Summary: The enemies and the disciples of Jesus are in denial
Everyone Is In Denial
Have you ever looked at a situation and thought to yourself, “That’s just wrong!!”.
(I had supporting pictures on the data presentation)
There are all sorts of situations that fit into the “That’s just wrong” category … aren’t there.
Some of these situations are funny, but some are more serious.
Human Rights Abuse.
The list goes on and on doesn’t it.
Today we are going to look at something else that is so wrong. Specifically the way that a number of different people respond to their connections with Jesus.
Read John 18:12-27
Notice how the two stories are mixed together.
First we are told that the arrested Jesus is taken to Annas.
Then Peter’s first denial.
Then Annas has a go at Jesus.
The Peter’s other denials.
John has set this up for a reason. He wants us to realise that somehow there is a connection between what is happening between Jesus and Annas … and what is happening between Jesus and Peter.
The connection point is this:- Annas and Peter are in Denial.
How Annas is in Denial
Notice that the text says Annas was the father-in-law of the High Priest.
However we also know that, about 15 years earlier, Annas was the High Priest.
To be the high priest was a was a very special calling. Firstly only those who were a direct descendent of Aaron – the brother of Moses – who was the first high priest.
So it wasn’t a job that just anyone could take.
It was also a job that came with a very significant responsibility – a responsibility which happened on the day of atonement.
This happened once a year.
Going into the Most Holy Place – to sprinkle blood on the Atonement Seat (expand)
- He had to dress a certain way; there are very exact instructions.
- He had to offer a series of sacrifices; following a very precise procedure.
- The sacrificial goat and scapegoat.
What was the purpose?
Atonement is to be made once a year for all the sins of the Israelites (Lev 16:34)
It was like a reset button – it was as if no sin existed.
So you can imagine that the person who had this responsibility was one who was respected.
A holy man among holy men.
One who had great wisdom.
Knowledgeable in the Scriptures.
Able to make sound judgements.
But this is not how Annas is acting.
First Annas is not the High Priest any more.
Perhaps he should have been because, according to Numbers 35:25, a High Priest was appointed for life. But Annas was removed from his position by the Roman authorities. However Annas still had a lot of power.
Some people believe he was wrongly removed so they still listened to him.
And Annas made sure that five of his sons, and Caiaphas his son in law, had the office of high priest.
Between them they held the high priest office for 40 years.
It’s wrong. It is a power trip.
Annas is in denial about his right to serve as a representative of the high priest. He shouldn’t even be involved in the process.