“Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him. And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was the father-inlaw of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.”
— John 18:12–13
Have you ever pondered all the indignities and injustices that Christ suffered on our behalf? When you do, you’ll appreciate even more the sacrifice Jesus made for you and me.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, after Christ had prayed, a mob came to arrest Him. About sixty-five men, brandishing torches, swords, and spears, came to take one man, Jesus Christ, away. Judas signaled to the mob which man was Jesus by kissing Jesus’ cheek. After rebuking Judas by saying, “Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” Jesus identified Himself to the men and allowed them to bind His hands and lead Him away. Though mightier than Samson, He didn’t use His power to break free.
First the mob led Him to Annas, the high priest, and then to Caiaphas, Annas’ son-inlaw. Both the Jews and the Romans tried Jesus, and both trials were farces. Scholars point out that, when trying Jesus, the Jews violated Jewish law thirty-five times, and the Romans violated Roman law thirteen times, making a total of forty-eight violations. Jewish law required that the people go to great lengths to find defense witnesses, but in Jesus’ case the judge found false witnesses and paid them to testify against Jesus. And when the Sanhedrin asked Jesus “whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God,” they forced Him to testify against Himself. The high priest declared Jesus guilty, and everyone began to spit on Him, tear His beard, and hit Him.
Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that the name of the high priest, Caiaphas, means rock. And Peter, Jesus’ disciple, was called Cephas, which also means rock. So we have Jesus at the trial caught between two rocks—one in the courtroom accusing Him and one in the courtyard denying Him. Caiaphas’ heart remained a rock, but Peter’s heart broke, and Christ forgave Him.
What a Savior we have. Our Creator submitted Himself to such humiliation at the hands of His own creation so that we might receive His forgiveness. Thank Jesus today for all He has done for you, especially for that day when He bore such degradation in our place.
“Christ was bound with the bands of your
own bondage that you might be made free.”