Today's Reading: Introit for 2nd-Last Sunday (Psalm 54:15,7)
For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies. (Psalm 54:7)
Jesus is arrested, stands before the religious leaders and makes no sound. “Like a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth,” the prophet Isaiah said. God is on trial here, and God doesn't open his mouth.
Finally, in frustration Jesus is asked, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." And Jesus responds, "You have said so.” There you have it. Jesus is the Son of God. Hearing this, the high priest tore his robes and shouts out “blasphemy.” They have what they are looking for, or so they suppose. They reason, “He deserves to die.” They spit in His face and mock Him as a false prophet. And the Son of Man, Son of God, Messiah, falls silent once again.
Peter was waiting outside. A servant girl sees him and says, "You also were with Jesus the Galilean." Peter denies it, in fact, he denies it three times. The rooster crows, and the saying of Jesus is fulfilled. Peter breaks down and weeps.
Peter the great confessor, who said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter, valiant Peter, who once said, “I would die with you before I would deny you.” Peter, like Judas, betrays his Lord.
We join Peter in denial. We ourselves have said it: “I do not know the man.” We’ve said it with our lips and our lives. We are afraid of what others might think of us and so we deny; we betray our faith and our Lord.
But Jesus will not deny us, nor does he abandon us. There is hope for all in Jesus, and He suffers this all for you. Remember this night when our Lord was dragged from place to place; when our Lord was beaten to within an inch of his life; when our Lord was spit upon, had his beard pulled out and allowed it all to happen. Yes, remember this night when our Lord would not call upon the angels of heaven to end this injustice. Remember, that when this night was over, our Lord was made to drag his own execution cross through the streets of Jerusalem all the way to a mountain call Golgotha and there get nailed to the cross for the sins of the world. Your sins. And wake up tomorrow to celebrate that He rose again, and you have life and salvation.
Jesus, I will ponder now On Your holy passion;
With Your Spirit me endow For such meditation.
Grant that I in love and faith May the image cherish
Of Your suff’ring, pain, and death That I may not perish. (LSB 440:1)