Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Final Days of Jesus – Wednesday: Story and Verses Part 4 of 8

Emmaus City Church Holy Week Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities


"Final Days of Jesus" Reflections | Wednesday

Four recent posts on our website that share some introductions, details, verses, and songs related to this week are:

Also, the publishing group Crossway has not only released the book, The Final Days of Jesus: The Most Important Week of the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived , they have produced a thorough collection of beautiful images and thoughtful videos to help reflect on what was going in Jesus' life during this crucial week in history. The following posts will feature the manuscripts for each video they produced in correspondence with each day of Holy Week. Enjoy.

The Final Days of Jesus Day 4: Wednesday

Emmaus City Church Holy Week Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities

Jesus Continues His Daily Teaching in the Temple

Jesus Teaches in the Temple

As Jesus is teaching his disciples and going about his business, another story is taking place inside the walls of Jerusalem. 

The members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish religious body, are having their own intense internal deliberations about how to get rid of Jesus once and for all.  

It's easy to read this very simplistically and to forget that these are real human beings, not just these two-dimensional characters. So our understanding of this final storyline will grow as we begin to explore who these Jewish leaders were.

What were they seeking to accomplish?

What were their motivations?

And why did they find Jesus Christ to be so threatening and so frustrating to their religion and their way of life?

Jesus' Opponents Include the Ruling Council of the Jews

It seems that many of Jesus' opponents were in the Sanhedrin. This is the council of the Jews, the ruling council you might say. There were 70 members

This idea of the 70 probably began even with Moses in the Old Testament where he was appointing 70 sub-elders to organize the government of the Israelites as they're wandering through the desert.

And this number 70 has always stuck so that the leading council of the Jews, perhaps very aristocratically composed, was the Sanhedrin. It had both Pharisees and Saducees inside it. And the leader, of course, is the high priest himself. In Jesus' case, it would be Joseph Caiaphas. 

Often the Sanhedrin would meet about once per month in Jerusalem, and there were special high holy reasons for them to come together, especially during the Passover festival.

Whenever voting took place with some major issue with the Sanhedrin, they always let the youngest member vote first so that he is not simply over awed by the elders. And then the final decision is made, of course, by the older and more mature people, and the high priest last of all. 

Jesus Continues to Challenge the Pharisees' Teaching

What we have to understand is that the anger of the Jewish leaders was not restricted to the Passion Week. The anger of the Jewish leaders began at the very start of Jesus' ministry. In actuality, they were plotting to kill him, in Mark 3:6, right from the beginning.

The Pharisees had developed what we call "the oral Torah, the oral tradition." And they believed the Torah went back to Moses. Not just the written Torah in the Pentateuch, but the oral Torah, the traditions they had developed over the last hundred years to tell the Jewish people how to live in accordance with the Jewish law. 

Jesus then challenged their very authority and challenged all of their teaching.  

Jesus Continues to Claim to be the Messiah and the Son of God

By the time Jesus came that final time to Jerusalem, the Jewish leaders had been opposing him for more than two years. Because they believed that as long as there was blasphemy in the land, the true Messiah could not come. 

Jesus declared himself not just to be the Messiah, but the Son of God. And so each step it became more intense. And by the time they were getting close to Passover, they felt that if they did not arrest and have Jesus killed, that a Messianic riot would take place and the Romans would destroy the nation.

Next post: The Final Days of Jesus – Maundy Thursday: Story and Verses Part 5 of 8

Emmaus City Church Holy Week Worcester MA Soma Acts 29 3DM Christian Reformed Church Multi-Ethnic Network of Missional Communities

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