The Plot To Kill Jesus
(Mark 14.1,2; Luke 22.1,2; John 11.45-53)
1When Jesus had finished teaching, he told his disciples, 2 “You know two days from now will be Passover. This is when the Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies and nailed to a cross.”
3At that time the chief priests and the nation's leaders were meeting at the home of Caiaphas the high priest. 4They planned how they could sneak around and have Jesus arrested and put to death. 5But they said, “We must not do it during Passover, because the people will riot.”
(Mark 14.3-9; John 12.1-8)
6Jesus was in the town of Bethany, eating at the home of Simon, who had leprosy. 7 A woman came in with a bottle of expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus' head. 8But when his disciples saw this, they became angry and complained, “Why such a waste? 9We could have sold this perfume for a lot of money and given it to the poor.”
10Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said:
Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11 You will always have the poor with you, but you won't always have me. 12She has poured perfume on my body to prepare it for burial. 13You may be sure that wherever the good news is told all over the world, people will remember what she has done. And they will tell others.
Judas and the Chief Priests
(Mark 14.10,11; Luke 22.3-6)
14Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?” They paid Judas 30 silver coins, 16and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.
One thing about Jesus, nobody has ever ignored him. Even in our day, it seems, everybody has an opinion about him. Some think he’s a fine example, others that he is a great prophet, others a great figure of history. Yet others only know his name, which they use to curse the people and events that bother them.
Then there’s another group, in which, I pray, you count yourself. This group, from every nation, tribe and tongue on the planet, have discovered that he is indeed “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6)
Jesus has always forced people to decide who he is. And there is perhaps no place in the New Testament where the contrast between opinions about him is clearer than in the first 16 verses of Matthew 26.
First we meet the religious leaders, who thought of Jesus as a blasphemer, for claiming to be the Messiah and the unique Son of God. They would have been right if Jesus had been wrong about his claims. The problem was that he really is the Messiah and the unique Son of God. There are still many today who want religion without Jesus and who wish he would just go away.
In this chapter we also read about Judas. He had made Jesus in his own image, and in spite of being with the Lord day in and day out for years, Judas still wanted to use Jesus for his own schemes and plans. He would discover that this never works.
And sandwiched between the religious leaders who wanted to rid themselves of Jesus and Judas who wanted to use Jesus, is one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible. A woman comes with exotic perfume, worth a fortune, and in humility kneels at his feet and worships him. Whether she knew it or not, she was anointing his body for burial.
Jesus forces everyone to decide what they believe about him. May we decide that Jesus is exactly whom he claimed to be, and in humility and love, bow before him, offering him all that is of most value to us.
Lord Jesus, I bow my heart and my life before you. Forgive me for the times I have tried to make you do what I want, or have wanted you to leave me to my own desires and interests. I come today offering you my all. May my offering be a sweet aroma in your presence. In your name. Amen.