Reading: John 18:1 to 19:42
Verse 19:30 – Jesus said, “It is finished”.
Good Friday is here! Jesus has been arrested and has been brought before Annas and Caiaphas. Before this parade will move on to Pilate, Peter will deny Jesus three times – just as Jesus said. Before the high priest Jesus asks, ‘What did I do wrong’? Jesus reminds them that He taught in the temple and said nothing in private. Yet early in the morning, Jesus ends up before Pilate, the Roman governor.
It is interesting that Jesus ends up here. They are asking a political leader to offer a solution to their religious conflict. On at least a few occasions, these same leaders have picked up rocks to stone Jesus. It was an option. It was a practice used by the Jews to punish certain sins. The blasphemy they accuse Jesus of would qualify. But the crucifixion fulfilled the words Jesus himself had spoken about His own death. It was another example of how God was fully in control of what was unfolding.
Peter’s denials also fit into this category. It seems odd that the one on whom Jesus would build the church would be the same one to deny even knowing Jesus. God’s plan at work. In a short time, the risen Jesus will ask Peter three times if he loves Him. Three times to wash away the three denials. Jesus restores Peter and now he is ready to be the Rock. God’s plan even includes Pilate. Pilate declares Jesus innocent. His is an important statement. Yes, an innocent man will die. Jesus used the word ‘truth’ with Pilate and it must have stuck. Pilate has a sign prepared and placed on top of Jesus’ cross. It reads: “Jesus of Nazareth. King of the Jews”. It was written in three languages so that all could read it and take in the truth of it’s message. All in God’s plan.
As death approaches, Jesus offers one last act of love. He provides for His mother’s care. It is a beautiful gesture. Now that all is right in the world and now that all has gone according to God’s plan, Jesus is ready to die. He says, “It is finished” and breathes His last. The tomb awaits. But He won’t be there long!