The week is drawing to its climactic conclusion, those of us on the other side of Easter Sunday know that. But on the Wednesday before Good Friday, the day before Passover, only Jesus knew what was to come. To the disciples, and everyone else, for that matter, it was just any other festival week.
Today, we don’t have tons of details as to what Jesus did, other than Luke’s observation that “every day he was teaching in the temple” and that at night, Jesus went out to the Mount of Olives to sleep (Luke 21:37-38). Again we see the Lord, just hours before His betrayal, abandonment and execution, spending time caring for His flock. Are you amazed yet? Remember: this is not blind ignorance of what was to come. Jesus KNEW what was coming, yet He continued to preach and teach the people, His “children”, about the kingdom of God. Talk about self-less-ness.
And at the same time, behind the scenes, Mark 14:1 tells us that the chief priests and elders were trying to figure out how to kill Jesus without causing an uproar, a riot, and the inevitable response from Rome as a result. Their fear of the people was greater than their fear of God. (Luke 22:1)
A sobering reminder for us religious folk. These people were the Bible-thumping, verse quoting, spice tithing, i-dotting and t-crossing crowd. They were the LEADERS of the people of God! They knew the Bible! They knew Isaiah’s prophecies, and Malachi’s, and Micah’s. Yet their jealousy of someone usurping their authority, and the fact that they feared the authorities (which God had placed over them!) more than they feared their God led them to plot against the very God they claimed to worship.
They were not the murderers, thieves, junkies, prostitutes, (pick your favorite sinner to diss and insert here). They were the religious elite. The “holy” ones. And they wanted Jesus dead.
God was moving in their midst, and they refused to see Him. Think of this: they heard the Word of God spoken by the Word of God, and then promptly went and plotted to silence Him. How could they miss Him? How could they do this? How could they miss the very one all their prophets spoke of? How could they miss the One they were all waiting so anxiously for? Surely we would never do such a thing!
Lest we think too highly of ourselves, lets think on this: do we not do the same? Are there areas in our lives where we hear God’s Word, we know it is spoken directly to us, yet we choose to squelch it, or “kill” the Word? Do we want something other than what the Word will allow us to have? Power, prestige, fame, money, sex, etc.? How do we seek to betray the Lord, the Messiah, the Savior in our own lives, those of us who know the Truth?