Matthew 26:1-30

Matthew 26:1-30 gives us the details of the coming death of Jesus.  He was with his disciples and tells them “the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified”.  Can you imagine receiving that statement?  They have walked with Him the last three years and then one day out of the blue He begins talking about His death.  Of course it shouldn’t have been a surprise, after all there were many prophecies about it and Jesus has more than hinted previously, but this day would prove to be one where they really began to see the events that were coming.  The religious leaders “plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him”.  There was still fear of what the people would do if they messed with Jesus.  But they were now committed to getting rid of Him.  They decide not to do it during the Passover feast to avoid the wrath of the people.  Meanwhile, Jesus and the disciples were going on with life.  A woman comes to the place He was eating at a house in Bethany and pours a flask of very expensive oil on His head.  “When the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘why this waste’”?  They were definitely not seeing the big picture yet.  Jesus tells them to leave her alone as “in pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare Me for burial”.  The guys hadn’t quite put two and two together yet.  They weren’t quite picking up what He had put down as the reality of the next days.

Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests to ask “what will you give me if I deliver Him over to you”.  Talk about being an opportunist.  Judas was driven by greed.  He enjoyed the gig the 12 had going and wasn’t about to let Jesus derail his interpretation of building the Kingdom which was not even remotely close to what Jesus’ version of that was.  Judas Iscariot was looking for an earthly kingdom where he could be one of the ruling team.  Of course Jesus came to die for our sin and prepare the way for God’s Kingdom in heaven, but there was a complete disconnect between that and what Judas was expecting.  So he went and put a price on Jesus’ head – “they paid him thirty pieces of silver”.  Not really much but enough for Judas because “from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him”.  Later that day they gathered and shared the first communion together by breaking bread and taking the cup from Jesus.  It was at that meal that Jesus tells the 12 that someone would betray Him.  And here is the response: “Is it I, Lord”?  They all were asking.  Even Judas Iscariot asked that question and Jesus identified him as the one but didn’t really call him out or make a big deal out of it.  Why?  Because Jesus was on the course of obedience to God’s will.  He knew He had to die to fulfill God’s plan.  So the time continued with the breaking of bread and the sharing of the cup.  It had to be a powerful time for them then, just as it should be for us now when we partake of it in our worship time.  “When they had sung a hymn, they went out”.  This really sets the stage for the events that are to come.  The group now has been told – they still don’t understand all that it means – but it will become very evident over the next hours and days as Jesus goes to the Cross and then rises from the grave.  Have you experienced the power of His crucifixion and resurrection?  Do you realize that your sin put Him on that Cross?  We all need to ask “is it I” when it comes to Jesus.  And the answer is – yes – He went to the Cross for your sin and mine!

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