THE 7 TRIALS of JESUS CHRIST
Hello and greetings in the Name of Him Who was on Trial Seven Times, Jesus Christ! Once it was brought to my attention that the Lord Jesus was on trial six times (three from the Jews and three from the Gentiles) I immediately came to the conclusion that there was a seventh trial which He also underwent, one which was not mentioned. That trial was of course the one He endured while upon the cross; it was not another human judgment or court, but rather the judgment of God. In short, after being taken from the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ was first brought before Annas, and then Caiaphas and later the Sanhedrin. Lacking the political authority to have Jesus executed, they took Him to Pontius Pilate, who then sent Him to Herod who later returned Jesus to Pilate. There the Jewish crowd publicly rejected their Messiah-King. Their shouts prevailed and the Way, the Truth and the Life was condemned to death. These were the first six instances of Christ being on trial. And then there was the final trial, on the cross. You see, this trial was not human in origin, but divine.
God had been proclaiming the coming of this event since the Garden of Eden. Jesus was about to fulfill the goal of His life: namely, His death. While the previous six trials operated on twisted applications of man’s law, this trial moved in the realm of the laws of God. And God Himself was the Judge, and God the Son the accused. While at first a public spectacle, it became a very public victory over sin and satan forever. Now in any honest court case, it is the transgression of a certain law (or laws) which is at question. Which of God’s laws did Jesus transgress? The answer is none. But ah, here comes what makes this trial so unique. Christ wasn’t punished for His sins; He didn’t have any. He took my sins… your sins… our sins—the whole world’s sins! He took it on Himself. Which of God’s laws did mankind break? All of them! There wasn’t a single unbroken commandment left! And even if you think you’ve only broken one, the Bible says in James 2:10 KJV: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” That means that in our unsaved condition we’re in big trouble. Unsaved sinners rightfully deserve the judgment and wrath of God. But Jesus satisfied God’s wrath; God’s righteous anger that we deserved as a result of our sins Christ took fully on Himself. So God the Son, Christ Jesus, absorbed the incredible blow of the wrath of the Holy God—which we deserved—so that through Jesus we can now go to Heaven, without having to receive the wrath of God that would have been our portion and fair punishment.
This is called propitiation. 1 John 2:2 KJV says, “And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” Jesus Christ took our place. He died so that we may have life. So Jesus was on trial before God on account of your sins and my sins which He took upon Himself, and God found Him guilty on our behalf. This intense situation was only exasperated by Jesus’ physical pain, mutilation and public humiliation. Truly; He bought us with His own blood. But worse still: being found with our sins His relationship with His Beloved Father was momentarily damaged—a terrible occurrence which He had never experienced before nor since. And Christ went through that agony so that we might experience the joy of God’s presence—and His forgiveness. Praise be to God! Although this trial ended in a shout of victory and then death, Christ rose again on the third day having conquered death. Hallelujah! The persecuted family dearly appreciates each of you who take time to pray for them and they are touched by your caring for them without ever having met them. They’ve been severely backstabbed before by those who also claim the name “Christian” and so that adds to the reason why this means so much to them. Please pray that God may open the eyes of Mr. Van Niekerk, Mr. Kussman and my grandma before they close their eyes. This week Daniël and I drove all around the East Rand to schedule appointments for an outreach in March and the Lord graciously gave us wonderful opportunities! According to one source, the greater Johannesburg and East Rand area is one of the world’s 50 most populous urban areas, with the only American urban areas listed as more populated being New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. The sermon at the monthly service went well; praise the Lord! Then Daniël and I left today (Sunday) for three weeks. Lord-willing, we will be making arrangements for a future tour during the first and third week, interrupted by a week of ministry at a school in a small Free State town.
Because we’re going to the same places I visited on last year’s The Lone Ranger Tour, I jokingly suggested to Daniël that—since he’s coming along—we can call it The Lone Ranger and Tonto Tour. Instead, we chose to call the first and third weeks the ‘1ste Voorbrand Toer’ and the ‘2de Voorbrand Toer’ (‘voorbrand’ can be literally translated as a ‘before-fire’ and is a type of firebreak such as making a small controlled fire in order to prevent a larger one from burning down your house, and ‘voorbrandwerk’ is an Afrikaans saying which, like “breaking up fallow ground,” means “preparation work”). Please pray for us during these three weeks as we’re scheduled to cross a sizable chunk of the country, and we’re praying that the Lord will open the right doors for the Gospel for the long tour we’re preparing for later this year. We plan on visiting many schools, retirement homes and other venues to make preparatory arrangements and to share the Gospel along the way. May He Who endured great agony for us be glorified by whatever passing discomforts we ever endure for Him! –Louis Gervais “And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with Thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,” –Revelation 5:9