Monday, May 29, 2017
May 28, 2017, Second Reformed Church
Peter, John, and Jesus are in the High Priest’s house. And we may remember, we said that the house would have been rooms surrounding a central courtyard through which one would pass to get from room to room.
John and Jesus are in Annas’ home, and Jesus is being interrogated by him. Jesus respectfully reminds Annas that the Law does not compel a suspect to give evidence against himself, so Jesus tells Annas to find witnesses.
Meanwhile, Peter is out in the courtyard, and a young girl asks Peter if he is a disciple of Jesus, and he denies it vigorously – beginning to fulfill Jesus’ prophecy: “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times” (John 13:38, ESV). And we saw that it is easy to sin, even though the devil is a defeated foe, and we do not have to sin, because God lives within us and has promised a way of escape.
Annas is unable to get what he wants from Jesus, so he sends Him across the courtyard to the room where Caiaphas is waiting with the full Sanhedrin to try Jesus.
The guards take Jesus to Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin for trial. This trial is not recorded by John, because Matthew, Mark, and Luke, all record it. But it is worth taking a moment to see it in context because we see:
First, Jesus is God, the Savior.
“Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, ‘This man said, “I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.”’ And the high priest stood up and said, ‘Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?’ But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, ‘I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.’ Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.’ Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?’” (Matthew 26:57-68, ESV).
Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin, as they scramble to find two witnesses who can even half agree on something Jesus did or said that could be considered a crime – and they find two who testify that Jesus said He would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days – which we know was not about the physical Temple, but about Jesus’ physical resurrection. And Jesus does not answer the charge – remember – He didn’t have to – He could plead the fifth, as it were.
So, Caiaphas pulls his ace in the hole – the one thing that would get a faithful Jew to break his silence is to be asked a question beginning with: “I adjure you by the living God” – for the sake of God, under the witness and judgement of God – and the High Priest asks Him, “Are You the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior – are You God, the Incarnate Son – God in the flesh?”
And Jesus responds with expressions that are dramatic and clear to the Sanhedrin. Jesus says, in our vernacular, “What you said is absolutely true: I am the promised Savior, and you will see Me seated on My throne, the throne of God.”
Caiaphas responds dramatically, tears his clothes, proclaims that Jesus is a blasphemer, and calls for the judgement of the Sanhedrin – capital punishment – death. All of which proceedings are illegal according to Jewish Law.
We continue to see Jesus claim to be the Savior and God over and over again in the Gospels. If He is not, then He is a blasphemer, and we are all dead in our sins. But He is God and Savior, and all of this is necessary for our salvation and the Glory of God.
Now, they must go to Governor Pilate, because the Jews were under Roman occupation and were not allowed to carry out capital punishment.
As Jesus passes through the courtyard, we read:
“Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You also are not one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.”
Luke adds an additional detail:
“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:61-62, ESV).
Peter denies Jesus three times, just as Jesus prophesied, and Jesus looks at him as the rooster crows, and Peter is utterly destroyed. His guilt is overwhelming, and he runs from the house of the High Priest, weeping.
Thankfully, we know that Peter is restored in John 21 – he even becomes a leader in the Church. Lord willing, we will look at that is some weeks.
For now, let us remember that we can be forgiven for every sin except the sin of unbelief. As John writes, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1-2, ESV).
Don’t sin. Call on God to deliver you from temptation. Take the way of escape He provides. And when you do sin, go to Jesus quickly, because He has paid the debt for that sin – each and every one of our sins – and He will restore us with the Father.
Now, they take Jesus to Governor Pilate to secure Jesus’ death. They meet with Pilate at his headquarters – given the timeline – probably at his office in the Temple, not at his palace.
And we see, second, Jesus is king.
“Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor's headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor's headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. Pilate went outside to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered him, ‘If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.’ The Jews said to him, ‘It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.’ This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.”
The Pharisees and Sadducees make Pilate come out to them so they do not become ceremonially unclean – especially during this holy season. In their hypocrisy, they are afraid to be around Gentiles – non-Jews – in case they become unclean, but they have no problem with putting an Innocent Man to death… They are concerned that everything looks right, but are unconcerned that their hearts are dead. Jesus condemns them for cleaning the outside of the tomb and being unmoved by the rotting corpse within.
Pilate asks the Jews what the charge is against Jesus, and the Jews respond, “We’re the Sanhedrin – the highest ruling body of the Jews – don’t you think we have already tried this Man and found Him guilty – you don’t need to know the facts of the case or the evidence against Him.”
So Pilate turns the tables and tells them that they should put Him to death if they have already decided that is what should be done. And the Jews reluctantly admit that their hands are tied – they are not legally allowed to put Jesus to death – Rome has to put Jesus to death. And so, Jesus’ prophecy is fulfilled:
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day” (Matthew 20:18-19, ESV).
Luke tells us that the Jews claim that Jesus commits three crimes: He perverts the nation. He forbids the Jews to pay taxes to Rome. And He claims to be King. (Cf., Luke 23).
As evil as a man as Pilate is said to have been, he is not about to put a Man to death simply on the word of the Jews – he wants reasons – evidence – to justify putting Jesus to death, so he interrogates Jesus in a private trial:
“So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?’”
The first two crimes the Jews mention are not worth considering by Pilate, but if Jesus claims to be king – that could be a problem he has to deal with, so he asks Jesus if He is the King of the Jews. And we notice that Jesus doesn’t answer him here. Why?
Jesus wants to clarify His answer, so He does not answer, “yes,” by which Pilate would think that Jesus means that He is king of the earthly Kingdom of Israel, nor does He answer, “no,” because Jesus is, indeed, a king. Instead He asks Pilate about his motivation, and Pilate wonders how Jesus could be King of the Jews if His own people were seeking His death.
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.’ Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate said to him, ‘What is truth?’”
“Yes, I am a king. But I am not king over any specific physical landlocked kingdom in this fallen, sinful world. If I was, my followers would have fought and kept Me from being delivered to the Jews.”
Jesus is a king. But He is not merely king over the physical nation of Israel as any earthly king would be king. If He was a king like any other king, His followers would fight for Him – the armies would come out and fight to keep Jesus from being taken from them and killed.
This world can never truly fulfill us. This world will never make us right. This world will never satisfy us. This world will never give us the peace we long for. Apart from Jesus, we are adrift – and we may be able to fool ourselves into believing everything is alright, but if we wake up, we understand we have been delusional.
“Yes, I am a king. But My Kingdom is not based in the political machinations of this world; My Kingdom is not of this world. My Kingdom is distinct from the kingships in this fallen creation.”
Pilate interrupts to confirm, “So You are a king?”
“Yes, I am a king. My birth and My purpose for coming into this world – for Incarnating – for God taking on human flesh – a real human person – and uniting with him – is to bear witness to the Truth. And everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
We are reminded of another time that the Jews try to kill Jesus, but were unable – and Jesus explains why they did not believe:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30, ESV).
If we put these together, what is Jesus’ bearing witness to the Truth? What is His birth and purpose about?
If we put these together, we can only conclude that Jesus came to be the Truth and tell the Truth, and provide the Truth for all those who will believe. God became a human being to live and die and physically rise, and ascend for our salvation and to the Glory of God. The Truth is the Gospel. The Truth is what God did to make a people right with Himself. The Truth is that God redeemed a people for Himself and gave them to His Son, and all those He gave to His Son – throughout time and space – hear the Truth – the Gospel – and receive it and believe and repent and follow after Jesus eternally.
Jesus is the Sovereign King and God over all of Creation. And it is only through Him that we are made right with God. That is the Truth.
But what if someone is not one of the sheep? What if someone is not one of those who hear Jesus’ voice and listen?
At this time in history, the Romans worship many gods, but there is real skepticism about them – whether they really exist and whether or not they really matter in day to day living. There is a relativism that said everything is true and nothing matters. It is very much like twenty-first century America.
I saw a comic recently that had two characters in it – the one was saying that there is no absolute truth, everything is relative, what you believe is equally true to what I believe, there is no right or wrong. So the second character punches the first character in the face and steals his wallet. In the last panel, the first character is calling the police. Why? Because there is absolute truth, not everything is relative, two conflicting “truths” cannot both be equally true, and there are things that are right and things that are wrong.
Pilate responds to all Jesus says with the famous line, “What is truth?” Which might well describe the atmosphere of America in our day.
What we don’t know is how Pilate said this line – what he really meant by it.
Given what we know of the time and Pilate, himself, the commentator, John Calvin, may well be right in reading his comment as being sarcastic. Calvin says one reason he believes it is sarcastic is that Pilate leaves immediately – he does not continue the conversation or wait for an answer from Jesus.
What Pilate does believe is that Jesus is innocent. He believes the Jews want Jesus dead out of jealousy so Pilate tries to free Jesus. He looks to a tradition that Rome would release a prisoner at Passover in symbolic respect of the season of celebrating Israel’s release from slavery in Egypt.
“After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, ‘I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?’ They cried out again, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber.”
Pilate fails to release Jesus, the King of the Jews, and releases Barabbas.
Luke tells us a little more:
“So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will” (Luke 23:24-25, ESV).
Pilate is so sure of himself that he offers to release a prisoner: Barabbas – a thief, a murderer, someone who had attempted to overthrow Rome – a terrorist, or, the misguided rabbi, Jesus. “Shall I release a terrorist back into your midst, or this harmless rabbi?”
Pilate is surely disgusted in the result of his gambit.
And Pilate and the Jews come under the condemnation of God, as Solomon wrote, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD” (Proverbs 17:15, ESV).
The Jews come one step closer to having Jesus put to death, and Jesus clearly explains that He is God and King over His Kingdom – the Kingdom of all those who believe savingly in Him.
If you believe in the Truth – if you have received Jesus and His salvation, then you are at peace in this world, knowing that your God and King is Sovereign, bringing all things to pass according to His Will, and the day is coming, when all things will be restored, and we shall dwell in the Glory of God.
Let us pray:
Almighty God, we thank You for the witness of Your Son, even as He went through suffering beyond what we can conceive. Help us not to be confused, but to know that Jesus is God the Savior, and He is our reigning King – our Sovereign Forever, through Whom we have salvation and a future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“What Did You Say?”
May 21, 2017, Second Reformed Church
Judas comes with over six hundred soldiers to betray Jesus, only to have Jesus show His power as He speaks and causes them all to fall to the ground. Jesus voluntarily submits to the Romans – and the Will of His Father – and allows Himself to be arrested. Peter jumps in and cuts off the ear of the High Priest’s servant, whom Jesus heals, and Jesus rebukes Peter, telling Him that He could call on the armies of Heaven to save Him, but then the Scriptures would not be fulfilled – and there would be no salvation. And the Eleven and the other disciples run away and leave Jesus alone.
The Romans take Jesus to Annas, the former High Priest, the father-in-law of the current High Priest – the one who said it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to be lost – prophesying – unbeknownst to himself – that Jesus would give Himself up for all the people God gave Him – securing their and our salvation through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
Now, I need to apologize – last week I said we have no record of the trial before Annas. I had not read today’s text carefully enough – this is the trial before Annas. So, please forgive my error and note that today’s text is the trial before Annas.
John begins this text with a little background:
“Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in.”
After the Eleven and the other disciples run away, Peter and John circle back and follow the arrest crowd to the house of Annas. We need to understand that houses – especially larger houses – were built with rooms around the edge of the house with an open courtyard in the middle of the house. So, if this was a perfectly square house, we can imagine rooms on all four sides and then doors leading into the central courtyard. This is why Peter and John have to do through a door to get into the courtyard and through another door to get to the interrogation room.
So, Peter and John follow the crowd to Annas’ house, and John goes right into the house because he is well known by the High Priest. We’re not told why John was well-known to the High Priest and his household, but whatever the reason, they let him in right away, and he had to vouch for Peter.
While John is getting Peter, Jesus is brought into the interrogation room. Then John goes into the interrogation room, but Peter says in the courtyard.
And we see first, this morning, it is easy to sin.
“The servant girl at the door said to Peter, ‘You also are not one of this man's disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.”
And you may be thinking, “Well, of course it is easy to sin, that’s why we sin, because it’s so easy to give into temptation.”
Let’s think about this: the person in question in Peter. When Jesus told the Eleven that He was going to leave them and they could not follow – remember what happened in John 13:
“Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.’ Peter said to him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times’” (John 13:36-38, ESV).
We have Peter, the “I will never leave You. I will never deny You. I will die for You.” He boldly goes to the house of the High Priest to be with Jesus – to see this through with Him. But when he gets into the courtyard, he starts to fear – he can’t go in – so John goes in and leaves Peter in his lions’ den.
And a young servant girl asks Peter if he is one of Jesus’ disciples. It makes sense. She saw Jesus come in. She saw John with Him. She saw John give access to Peter. Why wouldn’t she think he was one of Jesus’ disciples?
“What did you say? What? Who? Me? No! I am not one of His disciples.”
Peter had the reasonable fear of being arrested at the High Priest’s house, and the devil presented a thought to him – a temptation to sin, “If you just deny Jesus, no one will touch you.” And in his fear, he sinned and denied Jesus.
Sometimes temptation comes – so it would seem, at least – out of the clear blue. But then there are times when we know that certain things, certain places, certain people lead us into temptation and we ought to stay away – turn away, run to God in prayer and seek out whatever way of escape there is, because Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” If we love Him, we will strive towards holiness – and God the Holy Spirit indwells us and will lead and empower us to turn away and not sin – if we ask Him.
The devil knows the right words and the right moment that we are most likely to give in – and he will use that. The devil is a defeated foe, but he is powerful and intelligent:
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world” (I Peter 5:8-9, ESV).
We look back at Peter and shake our heads: “You spent three years with Jesus. You confessed that He is God and Savior. How could you give into your fears and sin against Him?” But let us not be unduly harsh on Peter, but rather look at ourselves – we have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, Peter did not yet. We, therefore, are guiltier than he when we sin against our God.
So, we must always be alert and use everything we can, as God the Holy Spirit empowers us, to stay away from temptation and to turn away and deny it when it comes, so we will not sin against our Savior. And, when we do sin, let us turn quickly to our Savior and ask Him for the forgiveness He merited for us – and He will give it to the truly repentant. And then, rejoice with thanksgiving, for you are forgiven and loved by our God and Savior.
Then John turns and reports what happens at the trial before Annas.
And we see, second, Jesus respects the authorities and the law.
“The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.’”
Jesus is brought bound before Annas, the High Priest, and Annas begins questioning Jesus, “What do You teach? How have You instructed Your disciples? What is Your interpretation of the Law? Who are Your disciples? Will You give us a list?”
Although it is not called “pleading the fifth” in Jewish law, a suspect does not have to incriminate himself. A suspect does not have to give any testimony that could be used against him.
And, so, Jesus responds by stating that everything He taught has been in the open – in the synagogues, in the Temple – where His disciples and those who did not believe Him came together and heard what He had to say. If Annas asks any group of Jews, they could tell him what Jesus taught. Everyone knows what Jesus taught. So, Jesus tells Annas to find witnesses who can tell him what He have taught.
Jesus is not being sarcastic – He is not being disrespectful to Annas. We need to understand that. He is saying, “I am not going to provide testimony about Myself, which is My right under the Law, but I have taught so openly that you can easily find witnesses to testify to what I have taught.” And the Law requires that at least two or three eyewitnesses be able to testify in a criminal case. It was against the Law to judge a person without witnesses or by the witness of only one person.
Now, don’t be confused, Annas is an evil, self-centered, person – and Jesus does not respect that. However, Annas holds the title of High Priest, he is an authority put in place by God, so, for the sake of the office and in the recognition of God’s placing Annas in authority, Jesus deals with him respectfully.
Remember what Paul tells us:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed” (Romans 13:1-7, ESV).
Unless a ruler commands us to sin, we must submit in obedience because God has put these men and women in office. If our rulers are evil, God will punish them, but we are to submit.
For example, Paul tells us that we must pay our taxes. I believe income taxes are theft – stealing – I believing our government sins against us by taking part of our income. However, it would be a sin for us to disobey the government and not pay our taxes, so I do, and so should you.
We don’t have to agree with everything our leaders do. We don’t have to like our leaders. We may call them to account for their actions. We ought to remind them that they are serving in authority because God has placed them there. We ought to remind them that they have an authority over them. We may vote them out of office. But we must submit to them in everything, except sin.
Jesus shows respect to Annas, while responding within the constraints of the Law. But, as we saw last week, these trails have nothing to do with justice – they have to do with finding a way to put Jesus to death to preserve the power and the wealth of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Remember what Caiaphas, the current High Priest and son-in-law of Annas, prophesies:
“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.’ He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they made plans to put him to death” (John 11:49-53, ESV).
This has nothing to do with a fair trial – as we saw last week, the Jews brake law after law in the trials of Jesus – this is a matter of Israel being occupied by the Romans, so the Jews are not legally allowed to put a man to death – they have to bring a case before Rome to have a man put to death – and the point is – Jesus must die.
The guards at the high Priest’s home understand the goal of the trials:
“When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?’ Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.”
Whack! One of the officers strikes Jesus across the face.
As Micah prophesied: “Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek” (Micah 5:1, ESV).
“What did You say? Don’t be smart! That’s not the answer the High Priest wants! Give him the respect and the answer he deserves!”
The officer sins against Jesus, but Jesus respectfully answers him: “If I lied, bring forth witnesses; if I did not lie, why did you hit Me?”
Again, this has nothing to do with justice, it has to do with putting Jesus to death. Yet, with all these people sinning against Him, Jesus does not sin. He acts appropriately, according to the law, and shows the respect due to each person.
Suppose you are driving down the road and a police officer pulls you over, and you ask, “What’s wrong, officer?”
Now, suppose the officer punches you in the face, says, “Don’t backtalk,” and pulls you out of the car.
What should we do as Christians? Assuming there is no threat of death or serious bodily harm, in which case, self-defense may be merited, what ought we to do?
Should we spit on him and berate him and struggle to get away? Should we threaten his family?
No, we ought to submit to arrest, find any witnesses possible, and lodge a complaint against the officer in the correct manner. That may be hard to do in the moment, but it is the right thing to do.
Of course, Jesus’ being sinned against in these trials is more than just the authorities sinning against their call and office and those they are called to protect – this is all part of Jesus submitting to the Will of the Father.
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isaiah 53:3, ESV).
And so, Jesus is put through every type of suffering, betrayal, denial, injustice, torture, and death, for the sins of everyone who will ever believe.
Annas did not get what he wanted from Jesus, so he sent Him across the courtyard to Caiaphas, who was gathered with the whole of the Sanhedrin to put Jesus to trial and find a way that He could be put to death.
As we struggle towards holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is our Advocate before the Father as we confess our sins and He forgives us.
As we are treated unjustly by our leaders and they sin against us, Jesus has experienced more than we will ever know about suffering, and He calls us to submit and to respect our leaders for the office they hold.
Let us be faithful to our God and Savior, looking forward to the day when this will be our life:
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17, ESV).
Let us pray:
Almighty God, we understand Peter’s sin and we are repulsed at the way Your Son was treated. We thank You that Jesus is the Sinless One Who intercedes before us, so we can be confident in our forgiveness. Help us to show the right respect to all people, but especially to those You have put in authority – especially when they are sinning against us. Use us to proclaim your Gospel even through our unjust suffering, because Your Son has suffered for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.