Our services have temporarily been put on hold, but we will continue to encourage you with God’s Word. The following sermon was prepared by Ps Lucas Stoltz this week for your edification and uplifting.
Click here: Matthew 26:57-68, to download or stream the audio sermon, or click here: Matthew 26:57-68, for the video recording, and follow the notes below. May the Lord speak into your hearts as you worship.
I want us this morning to come together as families – to reflect on the humility and supremacy of Jesus and how this secures our redemption:
- The Context:
- Text – 26:57-68
- Explanation – Jesus is taken to Caiaphas’ house at night, and from there to the governor’s residence in the morning (27:1–2). By the way, this was an illegal trial, as a capital trial could not be held during the night.
- The motivation for this trial came because of the complicated conflicting jurisdictions. See, when the Romans conquered a country, they normally allowed the local administration to continue. In other words, the local rulers still oversaw common law. But the Romans held the power for more serious verdicts in their own hands.
- Illustration – The death penalty was one of the major laws that was reserved for the Roman governors. And this is what caused the illegal evening trial of Jesus.
- The Jews saw Jesus as guilty of a religious crime, claiming to be the Messiah, thus being a blasphemer, but the Romans, who alone had the power to impose the death sentence, would not recognize this as a crime.
- Application – Therefore, there are two main stages in Jesus’ trial. And here we view the first of them, the trial before the high priests and the Sanhedrin. Jesus is convicted of blasphemy!
- Interestingly, He did not actually use the sacred name, and the law required that the name of God be pronounced if there was to be blasphemy. Then it was required that witnesses be examined carefully, and then, if it was decided that there was a case, the arguments for release must be considered first.
- Conclusion – But what if there is more than an argument for release? What if there is a greater Ruler in charge of the situation. See, in the eyes of the Jews, Jesus pleads guilty. This isn’t to motivate their case, but to further establish the Son’s name and His power to redeem.
- The question comes, “Are you the Son of God?” And He affirms it by going a step even further saying, “I am the Son of Man!” Acts 4:12 reminds us, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.””
- The Son of God:
- Text – 26:63
- Explanation – The weight of this title given to Jesus goes back to Genesis 1. As God created all things within the 6-day creation, we must take note of the plural ‘let us.’ It is naturally implied that this order of creation was by God the Father, through God the Son.
- And the pinnacle of the created order is the creation of man. Genesis 1:26 reads, “let us make man in our image.” Then go down to Genesis 5:1, “When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God…” v3, “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image…”
- Illustration – Let’s call this the language of sonship, as Luke 3:38 affirms this in his genealogy of Christ, recording Adam as the son of God. I will emphasise small ‘S’ as Jesus alone bears the supremacy of this title.
- But what does it mean? What does sonship refer to? It means privilege! In Adam’s case, he is made in the image and likeness of God – the very first made after God’s likeness. But it also refers to responsibility. In Adam’s case, Genesis 1:28 records to instructions given to him, to fill the earth, to subdue it, and to have dominion over it.
- Application – But Adam falls short of this reality, so does everyone after him. The Israeli nation do not live up to this, nor does the great King David, but there is one who does – who alone is worthy of the title ‘Son of God.’
- Therefore, when the Jewish council asks Jesus in verse 63, “tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God?” He replies, ‘Yes.’ Yes, because He alone is worthy, He is the God Son. He is the anointed king who establishes David’s throne.
- Conclusion – It is interesting that they should ask Jesus if He is the Christ. It means ‘Messiah’, ‘Anointed’. Their question is, ‘are you the anointed Son of God?’ Are you truly eternal?
- Sadly, they have no intention of believing Him. They want to build the case of blasphemy against Jesus, but in reality, they only help affirm the beauty of Jesus’ Supremacy as the Son of God!
- So what is behind the title, Son of God? The reality that Jesus is the Davidic King, the Son of God who has come to reign! It means that Jesus has the same nature as God. Hebrews 1:3 expresses this very clearly, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being.”
- Bridge – And although, they have arrested Him to kill Him, Jesus will prove His supremacy through the Resurrection. Because only God can satisfy the wrath of God! Only God has the power to pay the ultimate price of redemption.
- Friends, this truth should be enough to lead us into worship. We get to see the beauty, splendour, and the excellences of Jesus as we get to understand the importance of His title as the Son of God!
- The Son of Man:
- Text – 26:64
- Explanation – Tension increases as Jesus goes a step further. He bears a second title, the Son of Man. The title ‘Son of Man’, takes us back to Genesis 3. I would be a terrible preacher to assume you have this context before you.
- In Genesis 3, Adam turns his back on God, not only causing humanity to Fall, but causing the entire created order to Fall. Skip ahead to Genesis 11, the effects of the Fall has made a major impact.
- Illustration – For the first time, we read ‘sons of men’ (NASB). Now they are in direct contradiction to the first instructions given to Adam. Instead of positively filling the earth, they have negatively impacted it saying, “let us build a tower to make a name for ourselves,” right… “so that we won’t be dispersed.”
- It didn’t go down well, did it? But this illustration is to prove how the sons of men have gone after the image of their father Adam. This title, at first, is characterized by the fallen nature of man.
- But remember, this is God’s story. This title was never meant to represent evil, so we go further down to the Prophet Ezekiel. He seems to be a good-guy, he has been trained up for the priesthood, he was called by God to serve as a prophet – God’s mouth piece to His people.
- And yet, he is given this title that seems to represent evil. The reality is that God gives Him this title to suggest a shift in its representation. Let’s turn to Daniel chapter 7 to verify this.
- In Daniel 7:13-14 we read, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.
- And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.”
- Application – So again, within the space of Fallen humanity, all have failed, but Daniel says ‘one like a son of man… was given dominion and glory and a kingdom…” This ‘Son of Man’ succeeds as He comes on the clouds of heaven, and His kingdom cannot be overthrown!
- When He is presented before the Ancient of Days, when before the face of God, He lives! Therefore, Jesus’ double affirmation of His power and supremacy should point us to the goal of His coming, redemption.
- Conclusion – The Jewish council would clearly understand where Jesus is going with this confession. When Jesus used this phrase, He was assigning the Son of Man prophecy to Himself, proclaiming Himself as the Messiah.
- In addition to this, this title also refers to Jesus’ true humanity. Jesus is therefore, fully God (John 1:1), but He is also truly a human being (John 1:14).
- Bridge – Hebrews 2:17 sheds more light on this reality of why Jesus had to be both God and man: “He had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.”
- So what? What is the significance of these terms? Because Jesus succeeds as the Son of God, satisfying the wrath of God and purchasing the freedom of all who believe on Him, He can also succeed as the Son of Man, in that He remained sinless so that the giving of His life would be acceptable to God.
- And this makes Him the Son of Redemption “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Jesus is not half-human and half-divine. He is the God-man.
- Now having heard these truths, take a step back and reflect on Jesus’ awesome and gracious power to save. The intensity of His final hours on earth was terrible and brutal. Yet, while He was facing injustice, ridicule, and rejection – at no point did He stop being man or God, for the sole purpose of making salvation for us all possible.
- Take these truths, and go rest in God’s goodness. Meditate on these realities, and be comforted for Christ has already won. As Paul writes, “…If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?
- Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
- As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
- For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39.