April 24: A Tale of Two Trials (Matthew 26:57-75)
This Sunday Brandon Jordan will continue a series called Making Sense of Christ and the Spirit at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the Old Testament book of Leviticus).
[We will consider the whole of verses 57-75, but only verses 57-64 are listed here. Click here for the full thing]
Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (ESV)
Our passage last week revealed that after the supper, while it was night, Jesus was abandoned, neglected and betrayed by those closest to him. This story continues into the night with the complete desertion of his friends. It says, "Then all the disciples deserted him and fled." But this dark night was far from over. Jesus would face a judicial trial before the religious leadership all the way until morning. But in the next two scenes, we see two trials—Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Peter before the onlookers. Matthew records them together to see what the faithfulness of Jesus under trial looks like in contrast to the faltering and failing of Peter. This passage is instructive for us. It leads us to worship Jesus for submitting himself to God’s plan of redemption, but it also warns us by looking at Peter, brash and bold, yet now humbled. Let Jesus and his absolute confidence in God’s sovereign goodness lead us to walk by faith in all circumstances.
Review and Apply
1. Why did Jesus remain silent in the face of false testimony? (See 1 Peter 2:21-23)
2. How does Jesus identify himself in vs. 64? How is it different than what the Jews expected?
3. Why is there such anger toward Jesus? Have you ever experienced feelings of anger toward God?
4. What pattern of denial did Peter show? How would you have responded to this? In what ways do we deny Jesus today?
5. Have you ever wept over sin? Why or why not?
6. How does this passage challenge you? How does it encourage you?
7. How does this apply to us as a church?
8. What can change in your life this week in light of this passage?
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