A review of last Sunday’s sermon based on Matthew 26:57-68.
The story of Jesus’ last days continues with His trial, when He was brought before the Council or the Sanhedrin. These Jewish priests could trace their lineage all the way to Aaron; their office was sanctioned by God Himself. Their line was set apart for a special purpose and they were given sacred responsibilities. Yet, these were the very men who ended up being the murderers of Christ.
As Pastor David Chiong said in his sermon, it’s very easy to condemn those people for their actions but we are actually no better than them. He goes on to say that the rejection of truth for a lie is rooted in idolatry, when we value something more than God. “It starts in the heart: craving, wanting, enjoying, being satisfied by anything that you treasure more than God.” Paul calls this covetousness, when we love something more than God. He said in Romans 1:25 – “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator….” We are all guilty of this sin. This is why we are no better than the people who put Jesus in a mock trial and sentenced Him to death.
This has been so from the very beginning, the original sin was a rejection of the truth for a lie. Pastor David gave us several instances when the truth is rejected in favor of a lie.
1. Lies are more preferable than the truth. The Sanhedrin did not want to hear the truth of God; they rejected His truth for lies. We are, likewise, defiant of truth. We want to go our own way; thus, we give our approval to such things as abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and the like.
2. Sins are seen as justifiable actions. This is manifested by our many excuses. We often say, “There is a reason why he lost it, a reason why he committed adultery,…” We have all attempted to justify our actions at one point or another, instead of taking full responsibility for our sins.
3. Truth is misinterpreted and misunderstood. We often hear people say, “I have my truth, and you have your truth.” We like to deny the absolute truth by saying that something can be true for one person but not true for someone else.
4. There is no willingness to be corrected with the truth. Hardly anyone likes to be corrected, even if welcoming correction helps us to grow. However, it is impossible to attain spiritual growth and change without reproof and correction. It’s for this reason that we have to be grateful when we are corrected and learn to accept reproof with humility.
5. Truth is seen as wicked. Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah and His deeds were a threat to the Council’s religious system and their way of life. Because of all these, they saw Jesus – the truth incarnate – as wicked. It was their hypocrisy, pride, and arrogance that caused them to do what they did.
Lies or falsehood is one of the favorite weapons of the enemy. “He is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). Hence, lying is rampant; it happens everywhere. How many times have we succumbed to lying? And how many times have we been the recipients of lies? Jesus, though He never lied, became the receiver of false charges made against Him. However, in the face of these lies and false accusations, Jesus held his peace. His response to it all was SILENCE. He was in full control then, even in His silence. So, if lies and false charges were heaped upon Jesus, we need not wonder if the same weapons are constantly used against us. They are Satan’s great devices to blacken the reputation of God’s people, nullifying our work and testimony. Thus, if we are ever called upon to suffer in this way, let us bear it patiently like our Lord and Savior. We need to learn to reject lies and embrace the truth more and more.