Daily Devotionals

Deliberate: Week 4 - Thursday


Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” Luke 23:4

I was late to meet my friends recently for dinner. When I texted them and told them I would be about five minutes late, I told them it was partly my fault and partly my puppy's fault for making it take longer for me to leave. I was joking, and of course, that statement was not true. It was entirely my fault for not preparing to leave in a timely manner and factoring in the extra time it would take me to get my puppy taken care of before I left. My poor pup temporarily took the blame for making me late until I confessed to my friends that it was not him who made me late; it was me. My puppy Archie was unphased when I blamed him for making me late, but for human beings, being blamed for something we did not do is distressing. If we, human beings, feel the sting of an unjust accusation, imagine how Jesus must have felt when, after He was arrested, He was put on trial in front of some of the most prominent religious and political leaders of His day even though He was completely innocent.

Luke chapters twenty-two and twenty-three recount the multiple trials Jesus went through after His arrest. He went through trials with the high priests, the Jewish council, Pilate, who was the governor of Rome, and King Herod. They all questioned Him for claiming that he was the Messiah, the King of the Jews. You see, that was considered "blasphemy," or claiming to be God when you are, in fact, not God. What the political and religious leaders did not realize, however, is that Jesus was actually God. Such a claim, to the people of Israel, warranted death. The fascinating thing, however, is that none of these people who tried Jesus could find anything against Him. Pilate could not. In fact, when He found out that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent Jesus to King Herod Antipas. Herod could not find anything against Jesus either. You see, these rulers and leaders could not find anything against Jesus because He was innocent. Yet He continued to face unfair trial after unfair trial, all the while knowing that He was completely innocent.

Jesus faced these trials knowing that he was fulfilling His mission: to pay the price owed for the sins of the world, including your sins and mine. He patiently endured the mocking and torment brought upon Him as a result of these trials. He was innocent, yet He listened to people treat Him as if He was a guilty man. He did it for you and me. What love He has for you!

Moving Toward Action

Jesus faced the sting of unjust accusations in order to rescue us from sin and death. He did it because of His love. Who do you know who needs to know about His love for them? Invite them to one of our Easter weekend services so that they, too, can experience God's love.


Going Deeper

Luke 22:33-23:12


33 Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you.”

34 But Jesus said, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler’s bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?”

“No,” they replied.

36 “But now,” he said, “take your money and a traveler’s bag. And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one! 37 For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: ‘He was counted among the rebels.’ Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true.”

38 “Look, Lord,” they replied, “we have two swords among us.”

“That’s enough,” he said.

39 Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40 There he told them, “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”

41 He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44 He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

45 At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

47 But even as Jesus said this, a crowd approached, led by Judas, one of the twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus to greet him with a kiss. 48 But Jesus said, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?”

49 When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, “Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!” 50 And one of them struck at the high priest’s slave, slashing off his right ear.

51 But Jesus said, “No more of this.” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.

52 Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. “Am I some dangerous revolutionary,” he asked, “that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns.”

Peter Denies Jesus

54 So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55 The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. 56 A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, “This man was one of Jesus’ followers!”

57 But Peter denied it. “Woman,” he said, “I don’t even know him!”

58 After a while someone else looked at him and said, “You must be one of them!”

“No, man, I’m not!” Peter retorted.

59 About an hour later someone else insisted, “This must be one of them, because he is a Galilean, too.”

60 But Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.

61 At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Suddenly, the Lord’s words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.” 62 And Peter left the courtyard, weeping bitterly.

63 The guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and said, “Prophesy to us! Who hit you that time?” 65 And they hurled all sorts of terrible insults at him.

Jesus before the Council

66 At daybreak all the elders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council,67 and they said, “Tell us, are you the Messiah?”

But he replied, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68 And if I ask you a question, you won’t answer. 69 But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God’s right hand.”

70 They all shouted, “So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?”

And he replied, “You say that I am.”

71 “Why do we need other witnesses?” they said. “We ourselves heard him say it.”


1Then the entire council took Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming he is the Messiah, a king.”

So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!”

Then they became insistent. “But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!”

“Oh, is he a Galilean?” Pilate asked. When they said that he was, Pilate sent him to Herod Antipas, because Galilee was under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod happened to be in Jerusalem at the time.

Herod was delighted at the opportunity to see Jesus, because he had heard about him and had been hoping for a long time to see him perform a miracle. He asked Jesus question after question, but Jesus refused to answer. 10 Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers began mocking and ridiculing Jesus. Finally, they put a royal robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. 12 (Herod and Pilate, who had been enemies before, became friends that day.)