Sunday school was very good, very challenging for me this week. By the way, as a personal application, if you don’t belong to a small group to study the Word and love each other, I’m telling you that you are missing out on God’s work in your life.
Back to my topic of the Sunday School class, and the topic we were discussing.
You see, we were discussing the court systems Jesus went through prior to His glorification. We landed on a verse that opened up to me after chatting with the class about Jewish leadership performing capital punishment on their own authority.
What did you say Carl? Again, you are greatly mistaken Carl for the Bible speaks of the Jewish leadership not able to execute, that is to perform capital punishment. Read it again Carl!
John 18:31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.”
And yet the Jewish population intended to stone Jesus early in His ministry.
Luke 4:29 ESV – 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.
How about when the adulterous woman brought to the Messiah. The Jews mentioned stoning the woman in response to her sin. Granted this was a set up to trap Jesus, but Jesus didn’t respond with the illegality of the sentence, but a personal moral application to each of the judges! (Brilliant!)
John 8:5-7 ESV – 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”
If death was what the Jews wanted, they had proven intent in the previous occurrences, but just a few short months after Jesus crucifixion, Stephen was stoned.
Acts 7:57-59 ESV – 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Stoning seemed to be allowed by the Roman authorities.
Yet the very next verse speaks of a wrinkle in the narrative, a fine point that I didn’t catch at first.
John 18:32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
You see, it wasn’t that the Jews couldn’t execute, but that they couldn’t crucify. It was the kind of death that Jesus was appointed to experience, to fulfill the prophecies of His passion. Psalm 22 (and other passages) would not be fulfilled if the Messiah was executed by stoning.
No, it had to be crucifixion, and that meant this process of condemnation had to pass through the Roman court system. His condemnation by the Jewish nation was not enough, for He is the Savior of the world and not only the Jews.
Jesus was in control of this fiasco in the courts, and every statement He made throughout both the Jewish and Roman “courts” was to gain the cross, to die for the world, to die for you and I.
Jesus is in control of this fiasco we live in today. Do you believe that?
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