Read Matthew 25
Parable of ten virgins; of talents; judgments of the nations; last Passover; Lord's Supper; Christ's agony and prayer; Judas' betrayal; Jesus on trial; Peter's denial.
And He went a little further, and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt (Matt. 26:39).
Caiaphas was high priest that year as appointed by the Roman governor. After Lazarus was raised from the dead, the dismayed religious authorities consulted together about how to kill the Miracle Worker. Caiaphas justified putting Jesus to death saying that one man should die for the people (John 11:50). This simply meant that there could be no better opportunity for showing their loyalty to Rome than by crucifying this Person who claimed to be King of the Jews. Thus, from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death (11:53).
Jesus' popularity was the only thing that prevented them from immediately following through with their plan to assassinate Him (Luke 20:19; 22:2). But undoubtedly, to their great surprise, one of the twelve, Judas, volunteered to betray Him (Matt. 26:14-16). Knowing His destiny, Jesus had been agonizing in prayer and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood (Luke 22:44).
Judas arrived in the Garden leading an armed mob of soldiers and, before them all, he approached Jesus; And when he rose up from prayer . . . behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus (Luke 22:45,47) and said: Hail, Master; and kissed Him (Matt. 26:49). Although Jesus had the power to defend Himself, He does not use it (26:52-53). Then, as we read the full account, we see an odd reversal of roles as Jesus, the victim, dominates all that takes place.
The high priest, acting as judge, also became the accuser of the Son of God, and finally, in a frenzy of anger, demanded: I adjure thee by the living God, that Thou tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God (26:63). Jesus answers, Ye say that I am (Luke 22:70).
That single admission condemns Jesus to death, for the members of the Sanhedrin had a different expectation of the Messiah. They wanted a conqueror to set them free by force. Jesus knew that only one thing — his death — would truly set them free. For that reason He came to Earth.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Thought for Today:
Obedience to His Word and seeking Him in prayer each day is a means God uses to strengthen us in the hour of testing.
For Matt. 26:31: See Zech. 13:7. Matt. 26:64: See Ps. 110:1; Dan. 7:13.
25:27 exchangers, moneylenders; usury, interest on money loaned; 26:15 covenanted, established an agreement; 26:47 staves, clubs; 26:63 I adjure Thee, I charge You under oath before God.
Prayer Suggestion: Commit your fears to the Lord and He will give you peace (Prov. 3:24-26).
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:1-2