Friday AM: Denied, Mocked & Interrogated
Three Days that changed EVERYTHING: history, politics, culture & cultures, social constructs, community relations and world wide values…everything! What happened two thousand twenty odd years ago on a Friday, Saturday & Sunday in Jerusalem changed our the story of humanity like nothing before or since. Do we properly understand exactly what transpired? Do we grasp the significance and spiritual impact of what occurred? Do we live based on the reality of what God did that Friday, Saturday and Sunday? Putting all the pieces together can enable us to fully celebrate Easter this year. And it can also enable us to walk in faith with God at a deeper level having a greater appreciation for what Christ did!
Doctor Luke is going to be our guide through these three days… we have other information but we will focus primarily on what Luke depicts and nail that information down.
Thursday is the beginning of Passover, the upper room was prepared, Christ celebrates the ‘Last Supper’. Jesus washes the disciples feet, Judas moves to betray Jesus, Peter says: “no matter what, I won’t deny you Jesus!” Jesus say, ‘Not once but three times!” Jesus and The Eleven leave the upper room, go to the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays, the disciples can’t stay awake…
As we join the story it is the middle of the night, the wee hours of Friday, what will forever be known as ‘Good Friday’. But it seems anything but good: Judas has led a group of temple guards to where Jesus and the disciples have been praying in Garden of Gethsemane. Judas identifies Jesus and then Peter thinking he needs to defend Christ, cuts off the ear of the High Priest’s servant. Jesus heals the man’s ear and gives himself up.
The last thing Jesus says before they take him away: 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
Gospel of Luke 22:54-71 & 23:1-12
54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.
- All of this is going on under the cover of night…
- Evil works in secrecy; when you have something to hide, you hide it
- The temple guards took Jesus to the house of their boss for safekeeping
- Peter tries to be part of the crowd
56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.
- Upon close examination, Peter is called out twice as having been with Jesus
- Second time he is emphatic in his denial of being a follower of Jesus
59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 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.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
- He is accused a third time of being with Jesus, he is marked as ‘Galilean’
- As Peter is talking, the rooster crows, meaning the sun is about to come up
- Jesus had been in the courtyard the entire time, He heard all 3 denials
- Peter recalled the exchange from the previous evening (12 hours ago)
- Why did Peter do it? He had not yet been indwelt with The Holy Spirit
63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him. 66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them.
- They were at the home of the High Priest’s for 4 or 5 hours by this time
- They taunted Him because He they didn’t believe He was God
- Then about 6am the ‘Sanhedrin’ is ready to meet
67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”
- As a criminal they question Him
- Their goal was to get Him to declare Himself The Messiah
- If He declares Himself Messiah then they can put him to death
70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.”71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard I t from his own lips.”
- They try to get Him to say it another way
- He uses the phrase ‘I am’ (He has done this before)
- They take that as an admission of guilt
1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” 3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.
- They took Him to the Governor; only he could put someone to death
- They then characterize the charges as being a direct affront to Roman rule
- Pilate’s question is a form of mockery
- Jesus being ‘King of the Jews’ would still make Him have to answer to Pilate
4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” 5 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.”
- He proclaims to everyone (there is a crowd gathered) no reason to charge Him
- The Sanhedrin will not take no for an answer
- They need to get rid of Jesus because He threatens their power
- They claim He is creating unrest (Roman rule was all about order)
- They identify Jesus as being from Galilee…
6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
- Pilate figures out how to pass the buck, He is not inclined to Judge Jesus
- By sending Him to Herod Pilate avoids the Sanhedrin’s pressure to kill Jesus
8 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. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.
- Herod Antipas was a figurehead, a puppet of Rome
- He was curious about Jesus, viewed Him as a ‘spectacle’ or ‘performer’
- Jesus does not dignify him with any response because he was a fraud
10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.
- The agenda of ‘The Chief Priests’ is driving Herod to act
- Because of Jesus’s silence & Sanhedrin insistence; Herod gets on board
- If Herod backs the Sanhedrin, then Pilate will order Jesus’ death
- All the Jewish authorities bless this execution but Pilate is the one in charge
- They were enemies, but in Jesus’ death they will collaborate (by the will of God)
- This series of events is happening based on God’s sovereign control
The events that lead up to and include Jesus Christ’s death reveal God’s humility, justice and sovereignty. They also reveal the sin that each member of the human race must deal with.
The Religious Leaders have to capture Jesus at night because they know they are wrong in doing it. Corruption and the work of satan takes place behind closed doors in secrecy.
The denial of Christ by His right hand man was part of the humiliation He suffered. Peter’s denial sets the stage for his transformation once God’s Spirit indwells him.
The Jewish religious establishment was corrupt and responded to Jesus’ threat to their power with the exercise of their power. Part of that was public mockery, a true display of humans capacity for evil / sin.
The way Christ is interrogated is meant to help us see how we insincerely interrogate God. We are unable to fully understand God’s sovereign justice and think we can question why God has done something.
What is the difference between privacy and secrecy in your life?
How have you been transformed by your conversion to following Christ and the indwelling of God’s Spirit?
Have you seen God mocked in our world today and how have you responded to it?
Would you consider the enacting of God’s will to be perfectly just? If not, why?