Luke 22:54-62 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Peter denied Jesus three times. Do you think that he had done a terrible thing?
Although it was wrong for Peter to have denied Jesus, Peter succumbed to fear for his own life when he saw Jesus being treated badly by the guards. The important thing was that Peter realized that what he did was wrong and repented.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Jesus forgave Peter of what he did and reinstated him with a vital mission to feed Jesus’ sheep (i.e. followers). He also gave Peter the opportunity to declare his love for Jesus three times. History tells us that Peter stood firm on his faith and was eventually crucified as well.
John 21:15-19 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Luke 22:69-71 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
Why do you think the people were ready to condemn Jesus without any further witnesses when Jesus said this?
Jesus used the term “Son of Man” to refer to himself. This title is used in the Old Testament to refer to the Messiah.
Daniel 7:13-14 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
When Jesus said that he will be seated at the right hand of God the Father, the Jews understood that he was referring to this verse in the Bible.
Psalm 110: 1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”
King David wrote this Psalm and said that the Lord God asked his Lord to sit at His right hand until all his enemies are destroyed. King David called this Person his Lord because it refers to the Messiah. Jesus was therefore claiming to be the Messiah.
Jesus also claimed to be the Son of God, whom the Jews understand to be a divine being.
Luke 23:3-6 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.” On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
Why did Pilate send Jesus to Herod?
Pilate was confronted with a difficult decision. He knew that he should free Jesus because he could not find any basis to retain him. Yet he was afraid to stir trouble with the Jews. In the end, he decided that the best thing to do was not to make the decision and push it to Herod.
We too are confronted with a decision to make on Jesus. It may be a difficult decision. We may know the right thing to do but we also know our decision will be unpopular. What do we do? Do we push the decision aside like what Pilate did?
Luke 23:13-24 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him punished and then release him.” But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.
Did Pilate find Jesus guilty? If not, why did he order Jesus to be crucified?
Pilate knew that the right thing to do was to set Jesus free because Jesus had committed no crime. Yet he ordered that Jesus be crucified because he wanted to be popular with the people.
We need to make decisions based on what we think is right and not make the decision that will make us popular with others.
Luke 23:8 -10 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.
Jesus was brought to King Herod, who asked him many questions. The priests and religious teachers were also making false accusations about him. Why didn’t Jesus defend himself?
The Bible prophesied this long ago when it talks about how the Messiah would choose to suffer and not defend himself. The suffering he went through was on our behalf.
Isaiah 53:5-7 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
How did Jesus respond when the people were torturing him?
He prayed that God would forgive them. Jesus did exactly what he had taught the people to do – to love our enemies.
Luke 6:27-28 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.