Matt. 26:55-56-Jesus makes it clear that what is happening is not a mistake, or out of His control…but, that it is all happening just as the Scripture had said it would. The disciples fled.
The Order of the 5 Trials of Jesus (a compilation from the Gospels)
Trial #1-before Annas
John tells us that before He was brought before Caiaphas, He was brought before Annas (John 18:12-14,19-23), the retired High Priest.
Trial #2-before Caiaphas
(Matthew 26:57-68; 27:1) and the Sanhedrin (the Jewish High Council, or Court)…they try to find false witnesses to testify against Him...many came forward, but none could be confirmed...
Accusation #1: Finally, two came forward who said that they had heard Jesus say that He would destroy the temple...they question Him about this, but He remains silent (Matt. 26:60-63).
Accusation #2: Next, they question Him about His being the Christ...He tells them that they have said so correctly...the High Priest accuses Him of blasphemy and He is declared worthy of death...they began to beat Him (Matt. 26:63-68).
Peter had followed them into the courtyard of the high priest…
Denial #1: A servant-girl in the courtyard.
Matt. 26:69-"You too were with Jesus the Galilean."
Matt. 26:70-"But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are talking about."
Denial #2: Another servant girl saw him and said to those who were there...
Matt. 26:71-"This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."
Matt. 26:72-"And again he denied it with an oath, 'I do not know the man.'"
Denial #3: Bystanders came up...
Matt. 26:73-"Surely you too are one of them; for the way you talk gives you away."
Matt. 26:74-"Then he began to curse and swear, "I do not know the man"
Matt. 26:74-75-a rooster crows and Peter remembers what Jesus had said about denying Him..."he went out and wept bitterly"
Trial #3-before Pilate...the first time (Matthew 27:2,11-14)
Trial #4-before Herod (Luke 23:6-12)
Trial #5-before Pilate...the second time (Matthew 27:15-26)
Prayer: Lord, it is easy to sit here in my comfortable study and to be harsh towards Peter. But the fact is, he was the only disciple to fight back in the Garden of Gethsemane. And now, I find that he is one of only two (John was also there...John 18:15-16) to follow Jesus to His trial before Caiaphas. Throughout his time with Jesus, Peter seemed to be among the most vocal, the most prominent, the quickest to respond. It seemed to be a part of his very character to be ready and willing to jump first. Now here, he again is risking himself to be beside Jesus. I know that he fails, and fails terribly. Perhaps it was because he was trying to do the right thing in the wrong way...in his own strength and determination. But he tried...when others, in their own strength and determination ran away. Lord, I want to be filled and led by Your Spirit...I don't want to live in the flesh. But Lord...even I were to live in my own strength...I would rather be at fault to have run to You, than to have run away from You. So help me, Lord...to live in Your Spirit and to constantly be running to You.