LIFE OF THE MESSIAH – 018
DR. ARNOLD G. FRUCHTENBAUM
VIII. The Preparation for the Death of the King
C. The Promises and Admonitions by the King
Turn to paragraph 149, capital C on your outline, the promises and admonitions by the King. Again 149 takes place in the Upper Room, and in paragraph 150 the conversation continues but now they’re walking towards Gethsemane. The Upper Room discourse is the seventh of John’s seven signs; the seventh of his seven signs. In John 14:6 you have the sixth of his seven “I AM’s.” Verse 6, “I AM the way, the truth and the life.” In paragraph 150 John 15:1 you have the seventh of His seven “I AM’s”, “I AM the true vine. So that completes the seven discourses, the seven signs, the seven “I AM’s”.
Now what we have here is a lengthy dissertation of His that marks a transition as he moves from the office of a prophet to the office of a priest, though He becomes a priest only with His ascension. Also we see the transition moving from law to grace. Here He lays down the seeds of later Christian doctrine and many of the doctrines you find in the epistles have the elements of what we find here. He also defines a new relationship that will result from His death and resurrection between Him and the believer, a relationship that won’t be possible until the death and resurrection occurs.
And obviously you can spend a lot of weeks dealing with so much truth in these segments but that’s not our purpose. If I was teaching the Gospel of John that’d be one thing, but I’m teaching The Life of Messiah thematically so we have to be more thematic. Altogether there are a total of 25 promises and 13 admonitions. I’ll go through the 25 promises first and then we’ll follow with the admonitions.
The first promise is found in John 14:2, He’s going to prepare a place for them. Then secondly, He also promises to comfort them to where He was then going. Now notice here there’s a special promise made for believers, a special coming for believers to take them to where He was then going. Now where was He then going? He was going to heaven. And the specific promise here is a special coming for believers for the purpose of taking them also to where He was then going, which meant to take them to heaven. Here we have the first hint of what comes out clearer later of a pretribulational rapture. Now in postribulationism they claim that once we are raptured we meet Him in the air, we make a U-turn and come back to the earth. But that’s not the promise here; the promise is a special coming for believers to take them to heaven.
The third promise He makes down in John 14:12 is they will do even greater works than He. The word “greater” in this context would not mean greater in quality because nobody can supercede the quality miracles that He performed; but it means greater in number, not greater in quality but greater in quantity.
Fourthly, in John 14:13 He promises to answer prayers and they’ll be praying; up until now He has not taught them to pray in His name but one of the new things that will come up with His death and resurrection is to pray in His name, to pray in His authority.
The fifth promise in John 14:16-18 is the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell them forever. He doesn’t say He’ll indwell them until they commit their next sin; He’ll dwell in them forever. And notice at the end of verse 17 the difference between the new and the old. He says the Spirit is with them but now He will be in them. The Spirit was always with believers but never in believers, with just some exceptions, like the prophets. In the Old Testament the Spirit indwelt only some believers, but not all, and furthermore the indwelling was not necessarily permanent. So David’s prayer, His penitential prayer, is in Psalm 51, “Take not your Holy Spirit from me.” That was a valid Old Testament prayer but not a valid New Testament prayer, because here once the Spirit indwells us He indwells us forever He says. Now what saves is not the indwelling; what saves is the work of regeneration, and once we believe then the Spirit regenerates our dead human spirit, we become alive to God. And with the Old Testament saint once he believed the Spirit was with him but now as we believe He is in us.
The sixth promise in John 14:21-22 is to be loved by the Father and the Son; to be loved by the Father and the Son.
In the same passage, the seventh promise is that He will come to them again after the resurrection. Again, they don’t understand that just yet, but He will come again for them after His resurrection.
The eighth promises, in John 14:26-27, the Holy Spirit will teach them and bring to remembrance everything He taught them. The Holy Spirit will teach them and bring to remembrance everything He taught them. That answers the question how they can remember decades later what He actually taught. Now keep in mind John writes his Gospel in the early 90s; that’s about sixty years after Jesus was here. How did he remember all those detailed messages? Because the Holy Spirit brought to remembrance what they had been taught.
The ninth promise, peace in the heart, recognizing God is in control.
2. On the Way to Gethsemane
Paragraph 150 – John 15-16
Moving down to paragraph 150, the tenth promise is a new relationship of being in Messiah, in Christ, a new relationship resulting of being in the Messiah, in Christ.
Promise number eleven, in John 15:15 is they will be His friends. Number twelve, in John 15:16, they were chosen for good works.
Now in John 15:19-22 you have the thirteenth promise; they will be hated by the world for three reasons. First of all because believers no longer follow the world system. It’s one thing to be in the world; it’s quite another to be of the world. And with believers no longer of the world system then that’d be one reason the unbelieving world is going to hate us. A second reason they’ll be hated is because it is easier to vent anger against a disciple than against Christ Himself. A third reason is because the world does not know the Father. That’s three reasons, actually there are four. The fourth reason is because the believer lives under a different and new standard; the believer lives under a different and new standard which condemns the world.
The fourteenth promise in John 15:26-27, the Spirit will bear witness of the Messiah. And the fifteenth promise in John 15:27 is they themselves will bear witness of Him. The sixteenth promise is that they’ll be excommunicated from the synagogue, and some of them will also be killed; in fact, ten of the eleven will die the death of a martyr. This is John 16:2 of the next chapter here, in paragraph 150. The seventeenth promise is that some will be killed.
The eighteenth promise is the Holy Spirit is going to convict the world. The Spirit will convict the world of three things: first of all their unbelief, because they failed to believe in the Messiah. Secondly, they will be convicted of righteousness, the righteousness of the Messiah, as will be evidenced by His ascension to the Father. And thirdly, the Spirit will convict the world with judgment, the final judgment which shows that the prince of this world has been judged. And if the prince of the world has been judged, how much more those who follow him.
The nineteenth promise in John 16:13 is the Holy Spirit will reveal to them what is truth; He will reveal to them what the truth is. The twentieth promise in John 16:14 is that the Spirit will glorify the Son. The twenty-first promise in John 16:16 is He will leave and they won’t see Him for a while, but then they will see Him again. They will not see Him for a while, then they’ll see Him again, and the difference in-between is “a little while,” probably a reference to His death where He ceases to see them and His resurrection when He sees them again.
The twenty-second promise is His new teaching method, John 16:25, “These things I have spoken unto you in proverbs,” or parables, “the hour comes, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs,” or parables “but shall tell you plainly of the Father.” And so He’s been teaching them parabolically and then He would interpret the parables to them, but now He will cease speaking parabolically with them. Now that His public ministry has come to an end He won’t be teaching that way any further.
The twenty-third promise in John 16:31 is that they will scatter, and they will desert him. The twenty-fourth promise is they will suffer persecution, in John 16:33. The same verse, the twenty-fifth promise is they will have final victory, because He overcame the world they will have final victory. These are twenty five promises, all of them could receive a lot of elaboration if we were teaching the Gospel of John but that’s not what we’re doing.
Going back to paragraph 149 let’s now deal with the thirteen admonitions. The first admonition in John 14:1 is do not be disturbed; do not be disturbed because He’ll be leaving them. The second admonition in John 14:6 is that He the way to God the Father, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. The third admonition in John 14:10-11 is to keep on believing on Him; He’s the One who did the will of the Father, and therefore to know Him is to know God the Father; differences about His words in verse 10, His works in the end of verse 10. By His words and by His works, the works become the evidences of His words.
The fourth admonition in John 14:14 is to keep His commandments. In verse 15 He says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” Notice we do not keep His commandments in order to get to love Him; because we love Him we keep His commandments. The keeping of commandments is a result of our salvation, not a way of gaining it. The fifth admonition, in John 14:23-24 is to love the Lord, to love the Messiah. The sixth admonition in John 14:28 is to rejoice that He goes to the Father, be glad of His return to the Father.
Then paragraph 150, the seventh admonition, to abide in Christ, that’s the means of becoming fruitful, to abide in Christ. If the branch does not bear fruit, it says it takes away, the Greek word can also mean to lift up because the kind of vines they had in the first century Israel, still used by the Arab population within the land, they have vines that grow parallel to the ground. When they are sitting on the ground they won’t produce fruit so they lift up the vine and put a rock underneath it and once the vine is lifted up then it can produce fruit. And so a believer that’s not bearing fruit, He will lift them up so they could bear fruit. If he stills fail to be productive then there is a burning; what’s burning is the fruit, not the person, in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.
The eighth admonition in John 15:8 is to bear fruit; that’s the sign of true discipleship. The ninth admonition in John 15:10 is to abide in His love, keep on abiding in His love. The tenth admonition in John 15:13-14 is to love one another. The eleventh admonition in John 15:27 is to bear witness.
Then we go to the latter part of the next chapter, the twelfth admonition is down in John 16:23-24, to ask in His name. To ask in His name, again that’s a new element in their prayer life. And the thirteenth admonition at the end of John 16:33, to be of good cheer; be of good cheer because in spite of the persecution you might suffer, nevertheless, He has overcome the world.
D. The High Priestly Prayer
Paragraph 151 – John 17
1. Concerning Himself – John 17:1-8
Now in paragraph 151 we have the high priestly prayer. On your outline you have a more detailed outline; notice that he followed His own admonition to organize our prayer life and He divides it into three parts, and the first segment of this prayer concerns Himself in John 17:1-8. The specific element He prays for Himself is for the restoration of His glory; the final unveiling of the glory that has been veiled since the incarnation. And it gives two reasons for it: first of all, the Son may glorify the Father; and secondly, that now with His approaching death and resurrection His work is finished. It was temporarily unveiled at the Transfiguration but veiled again by the time they came off the mountain and now He prays for a final unveiling since He revealed the Father to men.
2. Concerning the Apostles – John 17:9-19
The second element of His prayer is the apostles themselves in John 17:9-19. He prays for three specific things which are listed on your outline.
a. Preservation – John 17:9-14
First of all, small “a,” He prays for their preservation in John 17:9-14. For their preservation, the first reason, there will be five reasons, the first reason in John 17:11 is because He’s “no more in the world.” Secondly, in John 17:12, while He was in the world He protected them and guarded them. He will no longer be with them physically. A third reason is because He is glorified in them. The fourth reason is He’s the One that’s been guarding them. And the fifth reason, in John 17:13, He’s now coming to the Father.
b. Protection – John 17:15-16
Small b, the second thing He prays for them is for their protection in John 17:15-16; protection, first of all from Satan and secondly because they are no longer of the world but they are still in it.
c. Sanctification – John 17:17-19
The third thing He prays about them is their sanctification in John 17:17-19. It’s a word that means to be set apart, they have now been set apart for the same mission, and now they have to become more and more sanctified which in a wider teaching to become more and more conformed to the image of the Son of God.
3. Concerning All Believers – John 17:20-26
The third part of His prayer in John 17:20-26 concerns all believers. Notice John 17:20, “neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe on Me through their word;” He went from Himself, to specifically the apostles and now to all believers that become believers through apostolic mission.
a. Unity – John 17:20-23
He prays for two things on your outline; their unity in John 17:20-23, possible only because the Spirit indwells all believers.
b. Glorification – John 17:24-26
And then secondly for their glorification. Now six times in this period He refers to God as Father—six times. The first time, the second line, John 17:2 there, “Father, the hour is come.” The second time in John 17:5, “And now, O Father.” The third time, in the middle of John 17:11, “Holy Father.” The fourth time, second line in John 17:21, and “You Father.” The fifth time, John 17:24, “Father.” And the sixth time in John 17:25, “O righteous Father.” So now keep in mind He calls Him six times Father. I’ll come back to that when we deal with the crucifixion tomorrow. But notice for now six times He calls Him Father.
E. The Agony of Gethsemane - Paragraph 152
Mark 14:26, 32-42; Matthew 26:30, 36-46; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1
Now we come to paragraph 152, The Agony of Gethsemane. Now look at John 18:1, “When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook, Kidron,” and that’s what you have to cross before you get to the Mount of Olives. So half of this discussion earlier was in the Upper Room. Then they drank the fourth cup and sang Psalms 113-118, there was more discussion on the walk to Gethsemane and then just before reaching it He prays this prayer and now they begin to climb the Mount of Olives and that’s where the Garden of Gethsemane was, in Hebrew (?) meaning a oil press, because on that side of the mountain they grew olive trees to produce olive oil to be used for the temple compound.
Now in paragraph 152 we have the agony of Gethsemane. He now undergoes a tremendous struggle. The preparation of it is in the Garden He leaves eight of His disciples by the gateway, found at the end of Mark 14:32, “Sit ye here, while I pray.” And then He took Peter, James and John further up and left them behind as a second watch. And then He went about a stone’s throw further away and underwent the agony. And the way His agony is described is in six specific statements.
First of all, He was greatly amazed in Mark 14:33. And the word amazed in the Greek has the meaning to be utterly surprised, to be stunned with astonishment; utterly surprised to be stunned with astonishment. Secondly, in Mark 14:33 He was “sore troubled,” meaning He was feeling very heavy, like a heavy weight was pressing upon Him. Thirdly, His soul was “exceeding sorrowful,” Mark 14:34, the term means to be pressed upon, emphasizing the extreme pressure that Jesus, the Yeshua, is under at this point of time. Fourthly, He “was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” The point is that His sorrow was so great, the pressure so severe, the trouble so heavy, the real danger is total collapse of His physical frame.
Luke adds two other points; fifthly, He was in “agony” in Luke 22:44 and the word agony means conflict, He was in agony in the sense of being in conflict. Now what exactly He was conflicted about we’ll discuss in a couple more minutes. For now, the sixth point, He began sweating blood and on the power point here I have the medical term for this; hematohidrosis; hematohidrosis means you are in such agony that the blood begins to seep through your vessels and comes out as sweat but bloody sweat. He began to drop great sweats of blood falling on the ground. And it was in this juncture that an angel in Luke 22:43 comes down to help to strengthen Him.
Now what was the agonizing over? Two things; one is found actually in a prophetic passage, in Isaiah 49:1-13, He was agonizing over Israel’s rejection of His Messianic claims; He agonized over Israel’s failure to respond. But by this manner the Father has chosen for the light to go out to the Gentiles, and because of Israel’s rejection He will become the light to the Gentiles, and mostly Gentiles will believe. But once the fullness of Gentiles comes in the body is complete and all Israel will believe. That’s the point of Isaiah 49:1-13.
But the Gospels focus on the second element of His agony. Now looking at Mark’s account, Mark 14:36, we’re given a summary of His first prayer, “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto You; remove this cup from Me: howbeit not My will, but Your will be done.” The second thing He agonized over is partaking of this cup, which we’ll discuss in a couple of minutes.
And again, for the summary prayer, according to Mark’s account, Mark 14:37 this first time of prayer took about an hour. And when He came back to where the disciples were He found them sleeping. And in Mark 14:38 He tells them they need to keep on watching, lest they fall into temptation because “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And because they were not on guard is why they ended up scattering and why Peter will end up denying Him.
He then went back to a second period of prayer in Matthew 26:42, again a summary statement, “Again a second time He went away, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, Your will be done.” And again He went to the disciples and again found them sleeping. And then for the third time, end of Matthew 26:44, “prayed the third time, saying again the same words.”
And the question is what does He mean by “this cup” and there have been three different suggestions over the years. One common suggestion is that the cup represents His coming physical death and what He agonizes over now is His physical death and what He’s asking is not to have to die physically. That’s not a good way to interpret the cup because it would mean He was asking for cancellation for the whole purpose of the incarnation. God, as God, cannot die, and one major reason God became man was so he could die for our sins.
In John 10:17 He predicted He would die; if He does not now die they will (?) Him a false prophet. Luke 19:10, He came for the purpose of dying. Philippians 2:8, part of His obedience was the obedience to dying. Hebrews 10:5-9, His whole purpose was to come to die. And earlier in paragraph 130 we mentioned that one thing He said is that He would not ask the Father not to die. That’s what He said in paragraph 130. If He is now asking the Father not to die physically then it meant He was not truthful in paragraph 130 and therefore sinned. So interpreting the cup as being physical death does not really settle all the questions.
A second interpretation of the cup is that it does not represent physical death per se but premature death; what He’s afraid of is dying before He got to the cross. That’s a little better than the first option but really is not a good answer either because there was simply no danger of it.
As He comes to His point of death it’s not Satan is in control, it’s not the Jewish leaders were in control, it’s not Romans who are in control, He is in full control of His death, and if He wanted to He could have hung on the cross forever. Tomorrow we discuss His actual death and come to Luke 22:46, [correct verse?] we’ll note that Luke uses the Greek word that means to dismiss; He dismisses His spirit from His body. He will choose the moment of His death. In a previous paragraph, in John 10:18, He declared no man takes My life from Me; I lay it down of Myself. And we’ll see in the next couple of paragraphs when the soldiers come to arrest Him all He has to say is “I AM” and He forced them all right down to the ground. There was simply no danger of Him dying prematurely, He will choose the moment of His death.
I think the best answer as to the meaning of the cup would be it signifies the wrath of God resulting in spiritual death. And what we mean by spiritual death is separation from God the Father.
Now keep in mind nowhere in the Old Testament was it ever prophesied that He would die spiritually; it was definitely prophesied He would die physically. There is no evidence that He would die spiritually in the prophesies about the Messiah in the Old Testament. Furthermore, for the atonement it was not His physical death which was essential; what was essential was His… not the spiritual death that was essential but it was essential for Him to die physically and by the shedding of blood remission of sin comes; Leviticus 7:11, atonement comes by the shedding of innocent blood.
Now since His physical death was prophesied and was essential for the atonement He could not legitimately ask not to die physically. But His spiritual death was not essential for the atonement, nor was it prophesied; He could legitimately ask not to have to die spiritually. It hard for us to appreciate why He agonizes this way because all of us who are born spiritually dead; only once we are born again do we become spiritually alive; until our new birth we were spiritually dead. But here’s someone that from the moment of His incarnation He was spiritually alive. And keep in mind we’re dealing with his human spirit, the divine Spirit couldn’t die anyway. As to His human spirit, He was in constant fellowship with God the Father; it was never interrupted. But now when the sinful world will be placed upon Him, and God the Father, as we’ll see in the crucifixion scene tomorrow, turns away from Him, that was something that caused Him tremendous agony and He prayed he would not have to partake of this cup.
It was the will of God the Father for Him to partake of the wrath of God; in the second trial on the cross we’ll see tomorrow He does partake of the wrath of God, and while that was not essential for the atonement, it was important for another facet of His ministry, that of our high priest in Hebrews 4:14-16. And for three hours He’ll be suffering the wrath of God and be separated from God the Father.
Now His experience in Gethsemane teaches two basic principles that account for what you often hear on Christian networks today when you’re on TV. Often you’ll hear that when you pray, pray with positive confession, just name it and claim it and frame it, it’s yours. And don’t throw in that little phrase, “if it’s Your will” because that’s a negative confession. But the best model we have of prayer life is the prayers of Jesus; how did He pray? Well, first of all He prayed… He made His desires known to God, “let this cup pass from Me,” then He said, “not My will but Your will be done.” That’s the proper way to prayer; we should make our requests known to God but leave it to His will how He will choose to answer that prayer.
And the misconception is that if you ask for something and you don’t get it, it’s because you haven’t had enough faith. But did Jesus get His request? In this case no; was it because of a lack of faith? If that’s what it was then it makes Him a sinner because the Bible also teaches what is not of faith is sin. But the Bible does teach us sometimes God says no because of lack of faith; that’s in James 1. But sometimes God says no because He knows better what His goal for our life is down the road; we don’t know His plans for the future but He does. And sometimes a no answer is better for our maturity and our spiritual growth.
Now He comes back to the disciples and finds them asleep again; in Mark 14:41 He tells them you can now keep on sleeping because the Son of Man is about to be betrayed.
IX. THE REJECTION OF THE KING:
THE TRIAL AND THE DEATH OF THE MESSIAH
That brings us to the ninth main division of His life, which involves the rejection of the King; that involves the trial and it involves the death of the Messiah, comprising paragraphs 153-168.
A. The Arrest
Paragraph 153 – Mark 14:43-52; Matthew 26:47-56; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12
In paragraph 153 we come to the arrest. Now as we saw in our development of the thematic account of His life, that the foundational reason why He was rejected because of His rejection of the Mishnah, the oral law, and Pharisaic authority. And now to expedite the arrest and the death they’ll end up breaking 22 of their own rules and regulations as to how arrest and trial should be conducted. On the outline I’ve listed all of these rules on the back page; there’s a new Ariel letterhead and you have all the rules written down, the last two pages of your outline. I’ll also go through them here on the power point. I’ll make a few comments here and there and then we’ll go through the text and we’ll see exactly where these laws are broken.
1. There was to be no arrest by religious authorities that was effected by a bribe, we already noticed this was effected by a bribe, 30 pieces of silver.
2. There would to be no steps of criminal proceedings after sunset. The purpose here was to avoid conspiracy and using nighttime to carry the conspiracy out. Once the sun has officially set they could not proceed with criminal proceedings. And the sun officially sets by Jewish law once you can see three stars. Once three stars are visible the sun has set.
3. Judges or Sanhedrin members were not allowed to participate in the arrest. That was to keep them neutral; if they participate in the arrest they’ve taken sides.
4. There were to be no trials before the morning sacrifice. All their daily morning rituals have to be out of the way before a trial could be conducted.
5. All trials were to be public; secret trials were forbidden, again to avoid the conspiracy.
6. Sanhedrin trials could only be conducted in the Hall of Judgment of the Temple Compound. Because all trials had to be public, by the way, the public would have to know where to go to observe a trial and that’s why they to be… for the Sanhedrin trial, that’s where it had to be held.
7. The proper procedure was that the trial was to be first the defense and then the accusation. That’s the opposite of our western system. All the reasons why the person could not be guilty of anything had to be presented first; his character witnesses have to be first before the charge was presented by the two witnesses. The judges who argued innocence were to speak before the ones who argued for guilt.
8. While the judges all may argue in favor of acquittal, all may not argue in favor of guilt. It was all right to stack the deck in the accuseds favor, so all the judges could argue in favor of acquittal but they could not all argue in favor of guilt. The accuser had to have at least one defender.
9. Based on Deuteronomy 19:15 there had to be two or three witnesses and their testimony would have to agree in every detail.
10. There was to be no allowance for the accused to testify against himself. This was to avoid two possible situations; number one, the person might be suicidal and confessing to a crime he did not commit. Or he might be, secondly, trying to protect someone else in confessing a crime he did not commit. And therefore the two witnesses have to be outside the accused, and he could not testify against himself in a court of law.
11. Based upon Leviticus 21:10 the High Priest was forbidden to rent or tear his garments. Now in the Jewish society the renting of clothing is a sign of the emotions. When a family member dies other family members tear their clothing and walk around with torn clothing for seven days. If a nonmember of the family marries a non Jew other members will tear their clothing. When a member becomes a believer in the Messiahship of Yeshua, of Jesus, other members will tear their clothing. Because a trial had to be determined based upon the facts presented by witnesses, not based upon emotions, the High Priest could not tear his garments at a trial, a Jewish trial.
12. The charges against the offender were not to originate with the judges; they could only investigate charges brought to them. Again, it was to keep them neutral; if they originated the charge they’ve taken sides.
13. When the charge was blasphemy the guilt could only be established if the person pronounced the actual name of God. And again, in the Hebrew the name of God comprises four Hebrew letters; they would correspond to Latin letters as YHVH. Unless you pronounced the name of God you could not technically be accused of blasphemy.
14. A person could not be condemned on the basis of his own words alone. Again, they had to be separate, two witnesses.
15. The verdict could not be announced at night, only in the daytime. This was to avoid a rush to judgment; it may have been a very long day listening to the witnesses, questioning the accused, people getting tired and touchy and itching, Monday night football was coming on fast, so to make sure they don’t rush to judgment, even if they knew what the verdict was going to be, if those three stars are visible it had to be postponed till the next day.
16. In case of capital punishment, the trial and the verdict of guilt could not occur at the same time; they have to be separated by at least 24 hours. This was to allow for more time for more information to come in to favor the accused.
17. Voting for the death penalty had to be done by individual count, beginning with the youngest so the young would not be influenced by the elders.
18. By far my favorite, favorite, favorite law of these 22 laws is number 18. A unanimous decision for guilt showed innocence, since it is impossible for a minimum of 23 men or a maximum of 71 men to agree without plotting. The figure 71 is the full membership of the Sanhedrin but all 71 members did not have to be there for a trial to be conducted but there had to be a minimum of 23. In a Jewish society it was inconceivable that 23 Jews could agree unless there was a plot involved. Based upon the observation I mentioned in the past, the Jews happen to like to argue with each other, and again, two Jews, three different opinions, and this illustrates that particular situation so it was inconceivable that there wouldn’t be some kind of a disagreement.
19. The sentence could be pronounced only three days after the guilty verdict. While the trial and the verdict of guilt have to be separated by 24 hours three more days would have to pass before the sentence was pronounced, for the same reason, more time for more information to come in to favor the accused.
20. Judges were to be humane and kind.
21. A person condemned to death could not be beaten or scourged beforehand.
And 22, no trials are allowed on the eve of the Sabbath or on a feast day. Now these are not all the laws of the Sanhedrin, there are actually hundreds of others, if not thousands but these are the ones I pulled out of Jewish writings that were broken either during the arrest or the trial and I’ll point out where it happens.
Now as far as the dealing with paragraph 153 we are now past midnight; it’s now the 15th of Nisan, April 7, AD 30.
Now John’s account, John 18:2 we have the breaking of the first of those 22 rules. Here we have an arrest taking place that was affected by a bribe, as we saw earlier. That was the violation of the first of these rules. And the end of John 18:3 they carried lamps and torches which shows it was still night time, which would break rule number 2 on your list here: no steps or criminal proceedings after sunset.
Now here we find him fulfilling the first two of his three purposes. Again the first purpose was to show where He could be arrested apart from the multitudes, that’s what He’s doing right now in John’s account, John 18:2. He’d been the disciple of Jesus now for some time, he knew the habits of Jesus. And he knew that one of these habits was when He came to Jerusalem He resorts to the Garden of Gethsemane for a time of prayer. Now for the Gospels this is the only record we have of Him doing so. But John specifies in verse 2, “Jesus oftentimes resorted thither,” so John tells us this was a common habit of His. And He came to Jerusalem a minimum of three times a year, if not more; at least three times a year. And this became the place of His prayer and therefore he could show where He could be arrested apart from the multitudes.
Now John’s account in John 18:3 says that he “received the band,” notice the number; the word “band,” the footnote tells you the Greek word means cohort; it means cohort, he received a cohort of Roman soldiers. And again a Roman cohort could not be released to make an arrest until someone first appeared before the Roman governor accusing one of a crime punishable by Roman law.
Now keep in mind part of the conspiracy was not to carry the conspiracy out on this night. When Jesus twice identified Judas the betrayer, He forced their hand. And when Judas left the Passover meal with Jesus and the other apostles he would have gone to the chief priests who paid him. And obviously they’re afraid that He might get away from them because He obviously knew about the conspiracy, they took Him quickly to Pontius Pilate, who normally would be stationed in Caesarea two days away, but he always came up to Jerusalem to help maintain order during the festivals, which made it convenient. And so they brought Judas to Pontius Pilate, he accused Jesus of a crime punishable by Roman law, and that’s when he received the cohort of Roman soldiers.
This helps to explain two things; first it helps to explain why in the initial stage of the Jewish trial things are already confused and disorganized. They don’t have their act together; they have to go out running to find false witnesses. It takes a while to finally get their trial organized. Also, secondly, it helps to explain that although it is the very wee hours of the morning, why Pilate is dressed ready to conduct the trial; he was anticipating a trial because he had released a Roman cohort.
And all together a sizeable group of people come again to arrest one individual. First of all you have the Roman cohort; a Roman cohort was anywhere from 400 up to 600 soldiers. So keep in mind you have a minimum of 400 soldiers, up to 600 Roman soldiers. But they’re not alone; a second group is a group of one in Luke 22:50, “the servant of the high priest.” Now this is the crucial hours between the first night of the Passover and the first day of the Passover; in those crucial hours that he could not leave the compound less he came in contact with something to make him unclean and he could not offer up the special Passover sacrifice that would be offered up on the first day of Passover. So he could not leave the compound but he sent out his servant to make sure things went correctly.
Now go to Luke’s account, Luke 22:52, a third element is in the middle of verse 52, the “captains of the temple,” these are the Jewish temple police… the Jewish temple police and they’re a third element that participates in the arrest. But also notice in verse 52 he mentioned the chief priests, before the captains, and the elders after the captains and these are two categories of Sanhedrin members, and they participate in the arrest so we see in verse 52 you have the violation of law number 3. Judges or members could not participate in the arrest and they do.
So as Matthew points out in Matthew 26:47, “a great multitude” comes in. This large body of men comes in to arrest one individual; Jesus quickly takes the scene, takes the initiative, and John’s account, end of John 18:5 He asks them, “Whom seek ye?” And in verse 5 “They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth.” And Jesus says to them, “I AM”, and the way the phrase “I AM” reads it could be taken in two different ways. One way to take it, this is the “I AM” Jehovah of the Old Testament, the One who revealed Himself to Moses as “I AM THAT I AM.” The second way to take it is a simplified “I am He,” I am that Jesus you are looking for.
Now in His confrontation with the Roman soldiers and the other men here He will say “I AM,” twice. The first time He says “I AM” it will be a display of His deity. The second time He says “I am” it will mean the simplified; I am the one you’re looking for. So in verse 5 He says “I AM” for the first time; and after John’s editorial comment that Judas was standing in the crowd, also verse 6 says, “When therefore,” when what for? For the very reason He said to them “I AM” “they went backward, and fell to the ground.” The first time He says “I AM” it is a display of His deity. By simply saying “I AM” He forced them all to fall down backward to the ground.
And it shows who’s in control; it shows them He will not be arrested until He allows Himself to be arrested. A small hint of what’s going to happen at the Second Coming when the power of Rome will fall to its knees at the feet of the King of the Jews. Now when people came in contact with the Lord (?) it says throughout Scripture they always fell forward. Falling backward is not a blessing; it’s a sign of judgment. Next time you turn on TBN keep that in mind; falling backward is not a blessing but a discipline.
After showing them who’s in control, He asked them again in John 18:7, “Whom do you seek?” And they answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” So in verse 8 He says “I am.” Now He makes a simplified “I am he,” I am the one you are looking for. So He asked, if therefore for a very specific reason you seek Me, “let these go,” meaning let the other men with me to go since I’m the one you’re looking for. So by now notice He’s identified Himself twice to the soldiers coming in after Him.
Now there’s already an arrangement made between Judas and the captain of the cohort, and in Mark 14:44 the arrangement was they were not to arrest anyone till they see whom he kisses. And in Matthew 48 that kiss is to be a sign whom they should arrest. And although there’s no need for him to proceed any further he insisted on earning his keep, and at the end of Luke’s account, Luke 22:47, “and he drew near unto Jesus, to kiss Him.” He now begins to approach Him to apply the kiss but even before the kiss is applied, in Luke’s account, verse 48, Jesus warns him against proceeding. He still insists. At the end of Mark 14:45 he says, “Rabbi; and kissed Him.” He calls Him “Rabbi; and kissed Him.” Again, notice the number by the word “kiss,” and the footnote tells you the Greek means kissed him much, not one kiss, but many kisses.
What Judas is doing here is profaning what was then considered sacred among the Jewish people because the kissing of a rabbi was the means of submission to the rabbi; when a man became a disciple of a specific rabbi he would kiss the rabbi. And also he uses the term “rabbi,” it’s not a kiss of honor or homage; it’s a kiss of betrayal. He’s profaning something that was then sacred among the Jewish people.
At that point Peter decides he will take action and John’s account, John 18:10 says Peter draws out a sword. The word refers to a long ceremonial knife, the kind of knife that was used to kill the Passover lamb, of which he and John were in charge of.
Now visualize the scene in the Garden at this moment. You have 400 up to 600 Roman soldiers; you have the Jewish temple police among others, all carrying their swords, and Peter pulls out this one long lone knife. And he thinks he can pull off a Jewish Rambo. He very quickly proves that by profession he was not a soldier but a fisherman. He takes one swing at someone’s head, misses and cuts off the man’s right ear. But he used good Jewish wisdom as to who he attacked, notice. He did not attack a Roman soldier; he did not attack a Jewish police officer. He attacked the servant of the high priest who may or may not have been armed himself; at least he was positively the weakest link in the chain. And he cuts off the man’s right ear.
Now in your Harmony notice that all four Gospel writers spell out the fact that in front of all those soldiers and police officers Peter pulled out a sword and cut off the man’s right ear. Notice only one person chooses to record the ear was healed, and that’s Dr. Luke again. Luke’s account, Luke 22:51, he alone points out that Jesus healed the ear and put the ear back on the head. For Matthew, Mark and John the most exciting thing right there is when all these soldiers and police officers Peter cut off the man’s right ear; as far as God, Jesus putting the ear back on the head, they’ve seen greater things than that; that’s no big deal. But for Dr. Luke it was significant enough to mention. And the healing, no doubt, saved Peter’s life.
Then in Matthew’s Gospel Jesus teaches Peter three lessons. First of all, in Matthew 26:52, all who live by the sword will die by the sword, the sword cannot be used for the defense of the faith. There is a proper time to use the sword: for personal defense of the faith; for the faith we must turn the other check, for the faith we must be willing to become martyrs if necessary. Secondly, in Matthew 26:53, this happens to be actually a spiritual conflict, and therefore must be fought by spiritual means. He happens to have twelve legions of angels at His disposal; having twelve legions of angels, each legion from 3,000 to 6,000 angels, he did not need Peter’s one long lone knife.
And thirdly, in verses 54-56 this is all essential for the fulfillment of prophecy. This is what had to be fulfilled. The disciples realize He will do no more than He’s already done to defend themselves, in Mark 14:50, the disciples gather and disperse.
Then Mark adds a small incident about a disciple, or someone in the crowd, had to flee away naked. The purpose of Mark 14:51-52 is not to lay down a biblical basis for streaking. Now in ancient biographies if the author of the biography was an eyewitness to some of these events he would often (?) himself inside the story where he was an eyewitness. So for example, in John’s Gospel he refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, not implying He didn’t love the others as well, that’s the way John wrote himself into the story when he was an eyewitness. In the book of Acts, for example, whenever Luke switches from the third person into the first person that’s where Luke is an eyewitness. So based upon the way biographies were written the one in verses 51-52 would be Mark himself, and he happened to be there and was an eyewitness to the event that just occurred.
B. The Religious Trial – Paragraphs 154-158
Now we come to paragraph 154 and in paragraph 154-158 we come to the religious trial. He will undergo two separate trials; He will undergo a religious trial which is the Jewish trial, and then the civil trial which is the Roman and Gentile trial. And both trials have three separate segments for a total of six segments, and some would call it six different trials. But there are two broad trials, a Jewish one and a Gentile one.
1. The Trial Before Annas
Paragraph 154 – John 18:12-14; 19-23
Now the first stage of the Jewish trial was the trial before Annas in paragraph 154 and the issue in the religious trial is going to be the issue of blasphemy. That will not be the issue in the civil trial, but it’s the issue in the religious Jewish trial, the issue of blasphemy. In the first stage of the trial before Annas, Annas served as high priest from the year 7 to the year 14 AD. From 7 to 14 AD. He was then deposed by the then Roman governor, Valerius Gratus, G-r-a-t-u-s, but he was able to maintain control of the high priesthood because he was followed in succession by four of his own sons and by his son-in-law, and to the end of his life by his grandson. And again he was a Sadducee, he controlled the business ventures of the temple compound, like the changing of the money, selling the sacrifices, it was his business venture that Jesus overthrew on the first and last Passover of His public ministry, so Annas had his own private grudge against Jesus.
And the purpose of the trial is to establish a religious charge. And again, they’re confused and disorganized because they did not anticipate having to conduct a trial on this night. The original conspiracy was to wait until after Passover. Now Jesus forced their hand. Again in John 18:12 they bring Him right before Annas for the trial, which breaks rule number 4 on your list, there will be no trials before the morning sacrifice, and this one occurs before the morning sacrifice. In John 18:20-21 it makes it clear this is a secret trial breaking number 5 on your list, no secret trials allowed.
Now John 18:19, the High Priest asked Jesus or the former High Priest questioned Jesus about two things; first of all, “of His disciples,” to incriminate them, “of His teachings” to incriminate Him. But now the tables are turned because under Jewish civil law dealing with trials He’s not responsible to answer their question; they’re responsible to produce the two or three witnesses.
So He points out to them since everything He taught he taught publicly, even if He said anything amiss or anything blasphemous they should have no trouble having the two witnesses they need to condemn Him. And (?) this was (?) shows His right to do and to make He’s beaten the first of several times on this night. The end product of the first stage of the trial is that they could not produce a specific charge.
2. The Trial Before Caiaphas
Paragraph 155a – Mark 14:53-64; Matthew 26:57-66; Luke 22:54, John 18:24
Paragraph 155, we come the second stage, the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. Caiaphas happened to be the son-in-law of Annas. He served as high priest from the year 25 until the year 36 AD; from 25-36 and this trial takes place at the mid point of his high priesthood in AD 30. Now Luke’s account, Luke 14:54 specifies they brought him into the home of the high priest, and this will break rule number 6 on your list, that a Sanhedrin trial could only be conducted in the Hall of Judgment or the Temple Compound.
Now again, the Sanhedrin was comprised of 71 members, (?) but they were carefully divided along certain party lines; 24 seats went to the chief priests and all 24 chief priests were Sadducees; 24 seats went to the elders and the 24 elders were Pharisees; 22 more seats went to the Scribes, and all 22 Scribes were Pharisees. The last seat went to the high priest, himself a Sadducee. And so the majority vote was with the Pharisees but the proceedings were conducted by a Sadducee. And again, it was not necessary to have all 71 members there but they had to have a minimum of 23. If you had only the minimum eleven votes was sufficient to acquit; eleven votes sufficient to acquit; thirteen votes would be necessary to convict. Conviction had to be by majority of two, not one.
We’re not told how many of the Sanhedrin members were there; we know all 71 members were not there because later in the Gospels we notice that Nicodemus was not there and Joseph of Arimathea was not there. The most they had present was 69 or less but no more.
Now Matthew 26:59 says, “the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus,” they have to go find the false witnesses, they don’t have them ready, again because they were not intending to do this on this night. And they will begin with the false witnesses which will break law number 7 on your list; the procedure was to be first the defense and then the accusation. And notice it also specifies the whole council went the same direction, which will break number 8 on your list, all may argue in favor of acquittal, all may not argue in favor of guilt. They bring one false witness after another, trying to find two witnesses that will say the same thing, but there are so many discrepancies that one by one they are all disqualified.
They finally find two men that seem to say the same thing; because they seem to say the same thing the last two witnesses that they could find, these two are presented as the official witnesses in this court. But as Mark 15:59 says, “not even so did their witness agree together.” Although they seemed to say the same thing before they were brought before the court there was one point of discrepancy which rendered the case invalid, their testimony invalid.
We can prove the difference by comparing Mark and Matthew. Mark says in Mark 14:58, “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple.” And Matthew quotes the other witness as saying in Matthew 26:61, “This man said, I am able to destroy the temple,” so did He say I will do so or did he say I am able to do so? One is a statement of ability; one is a statement of actual intent. It is this small discrepancy that disqualified the last two witnesses that they have. And in Mark 14:59 therefore they should have had Him released, and failure to release Him at verse 59 will violate law number 9 on your list. There is to be two or three witnesses, their testimony had to agree in ever detail.
All this exasperates Caiaphas, so Matthew 26:62 he stands up, and says, “Do you answer nothing? What is it which these witness against You?” (?) to respond and speak now, when he did not have two witnesses presenting the official charge will break law number 10 on your list. There were to be no allowance for the accused to testify against himself. And in keeping with His Jewish civil rights Matthew 26:63 says He “held His peace.” He doesn’t have to respond at this stage.
And that frustrates Caiaphas even further. So in Matthew 26:63 he puts Jesus under the oath, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether you be the Christ, the Son of God.” And based on upon what Caiaphas says, notice he understood two things. First, he understood clearly who Jesus claimed to be. Yeshua claimed to be the Messiah. And secondly, he knew who the Messiah was supposed to be; He was supposed to be the Son of God.
Now by Jewish civil law if you’re placed under oath you must respond, so He does. And Mark 14:62 says, “I am,” meaning yes, I am that that Messiah, the Son of God. He goes on to add in Matthew 26:64 they’ll someday know the truth of His claims in two ways; number one, they will see Him seated at the right hand of God the Father; secondly, they will see Him come in the clouds of heaven. The Second Coming will be visible in hell itself.
Now several things happen in rather quick succession. Matthew 26:65, “Then the high priest rent his garments,” which would break number 11, the high priest was forbidden to tear his clothing; the verse continues, “saying, He has spoken blasphemy,” notice he originates the charge of blasphemy. And that means the charge originated with the judge, breaking rule number 12, charges could not originate with the judges, they could only investigate charges brought to them.
Furthermore, the specific charge is blasphemy which breaks rule number 13 on your list; the accusation of blasphemy was only valid if you pronounced the name of God itself, which He did not do at this trial. He goes on to add, “what further need have we of witnesses,” a rather magnanimous statement, he doesn’t have any more witnesses, the last two got disqualified. He’s asking for a condemnation strictly on what Jesus just said which would violate law number 14, a person could not be condemned based on his own words alone.
In Matthew 26:66, “They answered and said, He is worthy of death,” they go ahead and pronounce Him guilty, breaking law number 15, the verdict could not be announced at night, only in the daytime. Furthermore, it breaks number 16 because this is a capital offense and a trial and a guilty verdict could not occur at the same time; they had to be separated by at least 24 hours. Furthermore, it’s done by acclamation which breaks number 17, voting for the death penalty had to be done by individual count beginning with the youngest so the young would not be influenced by the elders.
Now look at Mark’s account, Mark 14:64, the second part of the verse because he adds a small detail Matthew left out, “And they all condemned Him to be worthy of death.” Notice the word “all,” it was a unanimous decision. So by Jewish law He should have been released and failure to release Him will violate law number 18, a unanimous decision for guilt shows innocence; it is impossible for 23 up to 71 men to agree without plotting. Further, they pronounced the sentence he’s “worthy of death” which break law number 19, sentence will only be pronounced three days after the verdict of guilt.
Now Mark 14:65, and some began to spit on Him, and to cover His face, and to buffet Him, and to say unto Him, Prophesy: and the officers received Him with the blows of their hands. Matthew says in Matthew 26: 67, “Then they spit in His face and buffet Him: and some smote Him with the palms of their hands,” here you have the breaking of rule number 20, they were to be humane and kind, and also number 21, a person condemned to death could not be beaten or scourged beforehand.
Now go back to paragraph 154, the first time He receives any physical mistreatment is in John 18:22-23. And now in this paragraph, in Mark 14:65 and Matthew 26:67 that’s the second of several mistreatments He will have on this night. And furthermore He now suffers three high indignities under Jewish law. First of all, some hit Him with the fist. And if you hit someone with your fist that was punishable by a fine of four denarii. Now one denarius was equal to one day’s wages so four denarii is four days wages.
Still more insulting was the second thing He suffers, some hit Him with the palm of their hands, slap him. That was punishable by a fine of 200 denarii, 200 day’s wages. And the third thing He suffered is some spit into His face, that was even more insulting, that was punishable by a fine of 400 denarii, more than a year’s wages. And while He suffers these three high indignities under Jewish law, one thing is certain, no one was fined for their actions on this night.
The last thing in this paragraph is that this happens to fall between the first night of Passover and the first day of Passover, and therefore violated law number 22, there will be no trials on the eve of the Sabbath or on a feast day.
We’ll be stopping here, we are a little bit behind, we may have to take extra time tomorrow to finish it because we’ll need to finish this tomorrow and I’m not sure that we’ll need the extra time but we may have an extra half hour or so tomorrow to finish this so we may have to continue to 1:00 in place of 12:30, so that may be something that we’ll need to do.
Someone earlier today asked me about the Israel trips; these are trips I do as specialized intensive study tours and they are usually five weeks long. I’ll be leading a five week study tour this May-June, if anybody thinks they want to attend I do have an information sheets with me and then in 2009 I’ll be leading a three week tour for those who want to go a shorter time so I have information on both these tours, a five week for this year and the three week for next year.
Let me take about five minutes for questions. Anybody have any questions.
[Can’t hear, something about John 14 and 15 He will pray the Father and He will (?) you forever, you commented that this will be forever and it won’t go away at the next sin, is that what you said?) Right, He doesn’t leave just because you sin; once He indwells you He indwells you forever. So He’ll be with you forever. [the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?] Right, for people who are believers they are indwelt by the Spirit and will (?) forever, not till the next sin is committed. So that’s one of the cases for eternal security.
[Can’t hear, something about are any of the violations (?) resulting in dismissal] If they broke any of these 22 rules the trial itself was illegal, and they broke all these 22 rules and still carried things out. I’m not quite finished with a Jewish trial yet, we’ll finish it tomorrow morning. I’m a bit behind as I said so hopefully we can catch up tomorrow.
[Can’t hear, something about paragraph 146] Well, he connected the dipping of the sop with the dipping of the salt water, those are two different things. So the one that will dip with Me, in the dish, the same betrays Me, that’s the dipping of the carpus; this is the dipping of the green vegetable, the parsley. And the sup is I’ll dip the sup and give it to him. They are two different ceremonies altogether. But he didn’t understand the difference so he put them together. So, again, if he had kept Luke’s order he would have made less mistakes; he’d still make some mistakes but he’d made a lot less mistakes if he’d kept Luke’s order. But he keeps breaking Luke’s order because he tries to fit everything into one scene and there was more than one scene.
I’ll tell you one rabbi story. The last two rabbi stories I have that will translate innocuously that funny in Gentile circles, they’re very acceptable in Jewish circles, for some reason Gentile circles it doesn’t go well. So I’ll tell you one today and one tomorrow so hopefully you can laugh just to be polite if you want.
There was a Jewish man who was very orthodox; he raised his son to be orthodox, and to his surprise his son became a Christian. He was so ashamed of that he just wouldn’t say a word to anybody, but it kept burning him, he had to talk to somebody, so he had a friend named Levi, and he knew Levi could keep a secret so he goes to Levi and says you know, I have a son, he became a Christian and I don’t know how to respond to this. And to his surprise his friend says you know, I too have a son and he became a Christian; I was so ashamed I didn’t even tell you, my best friend. I have the same problem you do, I don’t have any suggestions. We have a very wise rabbi, I’m sure you can tell us what we should do, let’s go talk to him.
They tell the sad story to the rabbi; the rabbi said you know, I too have a son and he became a Christian and I was so afraid of losing my job in the synagogue I couldn’t tell anybody, I’ve got the same problem you do. We must keep this quiet between us because it’s very embarrassing; we have to not let people know about this. This is what I suggest; let’s close the doors and close the windows, let’s pray to the God of Israel, maybe somehow He’ll convey to us what we should do. And so they closed the doors, they closed the windows, they began to wail to God about the situation, and finally they hear a voice from heaven and the voice says, you know, I too have a Son….