90. Peter Denies Three Times.
Peter was caught in between: Jesus had left him to face his trial alone; yet Peter still wanted to be loyal and follow his master. Now that Jesus had made it clear that he was to suffer alone and there was to be no battle, he renounced his association with Jesus, as his teacher had predicted. Most of the Jewish revolutionaries were from Galilee, and Peter was identified as a Galilean. However, now that he realized that they were not to fight violently and not being prepared to give himself up in the way Jesus had, Peter felt that he had to re-evaluate his whole position; and his natural instinct was to save himself from incrimination. When he realized what had happened, he released his pent-up emotions through bitter crying.
When Judas saw that Jesus was allowing himself to be condemned to death, he felt horrible about his action. Repenting he returned the money and declared that Jesus was innocent and that he had made a mistake. It was too late, and Judas had been a pawn in a game trapped by his own faulty methods and misdirected motivations. He knew that Jesus had the ability to overcome any situation, and perhaps he thought that by forcing a confrontation with the Jewish leaders Jesus would be declared Messiah and king.
However, his motivations were probably ambitious and spiteful, and his methods of being bribed and using secret entrapment against his own master were suspect, to say the least. With worldly goals in mind he had tried to take matters into his own hands, and his own negativity was shaped into a pattern which fulfilled the prophecies and the necessary destiny of Jesus, given the negativity that was present at that time. He served the dark side which made the Light appear even more brilliant by contrast; it is evident that he had misunderstood the teachings of the Christ. When he realized how wrong he had been, he condemned himself and again demonstrated the misguided courage that was so deeply embedded in his character by taking his own life. He could have forgiven himself, but his guilt was too much for him to bear.