Even a batch of false witnesses couldn’t provide the “two or three witnesses” required by Old Testament law to condemn a criminal.
But when pressed by the religious leaders, Jesus repeated back their own words and acknowledged his divinity.
At this point, they all cried out that because of blasphemy, Jesus should be executed.
They would have been right if it were anyone but Jesus. Problem is, to be guilty of blasphemy, you need to be lying.
How creepy and evil that Judas identified Jesus’ identity with a kiss.
First off, didn’t everyone know who Jesus was already? Second, why use a kiss? How about a hearty handshake? Or a simple, courtroom-style, “That’s the man I sold out for 30 pieces of silver!”
These verses, 43-52, make me consider when and how I betray people in my life with a kiss.
Anytime I talk behind someone’s back, I’m guilty.
Anytime I laugh at someone else’s mean-spirited joke, I’m guilty.
Anytime I feel embarrassed by my faith in Christ, I’m guilty.
All I’m left with is the opportunity to respond with sincere repentance.
Jesus makes it clear that the reason his disciples will fall away is because that’s what the written scriptures say. The written Word of God has real power and influence over events.
Peter insists that he’ll be different, but Jesus knows better. Peter means well, but as usual, he is impulsive and can’t follow through on his initial commitment.
Peter, James and John go with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane. While Jesus pours out his heart to his father in prayer, the others fall asleep three times. Jesus is particularly critical of Peter, and advises him to pray that he’d stay out of temptation.
Praying to stay out of temptation is always a good idea!
Jesus sent some of his disciples ahead into Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover. They didn’t have to make reservations; Jesus gave them directions to find a fully-furnished room. The disciples still had to prepare the meal. Not everything was handed to them. I think this is how God works sometimes. He gives us just enough support for us to complete the tasks laid out before us, but we’re expected to finish the job.
It must have torn Jesus apart when he announced that one of the Twelve would betray him. “For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him” (verse 21a). This is a fulfillment of the Old Testament scriptures, not a replacement.
In the midst of the Passover supper, Jesus relabels some of the traditional elements. The unleavened bread becomes his body, and one cup of wine becomes his blood. Again, Jesus is a fulfillment of the Old Testament, not a replacement.
Surprisingly, right after the meal Jesus and his disciples leave for the Mount of Olives. If they’d stayed inside, Jesus would have been protected. But once he stepped over the threshold, he became like one of the Egyptian firstborn sons. And like an Egyptian son, he paid with his life. Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament, he didn’t replace it.
In verses 1-11, we learn about the chief priests’ and scribes’ desire to have Jesus killed.
Then Jesus is annointed with tears and expensive perfume.
Both events begin to prepare us for Jesus’ impending death.
- Temple Intrigue
- Jesus Annointed with Perfume and Tears
- The Disciples Celebrate the Passover with Jesus for the Last Time
- False Testimony before the High Priest
- Peter’s Denials
This is a jam-packed chapter. I expect it will take two weeks to analyze.
- It’s easier to become unclean than clean
- Take the Lord’s hint when you’re spinning your wheels
- Go Zerubbabel!
At the beginning of chapter 2, Haggai reminds the leaders that the temple looks cruddy compared to its former glory.
However, God reassures the leaders–through Haggai–that the temple repaired will look even better than the original.
I’ll take a brief foray into the OT book of Haggai for the next couple of days.
Haggai makes the people aware that they have sinned by neglecting the temple at the expense of their own possessions.
A consequence is that no matter how hard the people work, they struggle to make ends meet.
When do I struggle to succeed, no matter how hard I try?