Read John 18:1-40
Betrayed. Arrested. Denied. Questioned. Rejected.
And all of that in the 40 verses of John 18.
Even before Jesus is taken to the cross, He has the emotional trauma of being rejected by the very people he was there to save. And some of that trauma was from his closest friends…the very people He invested in for his 3-year ministry.
Think about it… Judas, one of his 12 closest friends, betrays him and earns money to lie and get Jesus arrested. After Jesus is arrested, Peter is quite bold in his response at that time. But it sure did not take Peter long to deny that he even knew Jesus. How this must have hurt our Savior? Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples, denies him 3 times…
And it continues… Jesus is questioned by Pilot and although Pilot does not see any wrong that Jesus has done, he tries to strike a deal with the Israelites. Pilot offers to free Jesus, the innocent Messiah, or Barabbas, the criminal. And Jesus is rejected by the very people He loves so much.
This is a difficult and sad chapter of the Bible.
And it’s easy for me to be critical of the Judas, Peter and the other disciples when I read this chapter. How could they not stand up for him? How could they have been with Him for all of this time, seen all of His miracles, learned from Him…and yet they deny and reject Him?
And then I pause…and I realize that I could be in that story. There have been times when I could have shared about Jesus’ love, but I kept quiet. I could have stood up for what is right, but I stood passively by…
So, as we finish this chapter, I encourage us all to take a look at our lives and to spend some time in prayer and confess. Asking our Savior, Jesus, for forgiveness when we have denied Him, not shared about Him and stood quietly when we should have stepped up.
And then remember…this isn’t the end of the story! That same Jesus ended up dying so we could have life and forgiveness. Let’s allow his forgiveness to flood over us and then BOLDLY share the hope that Jesus provides!
Make the most of today, my friends!