NR2-40 WTB-13 XAS-23
WOTB-13 From the Cradle to the Cross-6
From the Pit of Caiaphas to Pilate’s Palace
- The first time Messiah came He was a baby in a manger, surrounded by donkeys and goats.
- The next time He comes f He will be mounted on a milk-white stallion thundering through the clouds of heaven with the armies of God following Him. On His head will be many crowns, for He will come back to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
- The first time Jesus came He was brought before Pilate; He was dragged before Herod. He was mocked, spit upon, and forced to wear a scarlet robe of mockery.
- The next time He comes, Pilate shall be brought before Him. Herod will be dragged before Him. Hitler will be hauled before Him, and that infamous hater of the Jewish people will bow before the King of the Jews and confess that He is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
- The first time the Lamb of God came He was nailed to a , bitter rugged cross where He suffered and bled and died alone.
- The next time He comes He will put His foot on the Mount of Olives and it shall split in half. He will walk across the Kidron Valley and through the eastern gate and set His throne up on the Temple mount. From there He shall reign for one thousand years in the Millennium. Following that will be the Great White Throne Judgment, after which human time shall cease and eternity will begin.
SLIDE: How to Lose Everything!
At some time in the future our lives will be over. Then the record will be complete as to just what we lived for. Tonight we start looking at all that is left on earth of one of the most vivid characters surrounding Christ’s Death and Burial.
As we begin listen to the words of poet Jon Mohr, whose poem has become a well know song:
FIND US FAITHFUL
We’re pilgrims on the journey of the narrow road,
And those who’ve gone before us light the way,
Cheering on the faithful,
Encouraging the weary,
Their lives a stirring testament to God’s sustaining grace.
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
Let us run the race not only for the prize.
But as those who’ve gone before us,
Let us leave to those behind us
A heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful;
May the fire of our devotion light their way.
May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe
And the lives we lived inspire them to obey.
Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful;
After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we’ve left behind,
May the clues that they discover
And the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.
What a sobering thought. What are each of us leaving behind as a message from our lives? We must leave EVERYTHING behind, right? But what we did with what we had can leave a message either for or against Jesus, right? Next we look at a man who left a message against Jesus. His name – Caiaphas. His message the man who lost everything.
SLIDE: John 11.49; 18.14
Turn with me to John 11.49-53. One of the most prominent figures in all the Gospel accounts that describe Jesus final week of conflict in the Holy City is the high priest Caiaphas. Caiaphas, who served as the leader of the Sanhedrin from A.D. 18-36, is known in the Gospel accounts as the one who prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation.
Now turn to John 18.14. Caiaphas is also the man who actually set in motion the plan to kill Him, and then presided over the late-night trial at which Jesus confessed Himself to be the Messiah and was subsequently condemned (Matthew 26:57-68).
Imagine being the chief employee working for God in the Temple at Jerusalem when Jesus came to Earth. I can think of no greater honor. The man most acquainted with the ceremonies, the laws, the sacrifices, and the Word. Oh so much was Caiaphas’. And yet he lost everything.
- Caiaphas never listened to Jesus, he only heard from he wanted to hear.
- Caiaphas never denied the supernatural work of Jesus, he only disbelieved that He was God’s Son.
- Caiaphas never sought out Jesus, he only silenced Him.
- Caiaphas never found life through Christ, he only lost everything.
SLIDE: Ossuary of Caiaphas
Of all the objects unearthed in the Holy Land – this one strikes a very sobering cord for me. This box found in 1990 still holds the earthly frame of Caiaphas – the man who condemned Jesus to death. Can you imagine what he has been thinking for the past 2000 years? He is right now most likely in Hades, in the fire, burning hot, endlessly dying of thirst, dreading the moment he knows that he will have to face Jesus again.
SLIDE: Home of Caiaphas Today
Luke 22.54-65 records the events in the courtyard of Caiaphas’ house that Peter waited for word about Jesus, but instead betrayed Him three times before the cock crowed (Matthew 26:69-75).
Whether or not the place identified as Caiaphas’ house today in Jerusalem is the actual site, we now have discovered the actual remains of the high priest in his ossuary within his family tomb. The find occurred by accident in November of 1990 when workers were building a water park in Jerusalem’s Peace Forest, which is south of the Temple Mount. The discovery was made when the roof of the burial chamber collapsed and revealed 12 limestone ossuaries. One of the ossuaries was exquisitely ornate and decorated with incised rosettes. Obviously it had belonged to a wealthy or high-ranking patron who could afford such a box. On this box was an inscription. It read in two places Qafa and Yehosef bar Qayafa (“Caiaphas,” “Joseph, son of Caiaphas”). The New Testament refers to him only as Caiaphas, but Josephus gives his full name as “Joseph who was called Caiaphas of the high priesthood.” Inside were the bones of six different people, including a 60-year-old man (most likely Caiaphas).
SLIDE: Matthew 26.63
When Jesus remained silent He was fulfilling Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
In all the events that surround these next few hours up to the Cross, Isaiah 53:8 is also being fulfilled.
He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
Of old the prophet had asked, “And who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living?” (Isaiah 53:8). The answer to Isaiah’s question as in wonder he said, “Will anyone stand up and declare who this Man truly is?” Seven times Jesus is affirmed to be who he said He was. These seven affirmations are given to us in the Gospels.
- First, Judas declared, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood” (Matt. 27:4).
- Second, Pilate declared, “I find no fault in him” (John 18:4).
- Third, of Herod Pilate said, “No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him” (Luke 23:15).
- Fourth, Pilate’s wife entreated, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.” (Matt. 27:19).
- Fifth, the dying thief affirmed, “We receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss” (Luke 23:41).
- Sixth, the Roman centurion who glorified God, said, “Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47).
- Seventh, those who stood with the Centurion acknowledged, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matt. 27:54)!
SLIDE: Luke 22.63-65
Now come the events that so few of us ponder. Isaiah had said Jesus was crushed for us, bruised for us, and lost all recognition that He had a face – for us. This was not entirely Roman. The awful hatred boiled over I believe that night as they waited to convene the Sanhedrin. The guards and servants of the High Priest at last could pour out their hatred upon the One who was so despised and so rejected. That is what most likely happened in these dungeons below Caiaphas’ home.
SLIDE: HOLE TO DUNGEON
SLIDE: OSSUARY CAIAPHAS
SLIDE: That night
Luke 22:60-62 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.
- JESUS WANTS ME TO KNOW THAT HE IS WATCHING ME IN MY DARKEST HOURS. Note who was watching who. Jesus knew exactly where Peter was both spiritually and physically. He is in touch with our lives. No matter what you and I do, no matter where we are – Jesus has His eyes on us. When the disciples were sinking in the boat during the storm and Jesus was miles away on top of a lonely mountain – He was watching and came to them at exactly the right moment they needed Him. He is always there. He is always watching. He is always rescuing – just when we need Him!
- JESUS IS IN CONTROL OF ALL THE EVENTS SURROUNDING MY LIFE. For one cock to crow at the right time while the other birds in the city remained silent was certainly a miracle. But the crowing of the cock was much more than a miracle that fulfilled our Lord’s words; it was also a special message to Peter, a message that helped to restore him to fellowship again. What encouragements did the crowing of the cock give to the Apostle Peter? First, it was an assurance to him that Jesus Christ was still in control of things even though He was a prisoner, bound and seemingly helpless before His captors. Peter could recall witnessing his Lord’s authority over the fish, the winds, and the waves, and even over disease and death. No matter how dark the hour was for Peter, Jesus was still in control!
- JESUS WANTS ME TO REMEMBER HIS WORD IN MY DARKEST HOURS TO GIVE ME HOPE. The rooster crowing became an assurance to Peter. He remembered that Jesus had promised him forgiveness. Peter had not been paying close attention to the Word of God. He had argued with it, disobeyed it, and even run ahead of it, but now he “remembered the word of the Lord” (Luke 22:61), and this brought him hope. Why? Because with the word of warning was also a promise of restoration! Peter would be converted and strengthen his brethren. Luke 22:32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
- JESUS PROMISES US A LIFE OF NEW BEGINNINGS. Finally, the miracle of the cock told Peter that a new day was dawning, for after all, that is what the rooster’s call means each day. It was not a new day for Judas or for the enemies of the Lord, but it was a new day for Peter as he repented and wept bitterly. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Ps. 51:17). On Resurrection morning, the angel sent a special message to encourage Peter (Mark 16:7), and the Lord Himself appeared to Peter that day and restored him to fellowship (Luke 24:34).
- JESUS OFFERS US COMPLETE FORGIVENESS AND NO CONDEMNATION. Each one of us, at one time or another, will fail the Lord and then hear (in one way or another) “the crowing of the cock.” Satan will tell us that we are finished, that our future has been destroyed, but that is not God’s message to us. It was certainly not the end for Peter! His restoration was so complete that he was able to say to the Jews, “But you denied the Holy One and the Just!” (Acts 3:14, nkjv) Peter did not have 1 John 1:9 to read, but he did experience it in his own heart.
Part-12 The DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST