STATION 3: “Condemned by the Sanhedrin”
Today we walk the third Station of the cross….where Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin: Jesus willingly incriminated Himself when the religious authorities could not do it on their own. Jesus willingly went to the cross. What an amazing love Jesus had for us! He gave everything He had! The question is, what are you willing to give?
Luke 22:66-71 (TNIV)
66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” 70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
John 15:12-14 (TNIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
As you are walking also this week toward the cross……consider the sacrifices that we are called on to make…..how do they compare to the sacrifice that Jesus made for us?
STATION 4: “Denied by Peter”
Today we walk the fourth Station of the cross….where Jesus is denied by Peter: This was probably the worst night for the Apostle Peter. His self-respect probably hit rock bottom. He felt terrible that he denied Jesus just as Jesus had predicted.
Matthew 26:69-75 (TNIV)
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said. 70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.” 74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Your life may also hold such mistakes or failures…a spoiled marriage or relationship, paying “stupid tax” (a stupid financial mistake)….or even a denial of your faith. You may feel terrible, it may seem that the pain of your past actions will never go away. I recognize that healing can take a long time. However, as we cling to Jesus as our refuge, as we cling to him for strength, as we turn TO God, indeed Jesus……we can experience forgiveness and restoration.
Peter became “the Rock” of the “Ekklesia”…the called out people of God, the church.
I believe that as we recognize that no failure is beyond repair….Jesus offers forgiveness and renewed strength to live again. Indeed, Jesus can work miracles in our lives as we cling to Him.
AND NOW….THE REST OF THE STORY:
Jesus has been crucified and has raised from the dead. Here again Jesus appears to the disciples. They have gone about their old occupation of fishing and are out on the Sea of Galilee early in the morning. Jesus summons them to shore. This is called the restoration of Peter:
John 12:13-17 (TNIV)
13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
IMPORTANT NOTE HERE: In all that Jesus says throughout Scripture…he summons us to act, to be a part of the restoration of this earth and God’s people. It is never a passive call…..