Trials and Denials of the King
Topic: Denials Passage: John 18:12–18:27
In this sermon podcast on John 18:12-27, Pastor Brent examines two “denials” of Christ that demonstrate our need for Christ and his redemptive work.
Having been bound and arrested, the Jewish officials with the Roman Cohort in tow now take Jesus to the High Priest. However, in John’s gospel we learn that the first High Priest that Jesus would face and be interrogated by was Annas.
John’s gospel alone begins the trials and examinations of Christ before Annas. There will be six proceedings against Christ before he was led to the cross. The synoptics report five of these appearances before the authorities and John provides for us the sixth appearance, which was the first, his appearance before Annas.
Anna was not the official High Priest as installed by Rome. He had held the office and five of his sons including one son-in-law had also been the High Priest. He was the patriarch of a High Priestly family. The Jews still regarded him as the High Priest because they resented Rome’s authority over the office.
Annas would question Jesus about his disciples and teaching, but he would get nowhere in brining any charges against Christ and thus sends him to Caiaphas the official High Priest of the time. Woven into the account of Jesus’ appearance before Annas are the denials of Christ by Peter. Most believe that Peter’s denials took place at the home of Caiaphas, but there is evidence that they actually took place at the home of Annas.
By weaving together the first trial of Christ with Peter’s denials of him, John intends to draw a stark contrast to teach a very profound spiritual lesson. What is the lesson? No one can honor God, please Christ and live for him unless Christ first dies for him providing forgiveness, reconciliation and new spiritual life. Whether you try to honor God through self-righteousness or try to please him through your own strength, the chains and bonds of sin must be broken by Christ so that one may be saved and lived for him.