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Matthew 28
posted August 9, 2012

Revelation 13
posted August 16, 2012




Sermon of the Week #2008 - August 24, 2008

John chapter eighteen tells of the collision-course of Judas, Peter, Annas, and Pilate with the Lord Jesus Christ. Actually if you look closely, it may be the collision-course of Jesus and you. It is quite possible that you can see yourself mirrored in the interaction of the Lord, and the characters of this chapter. First we notice Jesus and Judas.


Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas also knew the place; for Jesus had oft-times resorted there with His disciples. This is the place where He would know the great agony of His prayer when He prayed three times, “Let this cup pass away from Me, nevertheless not My will but Thine be done.”

It is somewhat paradoxical. The Garden of Gethsemane was a place of peace. Jesus went there often. And now it is the place of greatest sorrow, the place of bloody sweat.

Judas knew the place, and came with a band of soldiers, and the servants of the high priest to arrest Jesus. Judas and the soldiers, who came to arrest Jesus, thought that Jesus (who is the Second Adam) would try to hide behind the trees of the garden like the first Adam. So they came with lanterns and torches to flush out the Light of the World. They thought that He would skulk and hide, and would have to be ferreted out of a hole, but the Second Adam did not hide. They did not have to say as God said to the first Adam in the Garden of Eden, “Where art thou?” Jesus knowing all things that were coming upon Him went forth to meet them head-on.

This reminds us of the first Adam in the Garden of Eden who tried to hide from God behind the trees in the garden. Many try to hide from God today, but there is no place to hide.

John says he saw a Great White Throne from which they tried to flee away and there was found no place for them. There is no place to hide from God. Some try to hide from God in a church service where the preacher never uses the “R” word. If there is no call to repent they may feel secure in singing praise choruses to glorify God.

Worship of God without a change of life is totally unacceptable with God. So Adam tried to hide from God by getting behind a tree. Actually there is some truth in hiding behind a tree; if the tree you hide behind is the cross.

Jesus went forth and met the mob and He was the one who spoke first. He said, “Whom seek ye?" They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered them, “I AM He.” When they heard this they went backward and fell on the ground. There were several hundred persons in that mob.

After falling down backwards they got up, and came back for another dose. Jesus hit them again with the question, “Whom seek ye?" Again they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Again the same answer; "I told you, I AM He, if ye seek Me let these go.”

The glory of the divinity of Jesus was seen on the Mount of Transfiguration, and in this event the mob was permitted to get a glimpse of glory. Twice Jesus said, “I AM,” and it was evident they could not take Him unless He submitted to it.

At the Second Coming of the great I AM, all the resurrected dead will fall before Him, every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess Jesus as the great I AM.

Judas had told the mob, “Whomsoever I shall kiss that is He, take Him.” Since Jesus had already identified Himself, the sign of the kiss of Judas was not needed, but he did it anyway. He came forward and said, “Hail Rabbi,” and kissed Him, but his betrayal was worthless. Jesus had identified Himself without any help from Judas.

Satan could have told Judas, “I did not need you, Judas. Your identification of Jesus was worthless. You sold out for thirty pieces of silver, and you did not get your money’s worth.”

But it is true for all who sell-out the Lord, and His Word. Some may sell-out the Lord for the sake of popularity, a bigger crowd, and for security sake. They never get their money’s worth.

But look again at that mob that fell backward when He said, “I AM.” If they fell down before Jesus when He was clad in the rags of mortal flesh, what will these miserable wretches do when they are dragged out of their graves at the resurrection and find themselves standing at the Great White Throne before the King in His glory? But remember this event may be more than the incident between Judas and Jesus. In the final wind-up of human affairs it may be the story of your life. Not Jesus and Judas, but Jesus and you. And now for the second character in this encounter with Jesus: They led Him forth to Annas, who was father-in-law to Caiaphas the High Priest.


In the meeting of Jesus and Annas, there is another reminder of the first Adam in the Garden of Eden. When the first Adam sinned he was driven out of the garden. Apparently Adam did not want to go, but he was forced out. Cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way were placed in the east of the Garden of Eden to keep the way of the tree of life.

The Second Adam was not driven out of the garden; He was led out. He submitted to the leading as a sheep led to the slaughter. After such a demonstration of power it was obvious that Jesus would go to the cross of His own free will and choice.

When the Lord was brought before Annas, there were two things he wanted to know. He asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. The doctrine of Jesus was the reason He would be sent to the cross. Many folk today will tell you, “Don’t talk to me about doctrine. Just tell me about Jesus.” Jesus died because of His doctrine. He died because of what He taught. He was not crucified for raising the dead, or for feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fishes, for curing incurable diseases; He was crucified because of His doctrine.

If Jesus had been like some today, He would have replied to Annas, “I think you have taken My words out of context. You thought I said that no one can go to Heaven except by Me. Actually I meant that I am one way of going to Heaven. There are many other fine religions too.” Jesus never said anything like that. His reply was a question, “Why do you ask Me what I taught? What I have taught is no secret. I have taught openly in the synagogue and in the Temple, where all the Jews come together; in secret spake I nothing.”

What Jesus did is no secret. The Bible is always a best-seller; the calendar is a continual reminder of His visit to planet earth. Sunday, the Lord’s Day, stands like a mountain before us each week testifying of His resurrection from the dead. It is no secret what God can do, or has done. It is impossible to separate the Lord from the doctrine of baptism.

In the Great Commission according to Mark, He told the Apostles, “Preach the gospel to every creature, he that believeth, and is baptized shall be saved.” Since obedience to this command puts a person at the place where his sins are forgiven, to separate one’s self from this doctrine is to separate one’s self from Christ.

So, is this trial before Annas the story of Jesus and Annas or the story of Jesus and you? Jesus and Judas, Jesus and Annas, and now we’ll look at Jesus and Peter.


The servants of the high priest had kindled a fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

Standing by that fireside intrigues me. Peter was cold. In a spiritual sense, what happens here to Peter is a common experience. If you remove yourself from the fellowship with Jesus and His Church, it does not take long until you become cold to spiritual things. Matthew says that Peter followed Jesus afar off. Miss a few gatherings with the saints on the Lord’s Day, spend less and less time with the Scriptures on a daily basis, find no time to approach the Throne of Grace in prayer, and the spiritual fervor gets a chill, and then becomes colder and colder. I have heard that when a person is freezing they get drowsy and resist all efforts to awaken themselves. They are oblivious to the fact that to sleep is to die. I have seen it happen many times in the spiritual sense. Their hearts are in a religious deep-freeze, frozen solid, and there is no indication that they will ever awaken.

Peter denied Jesus. Of all the Apostles of Jesus, Peter would have been the most unlikely to deny the Lord. Not only was he the most unlikely to deny Jesus, but he denied Him at the most unlikely place, and at the most unlikely time. A short time before, he had been in on the institution of the Lord’s Supper, and the place where Jesus had washed Peter’s feet, and at which time sworn that he would never deny Jesus, even if everybody else did. Paul would speak to this human weakness later on when he said, “Let everyone who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Never underestimate the seductive power of the Devil. What a sad commentary in Peter’s experience when someone said to him, “Did I not see thee with Him in the garden?” Translate that into life today. A Christian is absent from services on the Lord’s Day. Someone sees him someplace else and says, “Did I not see thee with Jesus when you were baptized? Where is this that I find you now? Did I not hear you pray in the Church service? What is this blasphemy that I hear from you now? Did I not see thee eating of the loaf and drinking of the cup? What do I see thee drinking now?”

Suppose someone says, “Art thou also one of this man’s disciples?” Do you have a right to say, “Yes,” when you go week after week without any thought of reading the Word of God? Do you have a right to say you are a disciple of Jesus when there is no loyalty to the Church in faithful attendance? Hear me again. Do you have a right to say you are a disciple of Jesus when you spend more on lottery tickets and drugs than you give in money to the ongoing of the Kingdom of God on earth?

It is a good question for us all. Do we have the right to say, “Yes, I know Jesus,” before inquiring observers, when they ask, “Art thou also one of this man’s disciples?” Is this the story of Jesus and Peter, or is it the story of Jesus and you? Jesus and Judas, Jesus and Annas, Jesus and Peter, and now we’ll examine Jesus and Pilate.


Finally they lead Jesus to Pilate. Pilate’s question to Jesus was, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “Sayest thou this of thyself, or did some other tell thee concerning Me?” Jesus asked him about the source of his information. Did you figure it out for yourself, or did somebody else tell you?

I think we could apply that to various questions. Here is a sampling. Someone says, “If you are sincere in what you believe, it doesn’t matter what it is, you will go to Heaven.” Sayest thou this of thyself, or did someone else tell you, or did you read it in the Bible?

Here is another sample, “There is no Hell. God is too good to send anyone to such a place.” Sayest thou this of thyself or did someone else tell thee? Wherever it came from, was it the Word of God?

Another says, “You should be baptized, but it has nothing to do with salvation.” Sayest thou this of thyself, or did someone else tell you, or did you read it in the New Testament?

Another question Pilate asked Jesus was, “What hast Thou done?” If Jesus had been like us He might have said, “I raised up the dead. In fact one of My resurrections was a corpse that had begun to rot. I also fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fishes.” Jesus could have recounted many of His miracles, such as giving sight to a man born blind. But the Lord made no such list for the benefit of Pilate. Jesus did not come to reform the world; He came to redeem the world.

After Pilate had tried Jesus, his verdict was, “I find no fault in this Man.” Two thousand years have passed since that far-off day when they crucified the Lord, but I stand shoulder to shoulder with Pontius Pilate in his conclusion about Jesus. I find no fault in this man.

Let me sum up the ways I can look at the faultless Christ. I find no fault at all in His virgin birth. An angel from Heaven made the announcement, “The power of the Most High will overshadow thee wherefore the Holy thing that is begotten of thee shall be called the Son of God.” I find no fault in this Man.

I find no fault in this man regarding His Word, “Holy men spake from of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The Bible is the only book that is in actual fact the inspired Word of God. No other book can truthfully make that claim. I find no fault in this man.

I find no fault in the Church revealed in the New Testament. Paul refers to the fact that it was purchased by God’s own blood. I find no fault in this Man.

I find no fault in this Man as far as His return is concerned. He said, “If I go, I come again.” I am just as sure that Jesus is coming again, as I am sure that He told the truth. I find no fault in this man.

I find no fault in this man regarding the Judgment Day. Jesus said Himself, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory and all the angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory and all the nations shall be gathered before Him.” Paul reminds us that God hath appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained. Ladies and Gentlemen, that Man who will judge the entire human race is Jesus. And I find no fault in this Man.

I find no fault in this Man as far as His heavenly home is concerned. He said, “If I go, I come again.” I can be just as sure that Jesus is coming again to take us to Heaven, as I can be sure that Jesus told the truth. I find no fault in this Man. And now Ladies and Gentlemen, where do you fit in? Is this the story of Jesus and Judas, Jesus and Annas, Jesus and Pilate, or is it the story of Jesus and You?