The Grace and Power of Jesus in the Face of the Most Rigged Trial in History, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 300)
TEXT: John 18:24-27:
24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 300.
John MacArthur said, “The trials of the Lord Jesus Christ are history’s most egregious miscarriage of justice. In them, the friend of sinners faced the hatred of sinners; the Judge of all the earth was arraigned before petty human judges; the exalted Lord of glory was humiliated by being mocked, spit upon, and beaten; the Holy and Righteous one was treated as a vile sinner; the One who is the truth was impugned by evil liars. But shining forth out of the satanic darkness of His trials is the absolute innocence of Jesus Christ. The evil efforts of His accusers are turned upside down so as to actually confirm His blamelessness.”
When Jesus’ first trial with Annas is over, he is sent to Caiaphas the high priest. You might be wondering why there are two high priests in this text. Well, Annas was the high priest appointed by the Jews who served for life as specified in the Mosaic law. Caiaphas was the high priest appointed for a time by the Romans who did not like so much power concentrated in one person for a long period of time. The Jews gave lip service to Caiaphas in order to please the Romans, but they considered Annas to be the “real” high priest.
Now, the scene shifts back to the courtyard of Annas’ palace where Peter is standing with some others, warming himself at a fire as he tries to keep track of what is happening to Jesus. Some of the people standing around ask him, “Art not thou also one of his disciples?” But “He denied it, and said, I am not.” Then, one of the family members of Malchus, the high priest’s servant whose ear Peter had cut off, saw him and said, “Did not I see thee in the garden with him?” “Peter then denied again.” Matthew adds that he “curse and swore” in an attempt to convince the people standing around that he was not one of Jesus’ disciples. John tells us, “and immediately the cock crew.” And Luke adds that Jesus, who was on a balcony of some kind (perhaps in the midst of being transported from one judgment hall to another), “turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.”
Can you imagine how Peter felt at that moment? After all of his bold words and bold actions, he had failed. He had denied that he even knew Jesus. He must have felt worthless and seen himself as no better than Judas. Luke writes that “Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” The Bible Exposition Commentary states, “Peter wept over his sins and repented, while Judas admitted his sins but never really repented. Judas experienced remorse, not repentance. Keep in mind that the cock crowing was the announcement of the dawning of a new day. When Judas went out from the Upper Room, ‘it was night’; but when Peter went out to weep bitterly, there was the dawning of a new day. It is the contrast between godly sorrow that leads to true repentance and the sorrow of the world (regret and remorse) that leads to death.”
If we had a friend who acted like they didn’t know us when we got into trouble, most of us, when we get out of trouble, would not want to have anything to do with that person ever again. But that is not how Jesus responded to Peter. He knew that Peter was truly heartbroken over His sin and failure. When He predicted Peter’s denials, Jesus told him, ‘I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.’ Jesus did not want Peter to go off wallowing in misery which would only lead to despair and death. Jesus foresaw that Peter would make a comeback and become the “rock” that Jesus had once said he would be.
Each of us has sins, failures, and disappointments in our lives that we are ashamed of — things we wish we had never said or done. Thankfully, Jesus has extended to us the same arm of mercy and grace that He extended to Peter. Jesus went to the cross to die for Peter’s sins and failures and for our sins and failures too. We no longer have to live, wallowing in misery, defeat, and self-loathing. We can make a comeback like Peter did. We can rise again, through the salvation, mercy, and grace of Christ, in the dawn of a new day. For as the wisest man who ever lived King Solomon said in the book of Proverbs, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.”
Frederick A. Graves wrote:
What a wonderful, wonderful Savior,
Who would die on the cross for me!
Freely shedding His precious lifeblood,
That the sinner might be made free.
He was wounded for our transgressions,
And He carried our sorrows, too;
He’s the Healer of every sickness,
This He came to the world to do.
So He gave His life for others
In Redeeming this world from sin,
And He’s gone to prepare a mansion,
That at last we may enter in.
Dear friend, Jesus bore the burden of your sin so that you could go free. But you have to make the decision to give up your sin burden by placing your faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and the punishment of sin. Here is how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.