In Today's Scripture Reading:
Christ's crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and post-resurrection appearances to His disciples; Peter's allegiance reaffirmed
Judas had led a mob and Roman soldiers to arrest Jesus. After His arrest, they led Him away to Annas first . . . father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year (John 18:13).
According to the Word of God, the high priest was to be a direct descendant of Aaron and was to retain his office until death (Exodus 40:15; Numbers 35:25). However, Rome appointed a new high priest every year. Annas was high priest through Aaronic succession but had been deposed by Rome. He was succeeded by his son-in-law Caiaphas, who was the “official” high priest according to Rome. However, many people still considered Annas to be the true high priest.
Jesus, the prophesied Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29), was led first to the Jewish and then the Gentile-appointed high priests. With Caiaphas were the scribes, the elders, the chief priests and all the council (Matthew 26:57,59). In response to the question by the high priest regarding His deity, Jesus said: Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven (26:64). Understanding that Jesus was claiming to be coequal with God and the prophesied Messiah, Caiaphas ripped his robe of authority as a sign of righteous indignation and shouted: What further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy (26:65). However, Caiaphas had ignored God's promise of a Prophet like Moses to whom they were to hearken (Deuteronomy 18:15). That Prophet — Jesus the Messiah — was standing before him.
When they had bound Him, they . . . delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor (Matthew 27:2). Pilate knew Jesus was innocent of any criminal offense and said: I find in Him no fault at all (John 18:38). But, the religious leaders cried out violently: Crucify Him, crucify Him. . . . He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God. . . . If thou let this Man go, thou art not Caesar's friend (19:6-12). Pilate had to choose between Jesus the Son of God and the angry crowd; he chose the “religious” authorities. When a person compromises what is right in God's sight for fear of losing his job or anything else, he has taken the first step on the road to eternal hell. Jesus said: No servant can serve two masters (Luke 16:13).
19:1 scourged =b> whipped with leather cords weighted with sharp pieces of bone or lead; 19:30 It is finished =b> His physical ministry was complete.
For John 19:24: See Psalm 22:18. John 19:36: See Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20. John 19:37: See Zechariah 12:10.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Official: Rep. Dennis Moore (KS) • Country: Papua New Guinea (5 million) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: 715 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 64% Protestant; 33% Roman Catholic; 2% ancestor worship, belief in spirits, and witchcraft • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that God delights in your joy (Psalm 43:4).
Memory Verse for the Week: Titus 2:11