Monday, April 10, 2017

The Arrest of Jesus

When Jesus was arrested he was taken before several high ranking officials as the Jews were seeking support for their claims that he had committed violations of their laws and traditions.  Remember, Jesus was aware of every event that had happened, and he knew of his impending death on the cross.
We might wonder what was happening with his followers. Were they going to do anything to try and rescue him from this fate? We noticed yesterday that Peter tried to come to the Lord's defense by attacking the servant of the high priest. Jesus had stopped Peter by reminding him that all these happenings were in the plan of God. 

Before long we see Peter doing exactly what Jesus said he would do. He was denying that he even knew Jesus. Human nature back then was a lot like today, when the heat gets turned up, people grow weak in their allegiance to the Lord.  So while Peter is denying his association with Jesus, and listening to a rooster crow, Jesus was having his initial encounter with the government officials. From John 18;

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.

So Jesus went before Annas, and from there was taken before Caiaphas the high priest. Still bound with shackles, he was then taken to the palace of the Roman governor. Verses 29 and 30 show the shallow charges which are brought against him. 

"29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?” 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

Pilate reminded them of the custom of releasing a prisoner during Passover, and suggested that Jesus be the one that was released. Pilate himself confessed that he had found nothing to support the charges the Jews were bringing. However, since the crowd asked for the release of Barabbas, and overwhelmingly chose to crucify Jesus, Pilate went along with the desires of the crowd. 

The story of these events even includes description of the way Pilate even tried to release Jesus, but the Jews kept up their insistence that he be crucified. These people would not give up. Their cries of "Crucify him, Crucify him," were answered by Pilate with these words from John 19:16, "Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified."

In looking through the four gospel accounts, the details of the crucifixion are gruesome, humiliating, painful,  and filled with sorrow. Tomorrow, we shall look specifically at John's account of the crucifixion experience.  Hopefully you will read these words and appreciate the seriousness of the event. This is the basis for your hope of eternal life. This is the greatest demonstration of God's love for you. Jesus is about to take the entire load of guilt and punishment which belongs to all mankind, and face the punishment alone. So when we read these truths, may we all realize Jesus is dying and shedding his blood for us. 


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