John 18

Vs. 3, “So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.”  This is very difficult passage to read as we come face to face with Jesus’ last night before the crucifixion.  It touched my heart to be reminded how Jesus cared for the disciples (vs. 8 ) and was looking out for them.  The soldier’s take Jesus to Annas, who used to be the high priest years earlier.  He is the father-in-law of Caiaphas who is the current high priest.  They illegally arrest and interrogate Jesus.  They want Jesus dead so they take Him to Pilate, a Roman leader who had the authority to have Jesus crucified.  Part of Pilate’s role was to govern the Jews and keep peace, so there was definite pressure to appease the Jews.  Yet, Pilate could not find a reasonable reason that Jesus be crucified.  Mixed in this chapter, we see Jesus’ words come true with Peter’s denial of Jesus three times.  As Jesus was put on trial, Peter also had his own trials before him this night.  My heart goes out to Peter for this would be very bitter and sad moment for him.  But, in Peter’s failure, we will soon be reminded of God’s grace in dealing with second chances.

Regarding application…What is Truth?  Vs. 38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”  A question posed by Pilate himself!  It’s one of those questions that mankind has been asking throughout the ages.  The truth Pilate asked was in the context of just who was Jesus?  Was He this false savior the Jews accused Him of?  Was this kingdom a real place?  Was Jesus a true king?  Pilate asks this question on behalf of all of us.  Question: Is Jesus telling the truth?  C.S. Lewis challenges us in his book Mere Christianity, that we must either decide Jesus was truly the Son of God or believe he was a madman or worse.  We can’t believe in half-truths and just say, Jesus was a good man or a good teacher.  The truth is will set us free.  Jesus is that truth (John 14:6)!