Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Betrayal - Arrest - Trial

After the Savior had awaken his sleeping Apostles for the last time; they went forth and were met by a group of Chief Priests, the Captains of the Temple and the Elders along with Judas who betrayed our Savior with a kiss. There was a scuffle where Apostle Peter drew his short sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the High Priest. Jesus immediately healed his ear. 
Even this miraculous act did not cause these men to question what they were doing and to whom they were doing it too. Peter exemplified courage and bravery in this moment. Jesus at this time was protective of his Apostles because he knew they had a great mission to perform. 
     I myself have wondered why Peter would later deny the Christ. Peter was not one to shrink from danger. I do believe that Peter would have given his life for the Lord. President Spencer W. Kimball stated the following thought on Peter's denial; "Does this portray cowardice? Quite a bold assertion for a timid one. Remember that Peter never denied the divinity of Christ. He only denied his association or acquaintance with the Christ, which is quite a different matter...Is it possible that there might have been some other reason for Peter's triple denial?"( Peter, My Brother- BYU speeches of the Year, 13 July 1971) 
     Andrew C. Skinner in his book entitled Golgotha stated: "To what, then might we attribute Peter's denial? Perhaps it could be attributed to Jesus himself--to a request or command he made that Peter should deny knowing him, not to deny his divinity but to deny knowing him as the religious rebel the Jewish leaders saw him to be. Why? To ensure Peter's safety as chief apostle and to ensure the continuity and safety of the Quorum of the Twelve."
I feel that this may indeed be true. 
     I have pondered much on the significance of Gethsemane. As the Savior left  the garden keep in mind that he had suffered physical, emotional, spiritual agony. Bleeding from every pore would have left him weak; and now He was going to be further abused. 
Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? Have you ever been accused of a lie? Have you ever been emotionally or physically abused? Have you ever been ridiculed in front of others? Have you ever been made fun of? Have you ever been angry? Have you ever hated someone enough that you feel you can not forgive them. The list of these negative human experiences could be endless. I myself have felt the sting of these kinds of experiences. The Savior suffered more abuse verbally and physically than we can ever comprehend and He suffered in silence.
Another thought from Andrew C. Skinner: "The image here is stark and heart-wrenching: Jesus suffering in silence, alone, without defenders, without help. Even Pilate was "surprised at the submissive yet majestic demeanor of Jesus .....He took what was dished out. He exercised poise in the face of provocation. He suffered silently, knowing, as many in our day know, that sometimes silence can be the only response to trials, tribulations and hardships....But there is one whom we have fellowship, One who knows silent suffering, One who hurts when we hurt, because he experienced the hurt before we did. Perhaps, it is these moments of silent suffering and submissive meekness that we come to know God best, the time when He tutors us the most."
     Our beloved Savior was turned over to the torture of scourging, followed by mocking and more abuse afflicted. Scourging alone could have killed any man. This instrument was a whip with strands of leather thongs and had a lead ball attached to each end. Further described by Andrew C. Skinner; "The victim was stripped of all clothing and tied by his wrists to an upright post or pillar. ...The back, buttocks, and back of the legs were flogged with extreme force either by two soldiers taking turns or by one scourger who alternated positions to get at both halves of the victim's back." Blow by Blow this scourging would produce deep bruises and then open wounds. Many of the victims died while receiving these vicious blows.
    Next our beloved Savior was Mocked, spit on, and hit by those around him. The Savior was further humiliated by the Soldiers putting upon him a "Scarlet Robe" and then joking that He was now the King of the Jews. There was more yet to come; as they placed  upon his head a crown of thorns and pressed it into his head causing even more bleeding.
There are lessons to learn from all of the abuse that the Savior endured at this time. Our Savior, Jesus Christ asks us to be patient in our own tribulations, to forgive one another, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile; love one another. We are to live the higher law that He taught.  
    John the  Revelator wrote about those who are exalted in God's Kingdom:
"And I said unto him, Sir thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
     Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
     They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun light on them, not any heat.
    For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. (Revelation 7: 14-17)


Lynda said...

So many thought provoking questions. I like your insight. Thanks for sharing this, another great post!

Marie said...

Beautiful post Leanne, as always. I love that you share your amazing spirit with us so willingly. ((((hugs)))) xxoo
PS I hope you and your family have a very happy and blessed Easter weekend.

Sue said...

Excellent, thought-provoking post.

I've always felt that Peter probably did deny Christ out of his own shock and fear, even though He loved Him and would have given His life for Him, most days. It's always made sense to me that even the staunchest of disciples wasn't perfect. After all, that's what the atonement is about.

Just my thoughts, of course.



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