Jesus' Last Days - The Holy Week

Jesus Christ took on the form of man. He walked the same paths we're walking today. Our human hearts forget that, though, as we let situations and circumstances block that out. When we're feeling alone or hurt or sad, Jesus knows. And He can relate because He's been there.

But at the same time, He was still completely God. He was never surprised by the twists and turns of life, and He knew the significance of each event. As we look through the last days of His life, we can clearly see that Jesus knew.

Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? Matthew 26:59-62

Jesus knew the heart condition of these religious leaders. He knew all the lies and deceit that filled their hearts and minds. But He chose to continue on in silence, even though He knew the truth.

For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. Job 34:21-22

Our omniscient Lord sees and knows everything abut every person He has created. There is nothing that misses His gaze, and there is no place to hide, no matter how hard someone tries. They can beholden away from prying eyes of other people, but they aren't out-of-sight-out-of-mind to Him.

But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? Matthew 26:63-68

Turn your palm over and look at the lines. Jesus knows every single line, crease and callous on your hands - He put them there Himself. Now think about the palms that were smacking Him around while He was being taunted. Jesus shaped the hands that abused Him. He placed the spit in their mouths, which they would use to humiliate Him. Knowing exactly what their hands and mouths would be used for someday, Jesus created them anyway.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:14-16

From the beginning of time, Jesus Christ has known the deepest parts of you. He knew when you would be born, what you would look like, how you would serve Him and how you would sometimes turn away from Him. And still Jesus loved you so much, knowing everything about you, that He brought you into the world because He wanted you here. In much the same way, He knew what the Jesus-haters of His day would do to Him, and still He brought them into the world. It wasn't for the joy of having a relationship with them, but because they were a part of the prophecy He came to fulfill.

Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. Matthew 26:69-75

Think back to Day 5 of Creation and what God formed.

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24-25

Jesus knew that one of the descendants of that original rooster would play a crucial role in His final days. And yet Scripture still says God saw that it was good. He didn't clarify "all chickens except that one that would crow that day." It was good because He knew it had to be done.

Jesus also knew how that day would unfold for Peter. He knew Peter wouldn't understand the words He spoke, explaining how the cock would crow. He also knew exactly who would speak to Peter and how he would swear, and then weep when he realized the truth in Jesus' words. He knew, and still He allowed it to happen.

When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. Matthew 27:1-5

Jesus knew Judas' destiny from the beginning. Nothing surprises our Lord. He doesn't wake up one morning and say, "Wow, didn't see that coming." No, Jesus knew Judas' heart, his thoughts and what his actions would be. Every single one of them.

And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. Matthew 26:21-25

Jesus knew the who, the what, the when — everything about Judas' heart and motives, but He still called Judas “friend." Can you imagine how Jesus heart must have broken when He and Judas first met those years earlier? He didn't say a word about the future, instead looking ahead to the moment of betrayal, knowing it would come and refusing to stop it.

And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. Matthew 27:11-26 

Jesus knew that the people would trade His life for the life of Barabbas. Matthew calls him a notable prisoner, Mark calls him a murderer and Luke calls him guilty of sedition and murder. Jesus knew Barabbas from the beginning of time, watched him grow up and knew of his sins. He knew that he would be the specific man traded for the Savior by the people. But even with that knowledge, Jesus did nothing to change the situation. He could have, but He saw the bigger picture. 

Tomorrow we'll finish reading the last words, actions and truths about Jesus' last days. Until then, I pray you will continue to meditate on the Scriptures that lead up to this moment in His life, remembering that He did all of this for you.


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