Holy Week – Wednesday

Holy Week - Wednesday

Holy Week – Wednesday

“Guess what day it is? Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike – guess what DAY IT IS?!”

“HUMP DAAAAY!”

If they had played that commercial in Jerusalem during Holy Week, I can’t help thinking they might have found it even more funny – what with the camel being a main mode of transportation and all… Maybe it’s just me…

Unfortunately in our study of Holy Week, there is very little levity to be had on this Wednesday. The religious leaders get over a hump of a different sort – they realize their efforts to trip up, ridicule, or discredit Jesus aren’t working and decide a more formal assassination plot is required. They plan to take Jesus out in a way that disgraces Him and, to make the scheme even more nefarious, they eventually conspire to use an insider as a double-agent.

All four Gospels record the conspiracy against Jesus. On the Wednesday before Passover the chief priests and elders meet at the palace of the high priest Caiaphas. There they hatch a plot to have Jesus arrested and killed. Having Him arrested is key – they absolutely could not risk having Jesus become a martyr; they needed Him to be publicly disgraced while simultaneously being eliminated so His followers would turn away. John captures the moment this way: “So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’ …So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.” I’m curious – from which part of their rabbinical training did they study this?

Luke tells us “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot.” It is interesting to note that the Bible says Judas was not approached, but he sought out the chief priests on his own – he made the first move. Matthew, Mark, and Luke say the chief priests were glad and offered him money. Matthew tells us the agreed upon amount was 30 pieces of silver. My Bible notes say this amount is roughly 4 month’s wages for a common laborer of the day and might be worth about $7,500 in today’s economy. No matter how you calculate the value, I’m not saying it is a trivial amount of money – but it sounds like both the priests and Judas valued the life of Jesus very cheaply.

While all this scheming is going down, Jesus spends the day teaching in the temple and returns to Bethany for one final quiet evening. It will be the last night of rest of His earthly life. If you think things started rough on Monday and Tuesday – now that He is over the proverbial hump, His week ahead is about to take a decided turn for the worse.

Is there a hump you’re trying to get over? Are you looking forward to the weekend with anticipation – or desperation? Whichever it may be, I hope you will share your heart with someone. If you need strength for your journey, maybe a brother or sister in Christ could offer you an ear, a shoulder, or a hand. Or maybe you’re at a place where talking about how God is moving in your struggle could be an encouragement to someone else who’s trying to get over a hump. If you’re anticipating powerful worship this weekend, maybe you could be a connector to others who would be blessed by the experience. Does that scare you, even just a little bit? Jesus was willing to be humiliated for you – what are you willing to do for Him?

Tomorrow: What on earth is “Maundy Thursday”?

References:
https://bible.org/article/chronology-synopsis-passion-week
Matthew 26:1-16
Mark 14:1-2, 10-11
Luke 22:1-6
John 6:70-71, 11:47-53, 13:2 & 27

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