Matthew 26:65, 66 The high priest accused Jesus of blasphemy - calling himself God. To the Jews, this was a great crime, punishable by death (Lev. 24:16). The religious leaders refused even to consider that Jesus' words might be true. They had decided against Jesus, and in so doing, they sealed their own fate as well as His. Like the members of the counsel, you must decide whether Jesus' words are blasphemy or truth. Your decision has eternal implications.
Matthew 26:69 There were three stages to Peter's denial. First he acted confused and tried to divert attention from himself by changing the subject. Second, using an oath he denied that he knew Jesus. Third, he began to curse and swear. Believers who deny Christ often begin doing so subtly by pretending not to know Him. When opportunities to discuss religious issues come up, they walk away or pretend they don't know the answers. With only a little more pressure, they can be induced to deny flatly their relationship with Christ. If you find yourself subtly diverting conversation so you don't have to talk about Christ, watch out. You may be on the road to disowning Him.
Matthew 26:72-74 That Peter denied that he knew Jesus, using an oath and calling down curses, does not mean he used foul language.
Matthew 27:1, 2 The religious leaders had to persuade the Roman government to sentence Jesus to death because they did not have the authority to do it themselves. The Romans had taken away the religious leaders' authority to inflict capital punishment. Politically, it looked better for the religious leaders anyway if someone else was responsible for killing Jesus. They wanted the death to appear Roman-sponsored so the crowds couldn't blame them. The Jesus leaders had arrested Jesus on theological grounds - blasphemy; but because this charge would be thrown out in a Roman court, they had to come up with a political reason for Jesus' death. Their strategy was to show Jesus as a rebel who claimed to be a king and thus a threat to Caesar.