Reading

  • Mark 14:32-34; John 18:1
  • Luke 22:41-45
  • Matt. 26:40-46
  • Mark 14:43-45; Luke 22:47-48; John 18:2-9
  • Matt. 26:50b-54; Mark 14:46-47; Luke 22:49-51; John 18:10-11
  • Luke 22:52-53
  • Matt. 26:56b; Mark 14:50-52; John 18:12-17, 19-23
  • Luke 22:54; John 18:18, 24
  • Matt. 26:69-72; Luke 22:55-58
  • Mark 14:55-64
  • Luke 22:63-65
  • Matt. 26:73-74a; Luke 22:59-60a; John 18:26-27
  • Luke 22:60b-62
  • Matt. 27:1; Luke 22:66-71
  • Matt. 27:3-10

Devotional

Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley just east of Jerusalem, and headed to the olive grove there, into a place called Gethsemane. There Jesus told His disciples to wait while He prayed. He took Peter, James and John with Him and was deeply troubled, even to the point of death. Jesus told them to stay there, watch and pray. He went a little ways beyond them and knelt down and prayed to GOD, asking if there was any other way, for GOD to take away the cup of suffering Jesus was about to drink. Jesus knew the answer, and prayed that GOD's will be done. He repeated this two more times. Each time He returned and found Peter, James and John sleeping because they were exhausted from sorrow.

After He prayed the third time, Jesus woke them and told them His betrayer was coming. At that time Judas approached along with a group of soldiers with clubs and swords. Jesus asked Judas if he was betraying Him with a kiss, at which point Judas kissed Jesus on the cheek and said, "Rabbi!" (which means teacher). Jesus asked whom they were seeking and, when they said Jesus of Nazareth, He replied, "I am He!" Upon hearing this they all drew back and fell down to the ground.

When they arrested Jesus, Peter drew his sword and cut off the right ear of Malchus, servant to the high priest. Jesus healed the man's ear. He told Peter to put away the sword, pointing out that He was well able to call down thousands of angels to rescue Him if He desired it. The soldiers led Jesus away to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. The disciples were all afraid and fled. Peter and another disciple followed the crowd to the high priest's courtyard.

Over the next few hours, Peter denied that he knew Jesus and that he was Jesus' disciple three times, just as the Lord had prophesied he would do. Immediately after the final denial, the rooster crowed and Jesus turned and looked at Peter, and Peter recalled the words of Jesus and went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus was questioned by Annas, and then Caiaphas the high priest, as well as the whole Sanhedrin (the Jewish high court). Many false witnesses lied about Jesus but their stories didn't agree. Then Caiaphas asked Jesus if He was the Christ, and Jesus answered that He was. Caiaphas tore his clothes at this response and they all condemned Jesus to death for blasphemy.

When Judas, who betrayed Jesus, saw that Jesus was condemned to death, he was overcome with guilt and remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver he was paid to the chief priests and the elders at the temple. Then Judas went away and hanged himself. The chief priests used the money to buy a field as a burial place for foreigners and it was named Field of Blood.

Let's briefly consider three lessons that we can learn from these events:

  1. Sometimes even our friends—those we trust—do things that hurt us deeply. Judas betrayed Jesus because he loved money and was greedy. Peter denied Jesus, despite warnings from the Lord, because he was afraid for his life. These events must have been extremely disappointing to Jesus, even though He knew they would happen beforehand. Just the same, sometimes our friends and loved ones are going to disappoint or hurt us in ways we didn't expect. And, we too will make mistakes that hurt and disappoint others we love. Everybody messes up sometimes. The key is that we have to forgive others who sin against us, otherwise GOD won't forgive us when we sin against Him. Forgiving someone doesn't mean we have to pretend what they did didn't hurt us. It just means that we don't hold a grudge or angry feelings toward them any longer.
  2. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Cor. 11:12) We need to be extremely careful that we don't become overconfident regarding our abilities, behavior, or choices. Peter promised Jesus he would die with Him if needed, and when Jesus assured Peter he would deny Him three times, Peter insisted that wouldn't happen. Peter was wrong. It is possible for us to be completely confident and still be wrong. And, trust me from experience, it is a lot more painful to be proven wrong when you're more confident and adamant about being right.
  3. When we make a mistake, how we respond to that mistake is extremely important. Judas and Peter both made tremendous mistakes. Judas, though he was sorry for what he had done, went and killed himself and now he's in hell forever. Peter, realizing his mistake, went out and cried bitterly, but when Jesus went to him to repair the relationship, Peter accepted GOD's forgiveness. And Peter grew into a great man and a strong leader within the Lord's church.
Tim Harris
Author: Tim Harris

If this article blessed or challenged you, would you visit my Patreon site? ⬇️