Day 3: John 18:25-40
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Stories: Peter’s denials & Jesus’ trial
1) Peter didn’t have it easy this particular night. It seemed like everyone recognized him even though it was dark. He even had the misfortune to run into someone he had seen earlier in the evening when he cut off a man’s ear. What is especially amazing about this encounter is that as soon as Peter denied Jesus the third time, the rooster crowed. Other accounts also tell us that as soon as this happened, Jesus was walking by and looked right at Peter.
2) One of the interesting aspects about Jesus’ trial is that it is somewhat illegal. Trials by night were not necessarily okay under Jewish law, but this was a particularly quick rush job as they wanted Jesus condemned and dead before Passover.
3) Pilate was a Roman bureaucrat in charge of keeping the peace in Judea. Historically, we know that he hated Jews. His willingness to release Jesus is not him approving of Him, but his complete disregard for the Jewish leadership.
4) When the Romans took over Judea, they allowed the Jewish leadership to maintain a certain level of autonomy with regards to religious rites and laws, but they did not allow them to execute anyone, even though they seemed very quick to stone people on a whim.
5) In one of the saddest moments in the passion story, the people Jesus came to save asked for Him to be killed and a criminal released in His place. This is remarkably similar to the way the atonement sacrifice would go. A lamb would be sacrificed for atoning of sins while a scapegoat was released into the wilderness after the elders had placed their hands on it and ceremonially placed all their sins on it to disappear forever. Barabbas became like that scapegoat while Jesus was the sacrificial lamb.