The Review and Herald

1041/1902

December 26, 1899

Condemned by the Jews

EGW

“Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, and led him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.... RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 1

“The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 2

Simon Peter had followed Jesus, and so had another disciple. That disciple, John, “was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 3

The look of dejection on Peter's face suggested to the woman the thought that this was one of the disciples of Christ. Being one of the servants of Caiaphas's household, she was curious to know; and she said to Peter, “Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.” Peter was startled and confused; the eyes of the company instantly fastened upon him. He pretended not to understand her; but she was persistent, and said to those around her that this man was with Jesus. Feeling compelled to answer, Peter said, angrily, “Woman, I know him not.” O Peter! so soon ashamed of thy Master! so soon cowardly to deny thy Lord! The Saviour is dishonored and deserted in his humiliation by one of his most zealous disciples. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 4

Just previously to this, Peter had confidently asserted, “Though all men should forsake thee, yet will not I.” “I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.” Where now was the confidence of this self-assured disciple? where his loyalty to his Master? O Peter, this was the time when thou shouldest have confessed thy Lord, and that without shame and unwillingness. But another opportunity was to be given him. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 5

The palace of the high priest surrounded an open court, into which the soldiers, the chief priests, and the crowd had gathered, and Peter took a place among the throng. Here attention was called to him the second time, and he was again charged with being a follower of Jesus. “This fellow was also with Jesus,” said one. Peter now denied the accusation with an oath. The cock crew, but he heard it not; for he was now thoroughly intent upon carrying out the character he had assumed. One of the servants of the high priest, being a near kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked him, “Did not I see thee in the garden with him?” “Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 6

At this Peter, fully to deceive his questioners, and to justify his assumed character, denied his Master with cursing and swearing. “And immediately the cock crew.” Peter heard it then, and he remembered the words of Jesus,“Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 7

Jesus was weary and faint from fasting when the words of denial reached him. And while the degrading oaths were fresh on Peter's lips, and the shrill crowing of the cock was still ringing in his ears, the Saviour turned his face from the frowning judges, and looked full upon his poor disciple. At the same time Peter's eyes were involuntarily fixed upon his Master. That face, pale with suffering, those quivering lips, seemed to speak to Peter, saying, Not know me, Peter? In that gentle countenance Peter read deep pity and sorrow; but there was no anger there. That look of compassion and forgiveness pierced his heart like an arrow. He fled from the now crowded court; he cared not whither. At last he found himself in the garden of Gethsemane. In the very spot where Jesus had poured out his soul in agony to his Father, he fell on his face, stricken and wounded, and wished that he might die there. He remembered with remorse that he was asleep when Jesus prayed through those fearful hours. His proud heart broke, and penitential tears moistened the sod so recently stained with the bloody sweat drops of God's dear Son. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 8

“And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth. And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 9

But these priests, scribes, and rulers, so exact in regard to their own maxims and traditions, would not even enter the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled, so they might not eat the Passover. The Passover was a ceremony instituted by Christ himself before his incarnation, but he who was the foundation of the whole Jewish economy was among them. Type was meeting antitype in the Son of God, and they had done unto him as Satan had worked upon their hardened hearts to do. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 10

The followers of Christ should bear in mind that the evil speeches made against Christ, the abuse he received, they also, as his followers, must endure for his sake. The piety of the church may professedly be of a high order; but when the truth of the word of God is brought to bear upon the heart, and when conviction of truth is rejected and despised that men may keep in friendship with the majority, they place themselves on the side of the enemy. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 11

“If the world hate you,” said Christ, “ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 12

These words of Christ have been fulfilled in the experience of those who have been loyal to the God of heaven according to the light received. “If they have persecuted me,” he said, “they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” “All that will live [not merely profess to live] godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.” “And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known [by an experimental knowledge] the Father, nor me.” RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 13

As Christ was hated without cause, so will his people be hated because they are obedient to the commandments of God. If he who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good, and only good, in our world, was treated as a base criminal, and condemned to death, his disciples must expect but similar treatment, however faultless may be their life and blameless their character. Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God's holy commandments are despised and trampled underfoot. And all who prove their loyalty by obedience to the law of Jehovah must be prepared to be arrested, to be brought before councils that have not for their standard the high and holy law of God. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 14

The same spirit that moved the priests and rulers had moved Cain to slay his brother. It is the apostasy from truth that works in the children of disobedience to silence the voice of those who are calling them to obedience. And today this spirit is manifested in the churches that are trampling upon the word of God, transgressing his holy law. They know not what spirit they are of, nor the end of the dark tunnel through which they are passing. Deceived, deluded, blind, they are hastening forward to the first and the second death. The vast tide of human will and human passion is leading to things they did not dream of when they discarded the law of Jehovah for the inventions of men, to cause oppression and suffering to human beings. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 15

The churches have been converted to the world, and they show what they would do in this age of the world if they dared. If Christ were in the world today, many would have no more desire for him than had the Jewish nation at his first advent. They would do as did the Jews. Were it in their power, they would crucify Christ because he tells them the truth. Many are being educated up to this point. Rulers and teachers, who have caused souls to stumble over their perverted teachings,—all persons who might have understood the prophecies, but who did not read and search to see if they were applicable to this time, and concerned their individual selves, will be taken in the snare, and suffer eternal loss. They will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. RH December 26, 1899, Art. A, par. 16