Last week we learned about Mary's unselfish worship of Jesus, Judas' betrayal, Jesus' final meal, Peter's denial, and Jesus praying in Gethsemane before His arrest. This week we learn of Jesus' betrayal, arrest and the trials that fulfilled Scripture.
Matthew 26:47-68 - Jesus Betrayed, Arrested, and Tried Before Caiaphas
While Jesus was praying with some of the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, Judas came with a large crowd who were armed with swords. This crowd was sent by the chief priest and elders who plotted against Jesus. Remember they had already given Judas 30 pieces of silver to hand Jesus over to them. Judas was to kiss Jesus indicating whom they were to arrest. Jesus said to Judas, "Friend, do what you came for." - Matt. 26:50. After Judas kissed Jesus, they arrested Him. John 18:5-6 says Jesus asked, "Who is it you want?' 'Jesus of Nazareth, they replied.' 'I am he,' Jesus said." Then the mob staggered backward and fell to the ground as though struck by lightning. God then permitted Him to be arrested.
Peter drew his sword to stop them and cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. Jesus said, "Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" - Matt. 26:52-54. Peter's reaction might have caused them all to be arrested or even killed on the spot. If Jesus had not been arrested and crucified and raised on the 3rd day, Scriptures would not have been fulfilled and it would not be God's will or plan. Peter acted emotionally and just wanted to stop them from taking Jesus. He loved Jesus and tried to protect Him. Jesus then touched the servant's ear and healed the wound This probably saved Peter's life (Luke 22:51). The disciples then fled. Jesus was left alone without one friend.
Then they took Jesus to Caiaphas, the high priest. Peter followed at a distance and sat with the guards to see the outcome. The Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they could put Him to death. Of course they could not find any. Then they found two who said, "This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days." - Matt. 26:61. They question Jesus, but He was silent. The high priest said, "I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." Matt. 26:63. Jesus answered, "Yes, it is as you say, but I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." - Matt. 26:64. This is prophesied by Daniel in Dan. 7:13-14.
In the quest to find evidence of guilt against Jesus only proved His innocence and His majesty.
Jesus stood on trial more than five times. Even those who tried Him were on trial. Their actions were judged as well. Even those who watched were judged. They were watching with emptiness and detachment. They brought the blood of Jesus upon themselves. They followed their leaders like sheep. They had the same guilt for their attitudes toward Christ, which determined their eternal life of eternal condemnation.
What is your attitude toward Christ?How are you indifferent toward Him?
Jesus was humiliated and treated like a criminal. His friend Judas betrayed Him. Jesus all this would happen. He knew He would fulfill the prophecy in Scriptures. (Matt. 27:56)
Jesus is our substitute. He died for our sins and we do not have to face God's wrath. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." - 2 cor. 5:21. "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people." - Heb. 2:17. As a result of Jesus being our substitute, we can stand before God sinless. His substitution is for our weakness and failures and sin.
What sins has Jesus freed you of?
Matthew 26:68-75- 27:1-10 - Peter Disowns Jesus and Judas Hangs Himself
Just as Jesus predicted, Peter disowns Jesus three times. Once when a servant girl said to Peter, "you were with Jesus", but Peter said "I don't know what you are talking about." - Matt. 26:70. Then again when another girl saw him and said "the fellow was with Jesus". Peter said with an oath, "I don't know the man!" - Matt. 26:72. Later some came up to Peter and said "surely you are tone of them, for your accent give you away." Peter said again, "I don't know the man!" - Matt. 26:74. Immediately the rooster crowed and Peter remember what Jesus had said. Peter went outside and wept bitterly. Peter sinned because he was fearful, tired, over confident, boastful, emotional, and confused.
Judas and Peter handled their sin differently. Peter never wanted to betray Jesus, but did it out of fear and just got caught up in it. Peter was overconfident. We can all fall into sin the same way as Peter. We get caught up in our emotions and a small lie and the lie seems to grow and grow into a bigger one. We can even begin to believe our lies. Peter went on to become a bold preacher and witness for Jesus. He helped to start the church. He wrote the books of 1st and 2nd Peter in the Bible. Judas sinned out of greed. He was sorry, but never repented. Instead he threw the money into the temple and went and hanged himself.
Peter's sin was just a temporary emotional reaction. Judas' sin was one of bitterness and premeditation. Judas had no hope. Peter had hope. Judas had a choice, but made the wrong one. He chose to sin and turn from God. Jesus gave Judas an opportunity to repent, when He said to him, "Friend, do what you came for." - Matt. 26:50.
To simply be sorry is to have temporary regret, but never making a change in your life. To repent is also having regrets, but then you change your ways of living. Judas had a choice, but made the wrong one. He chose to sin and turned from God.
Have you repented from a sin?How are you choosing to turn to God?
Matthew 27:11-31; Luke 23:1-12 - Jesus Tried Before Pilate
Jesus was taken before the governor, Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews?" - Matt. 27:11a. Jesus answered, "Yes, it is as you say." - Matt. 27:11b. Then Pilate asked the crowd, "Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?" - Matt. 27:17. Then Pilate's wife sent him a message to not do anything to this innocent man because of a dream she had about Him. The chief priests and elder persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and have Jesus executed. They shouted, "Crucify him!" - Matt. 27:22b. Pilate said He had not committed a crime, but still they shouted to crucify Him. Pilate then washed his hands and said, "I am innocent of this man's blood. It is your responsibility!" - Matt. 27:24.
Pilate then send Jesus before Herod. Matthew does not mention the trial before Herod. This is mentioned in Luke 23. Herod wanted Jesus to be entertained by Jesus and wanted Him to do miracles like he did of John the Baptist. When Herod questioned Jesus, He didn't answer. Probably because He had killed John the Baptist and He knew He could not change his mind anyway so why waste time. Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked Jesus. They dressed Him in a elegant robe and sent Him back to Pilate.
Pilate realized Jesus was innocent. He said he found no basis to charge Jesus and repeats this several times. He knew it was out of envy that the crowd had handed Jesus over to him. Pilate was worried what the people thought and didn't want to go against them. We are sometimes like Pilate and try to please people and worry about what people think of us. We need to stand up for what is true and right. We need to stand up for truth and our beliefs. We need to ask God to help us not be fearful, but the trust in Him and His protection. We have a choice to make as to who Jesus is.
Is He your King or do you crucify Him?Have you repented and made changes in your life?
How are you depending on God to give you strength in your situation?
Principles:Jesus' faithfulness to God's purpose saved His people form God's judgment.
Jesus forgives repentant sinners.
Every person who rejects Jesus must pay the penalty for his sin.
Ask God to help you never forget what He did for you, for His strength, for His provision, and for His protection.
These last few lessons have been sad ones and there is more sadness to come next week as we study about Jesus' crucifixion. Even though it's sad, there is thankfulness and hope. Don't miss it. See you next time.