As you slept last night Jesus was betrayed in the Garden by one of his disciples, Judas (Luke 22:47-48). Jesus was then taken to the former high priest, Annas (John 18:13) to be interrogated. Jesus was then delivered to Caiaphas, the reigning high priest who is the son-in-law of Annas. After his interrogation, Jesus was taken before the Sanhedrin – the 71 religious leaders that fancied themselves as standing in the shadow of the leadership of Moses (see Numbers 11:16).
To the onlooker, Jesus must have looked powerless as the night unfolded. However, what looked like powerlessness was actually servanthood. The inactivity of Jesus is meant to remind us that through it all, Jesus was submitting to the Father’s plan. Remember what Jesus told Peter during His arrest in the garden? Jesus said that He had at His disposal “twelve legions of angels” (see Matt. 26:52-54) who could immediately take control of the situation if that is what He desired. Do you realize how big of an angelic army that is? A legion was comprised of 6,000 soldiers. Twelve angelic legions would be 72,000 angels! In 2 Kings 19:35 we read of one angel killing 185,000 men in Sennacherib’s army in one night! Powerless? I don’t think so. Jesus was submitting to the will of the Father and this was the Father’s will. Jesus was trusting in the Father, a plan that would bring hope to mankind. Jesus would not falter by pursuing self-protection or personal comfort. Simply put, Jesus was trusting the Father through the injustice of it all so that He could bring hope to the world.
In the morning, after the trial and the initial beating authorized by the religious leaders, Jesus is taken to a civil trial in front of Pilate. Pilate is the Roman governor who was in Jerusalem due to the swell in the population during the time of the Passover feast. Pilate is responsible for keeping the peace in this province. He treats Jesus like a hot-potato and passes Him to Herod Antipas. Jesus is treated like a sideshow carnival act. Soon, Jesus is back in front of Pilate who surrenders to the will of the people. Pilate washes his hands of Jesus’ fate.
Jesus is then paraded through the streets, after being beaten again. Jesus is forced up the hill outside of Jerusalem — the “place of the skull.” Jesus is nailed to a Roman cross and then dropped into a hole in the ground. While Jesus hangs on the cross, He asks the Father to forgive those who have put him there. He doesn’t call down insults or try to convince people of who He really is. Jesus does what He has done His entire life, He seeks to bring light to a dark world. Jesus does this by reaching out to criminals who hang next Him. Jesus is determined to do the right thing, not the easy thing, not the most popular thing; the right thing. It is in this moment that Jesus trusts His Heavenly Father and thereby succeeds to walk by faith (again) where every other human would have failed.
Absolutely! Without Jesus trusting in the Father, I would have no hope. Why? I am a person who has malice in my heart. I am a person who has not trusted God completely. I am a person who has sinned against God. However, in the actions of Jesus, I find hope. Hope because I believe Jesus never sinned and always trusted the Father. Then, by faith, God declares me righteous based on the life of Jesus. Jesus not only absorbs God’s wrath for my sin (although having never sinned) but He also declares me righteous on the basis of the faith-filled life of Jesus Christ. Without THIS day – a day in which Jesus trusts the Father completely, I would have no hope. It is Good Friday.