Matthew 26:57–27:2, 11–14; Mark 14:53–15:5; Luke 22:54–23:12; John 18:12–38; The Desire of Ages, pp. 698–715, 723–731
I thank Jesus for being willing to suffer for me.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, . . . and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV).
When Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, all the disciples ran away. The mob followed the soldiers down the hill. They made an evil parade with torches lighting the way.
John watched as the evil parade moved across the brook. What am I doing? John asked himself. I should follow the mob to find out what will happen to Jesus. He and Peter followed the mob toward the home of Annas, then toward the palace of Caiaphas, the high priest.
When they arrived at Caiaphas’s palace, the priests let John in because they knew him. John turned and saw Peter walking near the gate. Peter was hiding in the dark outside. He did not want people to see him there. John went back to the woman at the gate. “Please let my friend in,” he said. And she did.
She kept watching Peter as he moved to the fire in the courtyard. Finally she asked him, “Aren’t you one of Jesus’ disciples?”
“Oh! . . . no,” said Peter as he turned to warm himself.
Just then Jesus was led onto the big porch beside the courtyard. John pushed as close as he could get. There were bruises on Jesus’ face. He walked slowly, painfully, as if His whole body ached. Caiaphas began to ask Jesus what He believed, even though he already knew.
Jesus said, “I have always talked openly. Your people know Me.” A big muscular guard frowned. He swung at Jesus’ face and hit Him hard. Jesus was in pain. Yet He stood firm, like a king. At the gate the servant girl said, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And Peter strongly denied it.
There was more questioning back near the fire. “Aren’t you one of His disciples?”strongly denied knowing Jesus. Then a rooster crowed. Peter had denied knowing Jesus three times! Peter looked up and saw Jesus looking at him. There was no anger in the look. Just love. Then Peter rushed out the gate of the courtyard.
The trial went on. Caiaphas asked Jesus another question. Jesus calmly said, “You have said it right, I am the Son of God.”
Caiaphas leaped up from his golden throne. “That’s it!” he screamed. “Jesus says He is like God!” He was so angry that he ripped his beautiful priestly robe from top to bottom.
Some who saw it thought, This is against the law. The high priest is to die if he tears his robe. They will kill Caiaphas!
But the mob didn’t notice Caiaphas. They were too busy shouting, “Death, death to Jesus! Take Him to Pilate! Put Him to death!” People were pushing at Jesus, poking and hitting Him. Soldiers ran in and grabbed Jesus, pulling Him away. Roman soldiers formed a circle around Him and hurried Him toward Pilate’s palace.
Within a few hours Jesus would go to Pilate, to Herod, and back to Pilate. Jesus would be beaten and mocked through it all. What suffering! He willingly suffered that you and I may know God’s love.