The Road To The Resurrection-Good Friday

The hour has come for Judas's betrayal. He leads the large armed crowd of chief priests, teachers of the law, and elders to Jesus in The garden of Gethsemane in the middle of the night. As they confronted Jesus, Peter drew his sword and cut off the high priest's servant's ear. During the arrest, Jesus performs a miracle and heals Malchus' ear. They arrest Him and bring Him to Annas for questioning.

Jesus was then brought to Caiaphas for more questioning. All of this was happening secretly in the middle of the night which was illegal. The religious leaders had made up their minds to kill Jesus and took all measures to do so, even breaking their own laws.

Jesus does not respond to the first question asked, for His words had been twisted to use against Him. He was not speaking of the physical temple as they said, but rather His own body would be destroyed and raised in three days. To their second question Jesus tells them He will return at the right hand of God and will judge all those who were accusing Him; the tables will turn.

Peter had followed at a distance to the courtyard. He was confronted three times by various people saying he was a Galiliean and a follower of Jesus. He denied each time knowing Jesus, the third time even cursing. Immediately the rooster crows and Peter remembers Jesus's words "before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times." Mark 14:72. Luke even tells us in 22:61 that Jesus turns and looks at Peter after his third denial. Imagine Peter looking into Jesus's beaten face and black eyes and remembering what Jesus had told him at the last supper. Peter walks outside and breaks down and weeps in agony.

Jesus is then led away to Pilate the governor. Jews did not have the right to inflict capital punishment. For Jesus to be condemned to death, He would have to be sentenced by a Roman leader.

Pilate finds no wrongdoing by Jesus and sends Him to then be tried by Herod. Herod was the ruler of Galilee and Perea and was part Jewish. He was in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover. Jesus was from Galilee, which would put Him under Herod's district. He had heard of Jesus's miracles and wanted to see one for himself, but Jesus remained silent. Herod alike finds Jesus not guilty and sends Him back to Pilate.

Pilate again finds no guilt in Jesus and asks Him the interesting question of "what is truth." The Jews were so intent on crucifying Jesus they chose to take a criminal and a murderer to be freed instead of Jesus. Remember just a few days prior these same people shouted praises and acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, yet now their praises have turned to condemnation. "Crucify him" they shouted. When Jesus didn't come through in the way they wanted, they traded palm branches for a crown of thorns. Pilate had Jesus flogged which meant being whipped with a three-pronged whip ripping flesh from His body. The soldiers mocked Jesus and brought Him out in a purple robe with the crown of thorns. Pilate again says he has no basis to put Jesus to death, but the pressure of an uprising mounted.

"When Pilate saw he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!" Mathew 27:24 Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified. The soldiers continue to beat and mock Jesus. They spit on Him and take Him away to be crucified and make Him carry His own cross on His beaten and battered back.

Jesus was crucified along with two criminals, one on each of His sides. "One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." When he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:32-43

Though the criminal lived a life of sin, he acknowledged his wrongdoings. He was able to have more faith than Jesus's followers did. Even in the midst of death, this criminal was able to look beyond his present suffering and knew Jesus could deliver him in His kingdom.