Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16; Mark 14:1-2, 10-11; Luke 22:1-6; John 11:45-57, 12:9-10
The Gospels give us very little detail to the events of the fourth day of Passover. We know that Jesus made his trek back into Jerusalem and continued to teach, which further infuriated the Pharisees. That night they gathered together in secret and plotted how they could kill Him, but they knew that they could never take Him publicly and they would need
a foolproof plan to quickly eliminate Jesus. There would be no turning back once the ball was in motion.
As much as the Pharisees feared Jesus, what they really feared was losing control of the people. Jesus had been building a following of avid disciples for three years. The Pharisees sought every possible way imaginable to trap Jesus. They sent their own disciples to ask Him about the most controversial issues of the day, hoping that Jesus would falter and the people would turn on Him.
In our day, it is easy to disassociate from the Pharisees because we like to side with the hero of the story, but the reality is that when the Pharisees finally placed Jesus on trial, there was no one to defend Him. Even though Jesus fed thousands on the hillside, healed hundreds, and entertained cheering audiences, the Pharisees still had more followers and they were willing to lie and cheat to get their own way.
Before we categorically disregard the religious leaders of
Jesus’ day, let us take into perspective what would happen if Jesus were to show up on the scene in our time and culture.
Jesus probably would not take to the airwaves, but his attackers would be on every mainstream news media. Jesus
would want to speak at your Church, but the critics in the audience would take the whole fellowship hour to discredit
what He said. Let us take this day to reflect on how easy it is to follow the loudest voice instead of listening to that still, small voice (I Kings 19:12) that God uses to speak to our spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
Let us take our time to read the details of how Jesus taught and responded to the Pharisees in His teachings and His rebukes.