59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward.
Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’ ”
62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.
The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
64 “You have said so,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” v
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66 What do you think?”
“He is worthy of death,” they answered.
67 Then they spit in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?”
69 Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. “You also were with Jesus of Galilee,” she said.
70 But he denied it before them all. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.
71 Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 He denied it again, with an oath: “I don’t know the man!”
73 After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, “Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.”
74 Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. 
The contrast could not be any greater: Jesus confessing His identity before the Sanhedrin, on the one hand. Peter denying that he knows Christ on the other.
Jesus was silent before His accusers while they paraded their false charges and fake evidence. It is as though He would not dignify the proceedings with even the least bit of participation. But when He was asked directly about His identity, He answered. After telling numerous people throughout His ministry to keep His true identity a secret, He chose this moment to reveal it. And not only to reveal it but to do so in a way that made an unmistakable link to Daniel 7:13, a well-known messianic prophecy. He could not have stated more forcefully that He was indeed the Messiah. He knew that by doing so, there could only be one of two outcomes. They would either fall down in worship. Or they would charge Him with blasphemy and seek His death.
He makes it quite clear Who He was, but also makes it quite clear that He knew that the path to the glorious vision He set before them was through the cross. What a picture of courage, commitment, and conviction!
Meanwhile outside, Peter was denying that he ever knew Jesus. Peter knew that for him as well, to answer truthfully could result in Peter sharing Jesus’ fate. So he lied. He kept quiet. He kept his identity a secret.
The application and prayer based on this passage is quite clear, isn’t it? We are to pray to be more like Jesus in fearless confession, and less like Peter in cowardly silence. But at the same time, it is important to note that Jesus made that confession for Peter. It was because of Peter’s weakness, and our weakness, that Jesus took up that cross and willingly put himself on it. Yes, we are to imitate Jesus in making bold confession of our identity as Christ-followers. But we are to keep in mind that we do so as forgiven and redeemed Christ-followers. Because of Christ’s cross, we need have no fear, for the Lord has won the victory for us, and has given us the kingdom, forgiveness, resurrection and Himself.
Lord Jesus, I praise You for making that bold confession and so going to the cross to win for me forgiveness for all my sinfulness. Help me to be more like you and less like Peter, boldly and fearlessly confessing You.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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