Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wondering Wednesday

   For  six months, Jesus had been telling His disciples that he would be dying soon.  On this Wednesday, He tells them it will happen in two days.  Jesus knew that this Passover celebration, He would be the Lamb whose blood would be shed to save the people.  Remember how God’s people put the blood of a lamb over their door posts to save them from dying?  Well, after this Passover the only blood that would count would be the blood Jesus shed.  From then on, anyone that believed in Jesus, and accepted Him would be able to live with Him in Heaven.  Although Jesus had been telling them about all of this, He never really said when it would happen.  Now, He tells them it would be in two days, on the Passover.  Jesus would be the once and for all, Passover Lamb.

   The chief priest's, scribes and religious leaders realized they would never be able to trick, Jesus.  So, they all got together at the high priest's house to plan and plot how to capture Jesus secretly, and just kill Him.  The high priest's name was, Caiaphas.  By this time many thousands of people were going into Jerusalem.  That was a problem for these evil men that plotted to kill, Jesus.  Earlier in the week, they were concerned about the people being upset with them for arresting Jesus and killing Him.  But now, there were thousands of people they were worried about upsetting, especially since it was their Passover celebration.  They knew Jesus was not going to be giving them a reason to arrest Him.  If the people got very upset, the Roman government would stop these religious leaders from arresting and killing Jesus.  But, these evil men were determined to see Jesus destroyed.

   We can not be sure of just what Jesus did on this Wednesday before the Passover, because the Bible does not say.  Jesus most likely went to the temple again to teach and heal.  He probably spent time in prayer.  He may have taken a walk with Mary and Martha and reassured them that no matter what happened He would always be with them.  He may have spent some time with His very dear friend, Mary Magdalene, assuring her that no matter what happened, she would see Him again.  He probably talked with His disciples about those things He wanted to be sure they heard.  Maybe He tried to tell them in words what only the cross was going to show them for sure... just how much He loved them.  Maybe He told them just how precious they were to Him.  Maybe He talked privately with Peter and reassured Him that no matter what happened He would would always love and forgive him.  Maybe He told Peter he was much stronger than he thought and to never be afraid.  Maybe He walked to where the dead Fig tree was and prayed to God about the people that would be destroyed if they would not say they were sorry for their sins and accept Jesus as their Savior.  Maybe He talked to the people about forgiveness and love, and how important those things are to God’s Kingdom.  But, whatever Jesus did do during that day, He was doing what God wanted Him to do because He always did the work of His Heavenly Father.

   But, we do know what Jesus did that evening.  That evening,  Jesus was back in Bethany, having dinner at a man named Simon’s house.  The people back then ate at table that was low to the floor. They sat on the floor and often reclined back a little.  Meals were a time of getting together with family and friends that they loved and trusted. Although meals were a time to eat, they were really more about the a time to meet.  Jesus was reclined back and enjoying His disciples at this dinner meal at Simon’s house.  While having His dinner, a woman came in with an alabaster jar filled with perfumed oil.  She broke the long neck of the alabaster jar and  slowly poured it on Jesus’ head.  Back in the Old Testament it was a sacred thing to pour expensive oil like this on a man's head.  It meant he was being set aside from all of the other people to be holy and to be the priest.  This woman was showing that Jesus was holy, and that He was their Priest.  She also did this because she understood what Jesus was talking about when He said He would be dying in two days.  Back in this day, they put oil and spices on a persons body to bury them.  This woman loved Jesus.  She did for Him what she could, and what she knew God wanted her to do.  She was brave to do this.  Her love for Jesus made her brave and obedient.  This time, many of the disciples were upset at such extravagance.  They were upset about how expensive the perfumed oil was and that it was wasted.  They said it could have been sold for a lot of money and the money could have been given to the poor.  Jesus asked His disciples why they were giving this woman such a hard time.  He told them that the poor would always be with them, but that He would be leaving in two days.  Jesus told them that she did a good thing, that she prepared his body for His soon to be burial.  He told them that anytime the Good News would be preached about Jesus throughout the whole world, this woman's good deed would be remembered and talked about.

   Judas Iscariot, one of Jesus disciples and their treasurer,  was angry about this the Saturday night before, and now it happened again.  He was furious.  He wanted the money from the perfume for himself.   Judas knew the religious leaders were at the high priest Caiaphas’ house trying to figure out a way to kill Jesus.   Judas left the dinner and went straight to Caiaphas’ house.  He also knew they would like to be able to capture Jesus secretly to have Him killed.  But, where Jesus was there were always so many people and they would not get a chance to snatch Him.  But,  Judas also knew Jesus’ plans for the next two days and he knew how  and when the religious leaders could sneak up and capture Him when He would be alone with just His disciples.  When Judas got to Caiaphas’ house, he asked the religious leaders how much money they would give him if He double crossed Jesus and told them when they could capture Him.  They paid Judas 30 pieces of silver.  This is the amount slaves were bought and sold for.  For 30 lousy pieces of silver, Judas sold Jesus to the men that wanted to kill Him.

   Today we can wonder,  just what Jesus did do?  What we do know is that Jesus was betrayed by one of His own disciples, sold to those trying to kill him for a fist full of silver.

   Thank You Jesus that Your life is hidden in the Father's and that because of Your great love for us, we are hidden "in" Him as well!

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