Christ on Trial

For the sake of the gospel we must be prepared to repent of our sins, deny ourselves, and lose our lives.

Scripture: Mark 14:53-15:15

Sermon Notes:

  1. A trial tests, proves, and reveals the truth; in this text we see on trial Christ, the Sanhedrin, Peter, Pilate, and you and me.
  2. Jesus is charged by the Jews with blasphemy for claiming to represent God. But Pilate knows it is out of envy the rulers have charged Jesus.
  3. The Romans executed would-be rivals to Caesar's power and authority, so Pilate condemns Jesus as “king of the Jews.”
  4. The trial reveals something of the truth of who Jesus is.
  5. In answer to the high priest's question “Are you the Christ?” Jesus’s own testimony is "I AM." Jesus is making a claim to be the God of Israel visiting His people (cf. Exodus 3:14).
  6. Jesus then says he is the Son of Man coming on the clouds, the truly human and eternal king and judge over beastly kingdoms (cf. Dan 7:13-14)
  7. To Pilate Jesus says, though you think you stand in judgment on me, I am the true judge. 
  8. Jesus is the true human One in contrast to the beastliness of the Jewish and Roman rulers (cf. Rev. 13).
  9. When we start contradicting God’s Word we become followers of a beastly man-centered religion.
  10. Barabbas and the Sanhedrin were opposing beastly (Roman) religion in a man-centered way.
  11. Pilate is a populist, both unprincipled and pragmatic in his goal of securing political peace and personal power.
  12. If we are faithful in bearing witness to the gospel we will face persecution.
  13. For the sake of the gospel we must be prepared to repent of our sins, deny ourselves, and lose our lives.
  14. We live in a world that totally gives in to its lusts and appetites.
  15. Our society indulges every sexual passion; but true freedom and liberty is found in sexual chastity.
  16. The gospel opposes greed and envy.  Materialism, pride and arrogance are all beastly.
  17. Jesus stands as the light exposing the beastliness of the darkness; the beasts will persecute the light.
  18. Peter doesn’t stand on trial before the high priest. He stands before a slave girl.
  19. Peter the “ROCK” denies Jesus over the questions of a slave girl, showing that he has a shallow root (cf. Mark 4:16-17).
  20. We face similar pressure from the world; we also face the tribulation of distraction through the digital world of the Internet.
  21. Our time spent in the real world will be way more valuable in face-to-face fellowship and witness in the world.
  22. A simple commitment to a life of prayer and weekly fellowship will sustain us in the midst of the pressure from the world (cf. Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:24-34).
  23. In Church history we most often see groups of Christians remaining strong for the Lord in the face of persecution.
  24. If you really love the Lord you will talk about the Lord Jesus every day.
  25. In the Lord’s Table there is a trial and examination of our commitment to the Lord whose body and blood were given for us.

Application Questions:

  1. What does the trial of Jesus and Peter teach us about how to stand fast in the face of pressure and persecution from the world?
  2. How much time do we spend online weekly?  Is it a distraction?
  3. How much time do we spend in prayer and contemplation versus time on Youtube?
  4. Is our online participation edifying, truthful, God-glorifying?
  5. Do you spend time in prayer to cultivate the love of Jesus?
  6. Is there one other person in the room today because you shared the gospel with them?
  7. Is your conversation filled with all kinds of other things, or does the Lord Jesus fill your thoughts?
  8. Are you telling people about Jesus, about the One you love?