Third Sunday in Lent – Thursday
Took Jesus and bound Him. – John 18:12.
And the band and the captain and the officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound Him, and led Him away to Annas first. Annas was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was the high priest that same year, and who gave counsel to the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. Annas had formerly been high priest, and still had great authority with the Jews. He, like Caiaphas, was a Sadducee and a bitter enemy of the Savior.
To Annas, then, they led Jesus first, in the middle of the night; and then He was brought before Caiaphas and the Chief Council known as the Sanhedrin. Jesus was then questioned regarding His disciples and His doctrine. He responded by saying: “I spake openly to the world. I ever taught in the Temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou Me? Ask them that heard Me what I have said unto them; behold, they know what I said.” When He had thus spoken, one of the officers that stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying: “Answerest Thou the high priest so?” Jesus answered: “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou Me?”
Now the Lord Jesus had been sent from Annas to Caiaphas bound as if He were a dangerous criminal. Here you see the Savior in great humiliation—not using His omnipotence to thwart or resist the evil designs of His enemies. He willingly subjected Himself to all of this for your salvation. This He suffered that you, the guilty, might have blessed liberty and the supreme honor of a child of God and the glory of heaven.
All that the Savior suffered earned your eternal salvation.
PRAYER. – I thank Thee, dear innocent Savior, that Thou wast bound for me, the guilty offender, that I might be free forever. I thank Thee, O Lord of Glory, that Thou didst allow Thy face to be struck for me, a base sinner, that I might be welcomed and highly honored by God and all the holy angels. Grant me, my Savior, I implore Thee, that I may – at all times, in true faith – cling to Thee, the Author of salvation. Amen.
Thou hast born the smiting only
That my wounds might all be whole;
Thou hast suffered, sad and lonely,
Rest to give my weary soul;
Yea, the curse of God enduring,
Blessing unto me securing.
Thousand, thousand thanks shall be,
Dearest Jesus, unto Thee.
Hymn 151, 3. (TLH)