Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Like a Sacrificial Lamb

 “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.” – Isaiah 53:7

Before Jesus was sent to the cross, the gospels tell us that over a period of about six hours, Jesus was subjected to six different hearings and trials —three religious and three criminal. During the three religious hearings and trials, Jesus wasn't given a fair shake. Not even close! The religious leaders violated some eighteen different legal guidelines in order to unjustly convict Jesus of blasphemy.

Some of these trials were held at night, in secret. Trials were not to occur on the eve of a Sabbath or during any festival, but His hearings and trials occurred during Passover celebration. An accused person could not testify against himself; but the Sanhedrin convicted Jesus on His own words, not seeing a need for witnesses. And sentencing in a capital case was not to occur until the following day, but the Sanhedrin convicted Jesus and condemned Him right away.

How did Jesus handle these inexcusable violations? Like a meek, sacrificial lamb.

Jesus showed Himself to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7: “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth.”

And when Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, Jesus turned the tables on him and put him on the defensive. Jesus didn’t really defend Himself against the false accusations. Instead, He took the opportunity to share a revelation with Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world…. And everyone on the side of truth listens to Me” (v. 36). It seems that more than anything else, Jesus wanted Pilate to be saved. That’s remarkable! But a baffled Pilate didn’t want to hear it.

From the injustice of these proceedings, we find these revelations about Jesus:

Revelation #1: As Jesus listened to His accusers’ lies, through His silence He showed Himself to be the willing sacrificial lamb. Jesus was an expert debater. He could have shot down every one of His accusers’ false accusations in seconds. But He chose not to, because it was the Father’s will for Him to suffer and die, so that you and I could be forgiven and live.

Revelation #2: As Jesus was questioned by Pilate, He was not a defendant who avoided the truth; Jesus showed Himself to be the truth who put unbelievers on the defensive. Throughout the gospels, arrogant unbelievers tried to put Jesus on the defensive by asking Him tough questions. But time and again, Jesus answered their tough questions with a few zingers of His own, which set them back on his heels.

Jesus used the last hours before His death not to save himself, but to save others. And praise God, that salvation is still available to you and me today.

Dane Davis is the pastor of Impact Christian Church, meeting Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. at 16209 Kamana Road in Apple Valley.

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