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Sermonette: ‘It’s not fair’

In a few short weeks the world will again commemorate Christ’s final days on earth. Just how unfair were the events leading up to his death?

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Whether it’s found on the lips of the wronged child, or on the minds of a stunned world watching war atrocities unfold, “It’s not fair!” is the cry of every human heart that experiences or witnesses injustice.

“They led Jesus to the high priest…As soon as it was morning…they bound and led Him away… to Pilate” (Mark 14:43; 15:1). Thus became one of the greatest travesties of justice ever recorded. It wasn’t fair.

In a few short weeks the world will again commemorate Christ’s final days on earth. Just how unfair were the events leading up to his death? (The following information is taken from the historical narrative, “Behold the Man,” by Taylor Bunch.)

According to Hebrew law: 1. Two sessions of the Sanhedrin (Jewish tribunal), each a day apart, were required for condemnation. Jesus’ hearings were only a few hours apart. 2. Tribunals were not to be held at night. Both of His were. 3. A trial was not to be held on the day preceding the Sabbath. Jesus’ was. 4. Before found guilty the accused is not to suffer for their crime. Jesus was turned over to a mob to be humiliated (Mark. 14:65). 5. The use of false witnesses was a legal infraction. The charge of sedition was brought by false witnesses (Mark 14:55-64). The use of these false witnesses should have freed Jesus, disqualified the judge and condemned the witnesses. 6. Using spies for hire was illegal. “They watched Him and sent spies” (Luke. 20-20). 7. Self-incrimination was illegal. The second charge was blasphemy. Jesus admitted to being God’s Son (Luke: 22:70). On His confession He was condemned to die (ibid. V. 71) 8. A person could not be convicted by a unanimous vote of the judges. “The accused must have at least one friend among the judges to speak in his behalf” (Bunch, p. 66). Jesus was condemned by a unanimous vote of “guilty of death” (Matthew 25:66). 9. Tearing his priestly robes should have condemned Ciaphas, the high priest, to death (Matthew 26:5; Leviticus 10:6; 21:10). 10. In a criminal case the judges must vote one at a time. They did not. (Matthew 26:66). 11. A criminal verdict must be given in “the Hall of Gazith” to be valid. Jesus’ verdict was pronounced in the palace of Caiaphas (Bunch, p. 69). 12. Exodus 23:1-8 forbade judges giving or receiving bribes. Jesus’ judges bribed Judas to deliver Him in to their hands (Luke 22:3-6). 13. Finally, according to Roman law, the sentence of acquittal, judicially pronounced, was irreversible. Both Pilate (Luke. 23:4) and Herod (ibid. vv 13-15) acquitted Jesus.

Why did Jesus suffer so? “Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves… He summered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With his stripes we are healed.” — White, Desire of Ages, p. 25

Related Topics: RELIGIONCOMMENTARY
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