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Monday, March 25, 2013

Holy Week Reflections - Monday: Looking for a Way to Kill Jesus

"On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching."

It wasn't as though this were the first time Jesus had rocked the chief priests' and rabbi's boats. Pharisees, Sadducees, priests, rabbis, and scribes had the Jewish people right where they wanted them: hanging on their every word, and following their every notion.

For once, the constantly bickering Pharisees and Pharisees had a single goal: to get rid of this meddling traveling preacher. The Man had far too great a following. Why, just the day before, hundreds had cheered Him as He rode down the slope from the Mount of Olives on a donkey like a newly anointed king.

The Laws and the Prophets had proclaimed a king to be coming--but that had been hundreds of years before, and so many self-proclaimed messiahs had disappointed them with their unfulfilled promises. This Jesus of Nazareth was just one more. Worse: the Man had accused them of being liars and hypocrites. He said they were self-righteous and overly proud. This couldn't continue. Their hold on the people and their position among the Jews would be diminished or maybe even eliminated.

They couldn't allow that. What they needed was someone to betray Him. Someone close to Him. Someone He wouldn't suspect. Someone greedy or ambitious enough to be inveigled into helping them. Somehow, they had to get rid of this boat-rocker. Get rid of Him for good.

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