Tuesday: The Passion Of Jesus

No matter how it looks, regrdless of how we might feel, now and forever, God is in control. After spending the night in Bethany, Jesus and His disciples arrive back in the city of Jerusalem in the morning where Jesus continues instructing His followers in the ways of God and at the same time He pronounces judgment on the false Jewish religious leaders who have been plotting His arrest. Unmoved by their attacks against His divine authority, Jesus levels the harshest criticism to those who occupy the highest positions within the Jewish faith.

We read just a portion of Jesus rebuke of the Jewish religious leaders in Matthew 23:24-33, “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.' Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”

As Jesus concludes pronouncing His judgment on the religious leaders their anger has reached its boiling point and yet there is nothing they can do before it’s time. Jesus and His disciples leave the city and most likely make their way out the Eastern Gate and across the Kidron Valley up to the Mount of Olives that overlooked the temple and the ancient city of Jerusalem. Its there on the Mount of Olives where Jesus gives His Olivet Discourse, the prophetic outline of the End Times which includes the destruction of the Jewish Temple standing before them.

As the long day filled with spiritual warfare comes to an end Judas Iscariot under the cover of darkness has determined in his heart to betray the LORD, negotiating a deal with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court of Jesus day. Unbeknownst to Judas, he fulfills yet another Old Testament prophetic scripture concerning the Messiah.

Its hard to imagine all the chaos surrounding the last week of Jesus life but as we will see as the rest of the week progresses, the strain will take its toll on Jesus as He seeks to find refuge in the Garden of Gethsemane with the weight of the world about to be placed literally on His shoulders as the Cross draws ever closer.

A question comes to mind as we seek to follow in the footsteops of Jesus. Where do you go when you are tired and are in need of rest? John 7:53 gives us a glimpse into the life of Jesus when at the end of the day during Jesus earthly ministry it says, “And everyone went to his own house” and then in the very next verse in John 8:1 it says, “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.” When Jesus needed rest He started with rest for His soul and the best place for Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemene under the olive trees where He would meet and commune with His Heavenly Father. A great reminder for you and me as we too face the struggles and trials of this life. If you don’t already have somewhere to go let me encourage to find a place, a quiet place where you can get alone with your Heavenly Father and commune with Him and experience His peace from the inside out. Its like nothing this world has to offer so says our Lord.

 
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27 (NKJV)


I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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