Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Arrest of Jesus

Read John 18:1-11.

Judas led the soldiers to arrest Jesus.  How could he do such a wicked thing?  When a person turns away from Christ, he lets Satan have power over him.

Read verses 4 through 6 again.  When Jesus said, “I am,” the soldiers fell to the ground. They could not take Him prisoner unless He let them.  But Jesus didn’t try to escape.  He knew it was God’s plan for Him to die for our sins.

Jesus told the soldiers that those with Him should be allowed to go free for the soldiers were looking only for Him. Even as He was about to die, he thought of His own that they should not have to suffer as He would suffer.

Peter was ready to fight for his Lord.  In fact, he drew out his sword and cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest.  Luke tells us that Jesus healed this man.  Perhaps this was why Peter was not punished by the soldiers.

Jesus Before Annas

Read John 18:12-14.

Annas and his son-in-law Caiaphas had both held the office of high priest at different times.  They had plotted together to kill Jesus.  They were accusing Him of being a dangerous revolutionary leader.  They said that if He were not put to death the Roman government would order their soldiers to kill all the people.  Of course, this was not so.  It was just the way that they could get the other religious leaders to ask the death sentence for Jesus.

Caiaphas had said that it was better for one man to die instead of all the people.  He didn’t know that he was telling a great truth about Jesus’ death.  Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins so that we would not have to be punished.

You may wonder why Jesus couldn’t save us without dying.  God is good.  He hates sin – everything that is bad.  So those who do wrong have to be separated from God.  But since all life and happiness come from God, those who are separated from Him have to die.

God taught us how awful sin is and how sin brings death by requiring a blood sacrifice before sins could be forgiven.  Sheep, goats, and cattle were offered as sacrifices to take the place of the sinner.

“According to the Law, almost everything is purified by blood; and sins are forgiven only if blood is poured out” (Hebrews 9:22).

Peter Denies Jesus

Read John 18:15-18.

The other disciple mentioned here was John, who wrote this gospel.  He didn’t try to hide the fact that he was Jesus’ disciple and he had no trouble.  But Peter, who thought he would always be ready to speak up for Jesus, was afraid.  He said he was not Jesus’ disciple.

It is easy to let people know that you are a Christian when you are with other Christians.  It isn’t so easy when all the people around you are enemies of Jesus.  What will you do?

“If anyone declares publicly that he belongs to me, I will do the same for him before my Father in heaven.  But if anyone rejects me publicly, I will reject him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33).

The High Priest Questions Jesus

Read John 18:19-24.

Annas had held the office of high priest, so he is called the high priest here, although Caiaphas held the position at this time.  Annas tried to trap Jesus into saying something that they could use against Him in His trial, but Jesus wouldn’t answer his questions.

The soldiers took Jesus to Caiaphas’ house.  He was tried there by the religious court called the Sanhedrin.  This trial was illegal.  It was held secretly, at night, immediately after Jesus’ arrest.  There was no opportunity to call witnesses to speak in His defense.  Most of the Sanhedrin had already decided that Jesus should be put to death.  They just went through the form of a trail so that they could turn Him over to Pilate with an official accusation.

Peter Denies Jesus Again

Read John 18:25-27.

Three times Peter was asked if eh was not a follower of Jesus, and three times Peter denied his Lord.  A rooster crowed, just as Jesus had said.  When Jesus looked at him, Peter saw he had failed his Master.  He ran out crying, sorry for what he had done.

Jesus Before Pilate

Read John 18:28-38.

The Sanhedrin couldn’t sentence anyone to death, so they sent Jesus to the Roman governor, Pilate.  They accused Jesus of trying to set up His own kingdom.  This was treason – a crime punishable by death.

Jesus didn’t try to defend Himself against this false accusation.  He told Pilate that He was a king but that His kingdom did not belong to this world.  His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom in the lives of those who accept Him.

Jesus Sentenced to Death

Read John 18:38-40.

In all the questioning, Pilate could not find any reason to condemn Jesus.  He told the people this, but they shouted all the more for Jesus to be crucified.  Pilate gave them a choice to allow Jesus or Barabbas, a robber, to be set free.  The people chose Barabbas.  People today are choosing sin and sinful pleasures over Jesus.  What is your own choice?  What will you do with Jesus?

Take the quiz

Quiz Instructions

Test your knowledge by answering these questions.

1. What lesson do we learn from Judas’ betrayal of Jesus in the garden?

a) We should not pray in a garden.

b) We give Satan power over us when we turn away from Christ.

c) Soldiers should not be allowed to attend prayer meeting.

2. Why did Jesus not run away or protect Himself when the soldiers came to arrest Him?

a) He knew it was God’s time for Him to die.

b) He expected His disciples to protect Him.

c) He had no power against soldiers.

3. What did Peter do in the garden?

a) He prayed all night.

b) He called down fire from heaven.

c) He cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant.

4. Why did Jesus have to die to save us from our sins?

a) Because only by the shedding of His blood could our sins be forgiven completely.

b) Because we all have to die, and He died first to show us we need not fear death.

c) Because He wanted to teach that sacrifice for sin had to be repeated over and over again.

5. Why did Annas question Jesus?

a) To learn his doctrine.

b) To know more about Him.

c) To try to trap Him.

6. What did Peter do at the house of the high priest?

a) He cut off the ear of a servant of the high priest.

b) He denied his Lord three times.

7. When Pilate asked if Jesus was a king, what did Jesus answer?

a) “No, I have been falsely accused.”

b) “My kingdom does not belong to this world.”

c) “My kingdom is greater than the Roman Empire.”

8. What was Pilate’s judgment?

a) He said Jesus was guilty and should die.

b) He said he found Jesus innocent.

c) He would put Jesus in prison with Barabbas.

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