Volume. XXII, No. 38
Sunday, 16 March 2008

From the Pastors Heart: Jesus and His Violent Death

James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken co-authored a book, Jesus on Trial, and published it a few years ago.  Though Boice’s contribution was cut short because of his homegoing in 2000, Ryken continued the work alone and finally published it by Crossway Books in 2002.  This book has a series of messages about Christ’s trials and violent death.  By briefly skimming through this book, we may get some insights about what Christ has done for us.  The book has seven chapters consisting of conspiracy, arrest, resistance, witnesses, verdict, sentence, and crucifixion.  By reading this panoramic presentation of Christ’s sacrificial life, I hope and pray that our faith will be edified and strengthened and that we will see the kind of Christian life we should live.  The following contents are either direct quotations or summarized ideas. 


“The philosopher Plato once imagined what would happen if a perfect man ever came to live on this imperfect planet.  The kind of person Plato had in mind would be ‘a just man in his simplicity and nobleness,’ willing to hold on to his ‘course of justice unwavering to the point of death.’  The great philosopher could well imagine what would happen to such a man in this wicked world: ‘Our just man will be thrown into prison, scourged and racked, will have his eyes burnt out, and, after every kind of torment, be impaled.”  Plato’s description is not much different from the last moment of Jesus’ physical life on earth.  Before the trial of Jesus, there was a conspiracy.  False accusations and scandalous affairs were made against Jesus by a group of people.  Matthew 26:3-5, “Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. 5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”  It is worth noting that all the accusers or conspirators were highly respected people in those days.  Vinoth Ramachandra said, “Jesus was condemned to death, not by the irreligious and the uncivilized, but by the highest representatives of Jewish religion and Roman law.”  Verse 4 indicates the secretiveness of this conspiracy: “And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.”  Another amazing truth is that these sons of perversion found an unexpected help from the Twelve of Jesus.  We cannot read the mind of this traitor, Judas Iscariot.  However, one thing is clear: he sold Jesus.  Look at this, what harm money can do to our souls?  However, the best kind of man’s wisdom is only foolishness to the wisdom of God.  Acts 2:23-24, “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”  Only a few months (probably) later, many priests came to believe in Jesus Christ (Acts 6:7).


John 18:12-13 says, “Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, 13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.”  This arrest took place at night.  As you know, Jesus had the Last Meal with His disciples and crossed the Kidron valley.  There was an olive grove, and still this day we can see olive trees.  Judas, in that dark night, shortly after he had a meal with his master, brought a group of soldiers and officials from the chief priests and Pharisees.  They had brought torches and weapons as if Jesus were a thief or robber.  The knowledge Judas had was used to betray and sell Jesus, which is an inexplicable irony.  Again, the accusers of Jesus were religious and knowledgeable people, and His betrayer was one of His own who had followed Him for more than 3 years.  I wonder what we do to Jesus with our little knowledge of Him.  Does our knowledge of Him, our relationship with Him, help us serve Him or cause our slackness in following Him?  Jesus allowed His arrest to take place.  It was not a result of His failed preparations to escape the hand of His enemies, but a divine foreordination.  Thus, He submitted Himself voluntarily to the authorities.  What a humble Saviour we have!


Peter, a fervent and zealous disciple of Jesus, could not observe the arrest and resist taking action against it.  He drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest.  He cut his ear off (Matthew 26:51).  What he did not know was that it was not the incapability of Jesus to prevent the arrest, but His providence.  Matthew 26:52-54 says, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”  Jesus restored the servant’s ear and healed him.  Jesus did not need anybody to defend Him.  Even in this perilous time, He was in control.  Verse 54 makes us think of Jesus again and again: “But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?”


The wickedness of man was demonstrated in public.  The people lost their sense of shame and became false witnesses against Jesus.  There were people who had recruited them to charge Jesus in the name of the law of the land and people who were willing to give false testimonies against Him.  Mark 14:56 says, “For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together.”  There were many false witnesses.  Though their testimonies contradicted each other, their shameless testimonies were heard anyway.  The final stroke came from the lips of the high priest.  Mark 14:61, “But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”  To this question, Jesus gave more answers than required in verse 62, “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”  Jesus was condemned for this answer and was judged to deserve death in verse 64.


Jesus was taken to Pilate.  The chief priests, elders, the teachers of the law, and the whole Sanhedrin took Him to Pilate.  By this time, they had already made up their mind about the nature of the punishment they wanted against Jesus.  They were unable to proceed with the case against Him, because the Jewish religious court did not have power to hand down the death penalty.  Their verdict was the death sentence.  Thus, in that fateful morning, Jesus had to stand before Pilate who could not find any sin from Him.  The Jews cried on that day: “Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified” (Matthew 27:22).  John 19:5 says, “Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!”  We behold that man, Saviour, God-man, the Son of God.  Darkness came over the whole land, and the veiled, secret and inner place of the Temple was torn from top to bottom.  The Roman centurion said, “Truly this man was the Son of God.”  Of course, we cannot forget His agonizing cry: “Eloi, Eloi. Lama Sabachthani.”  What a Savior we have!                                                               


      Lovingly, Your Pastor





More Lively Hope




1. Sabbatical Leave: Our Pastor, Rev Ki, and his wife, Sis Myung, leave on Wed 26 Mar. Pastor returns in July, & Sis Myung in May.

2. Final Reminder: Church Directory Update: Please provide your contact details to Sis Josephine Wong.

3. Bible Camp forms available on literature table, please return by Sunday, 6 April.

4. RPGs for Apr - Jun 08 available on literature table. Junior RPGs - please see Sis Purdee Yeo.

5. Greetings to Hopefuls from Sis Gillian Ong (Melb).




1. Journey mercies: Dn Edwin D’Mello (Mumbai) & Bro Yick Ho Lam (Maitland/Adl).

2. Church activities: Ladies’ Fellowship Welcome & Gathering; AFG, BSAG, Joy & Maranatha; Sunday School Cooking Competition & Video; & YAF Evangelism Workshop.

3. Holy Matrimony of Dn Edwin D’Mello & Sis Annie D’Silva (Mumbai, India) yesterday at 7:00 pm (India   


4. God’s daily mercies, guidance & provision for our

     church & our congregation.

5.  Accommodation: Sisters Min Yen Chia & Gillian  

     Ong (Melb).

6.  God’s daily mercy, protection & provision




1. Heath & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - God’s Word be preached faithfully.

3. Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

4. India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

5. Kuching Missions - Teo family.

6. Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

7. Local Missions: YAF Street Evangelism

8. Baptism: Bro Cong Pham. Confirmation: Bro Samuel Ki. Membership T/F: Budiman family & Sis Tabitha Heah.

9. Journey Mercies - Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Adl); Bro Yick Ho Lam (medical placement -Maitland/Adl).

10. Jobs - Bros Cong Pham & Daniel Volvricht.

11. New couple: Dn Edwin D’Mello & Sis Annie   


12. Sabbatical Leave: Ps & Sis Myung Ki.

13. Anniversary Thanksgiving today: Brisbane BPC     

14. Climate: Drought to end & for much needed rain.




© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041