Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

 photo31 copy 4THE EASTER EVENTS.

After only 3 years' work Jesus was condemned to death for claiming to be the Son of God. You are invited to be the jury.



Members of the jury, I intend to prove to you that this man called Jesus is a liar and a troublemaker. He claims he is sent by God yet he has collected around him a band of followers who rebel against all forms of authority - both religious and political. Let's us look at the evidence.

1. During the last few years he has made the most outrageous claims: "I came from God... He sent me" (John 8:42); "I am the bread of life"(John 6:35) He goes around forgiving people's sins - acting like God (Mark 2:1). Are these really the words of a sane man? No, of course not. They are the rantings of a lunatic. Even at the beginning of his work people clearly saw that he was a madman (Mark 1:9). He even claimed that God personally called him when he was baptised by John (Mark 1:9 - 11). It goes without sayig that no one else saw or heard anything!
2.  He has gone out of his way to disobey the commandments of God. He even claims that God has given him permission to do so. What cheek! Look at the evidence for yourself: instead of obeying the traditional law not to work on the Sabbath, Jesus has made a point of working. He tried to heal people on the Sabbath (Luke 4:31; Luke  14:1). He even picked his own food on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23).
3. He mixes with all the wrong people - lepers, prostitutes (Luke 7:36) and known swindlers - and goes out of his way to insult religious leaders (Matthew 23).
4. He encourages people to behave in ways which are clearly ludicrous. Listen to some of the things he has said:
- "Do not judge others" (Matthew 7:1). Whenever someone wrongs you, forgive them, no matter what they have done (Matthew 18:21). Such mad talk undermines all sense of right and wrong.
- "If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too" (Matthew 5:39). He encourage people to take advantage.
- He even goes around telling people not to pay their taxes to the government (Luke 23:2).

Members of the jury, this man has claimed to be a king, the Messiah (Luke 23:2). We all know that the Jews expect the Messiah to overthrow the government and set up his own kingdom. This man is clearly a troublemaker. We must get rid of him before he causes any more harm. I rest my case.



The case for the prosecution rests on the belief that Jesus was a liar and madman who went around claiming to have powers which he hadn't got. His claims to be the Son of God really are the words of a madman or a villan, unless they are true. Members of the jury, I will prove to you that this man really is the Son of God.

1. The claims he made about himself are true. If he came from God, we would expect him to have God's power. This is exactl what we find when we look at the evidence:  People have been amazed by the way he speaks (Mark 1:22).  He has demonstrated his control over nature (Mark 4:37). He has healed many people (Mark 1:40; 2:1; 8:22). He has even brought people back from the dead (Mark 5:22; Luke 7:11; John 11:1). Crowds of people saw him do these things. If he didn't get these powers from God, how do you explain them?
2. He has actually encourage people to obey God. Jesus has told people to accept God as their king and ruler (Mark 1:14). He has told many stories (parables) to illustrate what this means in everyday life.
3. He has mixed with outcasts because he wanted to show them God's love (Mark 10:46) not because he was a criminal. He respects the Jewish law (Matthew 5:17). The only reason the prosecutor and his friends think he is a troublemaker is because he is brave enough to tell the leaders of this country when they fail to obey the law themselves (Matthew 23:3).
4. He hasn't encourage people to do wrong. What he has said is that none of us is perfect and therefore we should take great care before we judge others ((John 8:1). He's commanded his followers to be peacemakers, to go out of their way to solve conflict (Matthew 5:9). Yes, Jesus' teaching is revolutionary but not in the way the prosecutor would like you to believe. When he said that he has come to fulfil the law he taught not only that people should do the right thing but they should also feel and think the right thing. Look at the evidence for yourselves (Matthew 5:21).

Members of the jury, you have 3 possible verdicts:

a. Jesus is mad. But his teaching is not that of a madman: it is about love, faith in God and forgiveness.
b. Jesus is bad - a troublemaker. The evidence does not suggest this. He has gone around healing people and teaching them how to do what God wants.
c. Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that this is the only true verdict you can come to.


Find out for yourself what happened at the original trial by tracyng the events which led up to Jesus' death : betrayal by a friend (Matthew 26:47) and the trials (Mark 14:53).




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