The Messiah’s Unjust Trial

The New Year has arrived as we collectively close out another chapter in our lives. It goes without saying that 2020 has been characterized by much turmoil, fear and unrest. But the fact of the matter is, such upheaval is nothing new to the human race. And yet, the reverberations of the current pandemic and the disruptions it has caused to our daily lives are felt all the more acutely here in the West. It should come as no surprise given our comfortable life styles, the ease of convenience and the significant sense of security we all generally enjoy. When what we hold dear is stripped away, the condition of our faith will be revealed. According to Matthew’s gospel, when Jesus came on the scene He caused no small disturbance with the religious leaders as His earthly ministry progressed. At the time, the Pharisees and Sadducees were enjoying their status as respected leaders within the context of Judaism. Their image appeared righteous. Their religious authority and sway over the people was intact. But all this changed when Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah and confronted them as the Son of God in the flesh. Their lack of faith, ignorance of the Scriptures, and the idols of their hearts were on full display. At one point Jesus called them “white washed tombs filled with dead men’s bones and every kind of impurity” (Matt 23:27). When their treasured status quo was threatened their unbelieving hearts betrayed their religious devotion and manufactured faith. All this comes to a head in the sermon text for this week (Matt. 26:57-68). As Jesus stood trial before the high priest, He was questioned concerning His identity. Jesus simply responded, “You have said so.” The religious leaders needed no further proof as to who Jesus was. What they needed was to simply yield to what they already knew to be true in their hearts. When the time came, they were unwilling to deny themselves and follow Christ. Instead, they rejected their Messiah for the sake of their livelihoods and proceeded to unjustly charge Jesus with the death penalty. Regardless of what comes in 2021, may our faith prove to be genuine and resolute even when what we hold dear is stripped away. Don’t stop believing what you know to be true. Rather than doubting God’s intentions and unjustly challenging His character, humbly submit to His will and rest in His steadfast love—the same love that led Him to endure the suffering and humility of the cross.  -Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Pastor Rory–Titus 1:1-4–Fathering Faith

10AM: Pastor Rory–Matthew 26:57-68The Messiah’s Unjust Trial (sermon notes)

6PM: Pastor Rory–Psalm 35:1-10–Contend, O Lord

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