Thru The Bible -- Gospel Of John


A Dark Night in Jerusalem

It’s the middle of the night, outside the palace grounds. We’ve just left the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was led away by hundreds of armed soldiers. They first take Him to Annas, the former high priest and a clever, satanic old politician who knew how to handle Rome. All through these dark events, Annas’ hand directs from the background. 

Read John 18:14-21.

The Jewish religious rulers had already decided they would kill Jesus, making these six trials a mockery. All night Jesus is led from Caiaphas, to the Sanhedrin, to Herod Agrippa, and to Pilate. He is struck, mocked, ridiculed, and scourged, yet He yields Himself to the humiliation. 

Read John 18:23-28.

In the courtyard, Peter, following the Lord from a distance, warms his hands at a fire. Hearing his accent, several say, “That guy is from Galilee.” A local girl also recognized him as one of the prisoner’s disciples and, later, another remembers him from the garden (a relative of the man whose ear he’d cut off!). But Peter denied both. Immediately the cock crowed—the sign of his denial Jesus had told him about earlier. And Peter went out and bitterly wept. 

Read John 18:29-37.

Everyone was in a hurry to get a verdict against Jesus, so they brought Him to Pilate. But Pilate senses right away that Jesus is innocent, and he wants nothing to do with the trial. He tries to turn Jesus over to the religious rulers, but they need Gentiles (Rome) to execute Him under the guise of political treason.

Pilate asks Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?” (18:33). His question was an honest one. Jesus confuses him even more, saying His kingdom doesn’t come from the world’s politics or sinful collusions strategized in people’s sinful hearts.  

“You say rightly that I am a king.” Jesus continues, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (18:37).

Read John 18:38-40.

“What is truth?” Pilate scoffs, all the while standing in the presence of the One who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” 

Read John 19:1-6.

Pilate, afraid of what would be reported to Rome, is a cheap politician. He decides to scourge Jesus to placate the crowd—maybe then they would agree to release Jesus. But torturing a prisoner was entirely unlawful, and entirely wrong. 

After scourging Jesus within an inch of His life, He became unrecognizable as a man (see Isaiah 52:14; 53:1-12). Pilate presented Him, “Behold the Man!” but we should also say, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” 

Pilate calls for a basin of water and washes his hands, symbolizing he was done with this mockery of a trial. Jesus is now delivered into the hands of sinful men, both religious and political, and on His way to the cross. 

Next, how should we view Jesus' death?