The Trial of Christ, by David K. Breed, , at sacred-texts.com
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." 129 Thus spoke Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ of God, the Saviour of the worldwho in His earthly ministry never once used the word "religion." 130 Christianity is not a religion; it is a revelation.
The word "religion" comes from a Greek root meaning the act of man searching out for God, pagan man trying to find God. But when Very God became flesh and dwelt among us, revealed Himself in the person of Christ, and died to save us from our sins, religion ceased for all believers in Jesus. True, many laymen and ministers use the term "Christian Religion" in a broad sense to embrace that which is actually Christian Revelation. We could quote columns of the words of The Master, and each would emphasize our point. During the trial before
[paragraph continues] Pilate, Jesus made this startling statement: "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." 131 To a thief on a neighboring cross who confessed, He said: "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." 132 To His disciples; in that poignant fourteenth chapter of John, Jesus discussed the heavenly mansions He has gone to prepare for us, promised to return to take us there, and told us that the Father dwelleth in him to do the works.
Who could make these startling promises? Could an imposter make them and not be found out? What does the trial teach us of Our Redeemer? Did the Jews prove Jesus an imposter? If the trial proved Jesus was an imposter, why did Pilate have it inscribed on the cross, "THE KING OF THE JEWS" 133 instead of, "He said he was king of the Jews."?
The reason is that the Jews failed to see the true import of the trial. This was not a trial of Christ by the Jews or by the Romans
for that matter. It was a trial of the whole world by God Himself in the person of Christ, posing as a defendant, come to save the world, come in fulfillment of prophecy, come to die as the Lamb of Godthe Paschal, sacrificial Lamb of God crucified to save men from their sins. The New Testament record constitutes not only an accurate fulfillment of prophecy, but its very words in some places quote the actual language of the great Jewish prophets. The crowd did spit in his face. 134 He was crucified between two thieves 135 and reviled by the crowd. 136 The trial did follow the pattern of Isaiah 53. Jesus was trying the world. As the omnipotent Son of God, co-equal with God, Jesus knew everything. He knew the law. He had astonished the Rabbis with his legal knowledge when He was but twelve years old. He had power to make a legal record, to take an Appeal, to rely on the technicalities of the law, had He desired: but He knew He had to die to save the sinful world of menand He went gloriously
to his death saying, "Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." 137
No one can fully understand the technical legal violations of the Trial of Christ and not be impressed again with the accuracy in which God in His Grace has fulfilled such prophecies as that beautiful fifty-third chapter of Isaiah with which we close our study:
"1. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?
2. For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
3. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the
chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
73:129 Matt. 11:28.
73:130 Ernest Gordon, "A Survey of Religious Life and Thought", in The Sunday School Times, Jan. 11, 1947, p. 30 (6).
74:131 John 19:11.
74:132 Luke 23:43.
74:133 Mark 15:26; John 19:19 thru 22.
75:134 Compare, Isaiah 50:6 with Matt. 27:67, for example.
75:135 Isaiah 53:12.
75:136 Psalm 22:7 & 8.
76:137 Luke 23:46.