Days. Resurrection, ascension, exaltation, session, parousia.
In the midst of suffering, Jesus eyes the final outcome. 1 Pet 1:11 – ‘The sufferings of Christ and the glory that would follow.’
Though dishonoured by the high priest, Jesus will be honoured by his heavenly Father. God has determined that ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Phil 2:10f). The time will come when Caiaphas will see the Son of Man not as a prisoner in his dock but as judge at his own trial.
V66 – What do you think? He is worthy of death/he is worthy of discipleship.