Authority – Power – Wealth!
This is what the Pharisees and other religious leaders had to lose because of Jesus’ teachings.
So, the plot to kill Jesus Christ was on.
In this lesson from the Book of Mark we learn about power and fear.
The religious leaders know that Jesus is a real threat to their power over the people and so, He must be killed.
Religious Leaders Make a Decision to Kill Christ
“Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.” – Mark 14:1-2 NASB
This passage for Bible study is fairly simple. If this were the subject of a court trial the Jewish leaders would be guilty of the premeditated murder of Jesus.
What is the Festival in Mark 14?
When the religious leaders talked about the festival, they were referring to Passover.
The Passover was a time of remembrance of the night Israel was freed from Egypt.
As you most likely remember, the people of Israel spread a lamb’s blood on their doors so that death would pass over them.
Of course, the firstborn of Egypt died during that fateful night. Exodus says…
“For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the Lord.
The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 12:12-13
So, the killing of Jesus was put off until the celebration ended. You can read more about the Passover celebration here.
Why Kill Jesus?
They (the leaders) wanted Jesus dead; not because of the will of the people; or that His teachings were unpopular.
On the contrary; His teachings were becoming so well-received that Jesus became a threat to the religious leaders themselves.
Reversal of Fortune
The leaders were firmly fixed on holding their power over the people.
And, not to mention the financial gain from collections (Remember the temple money changers?).
So, their only conclusion was: Kill Jesus.
Power vs. Conscience
We need to be careful not to let our lust for power go so far as to hurt an innocent victim just because he or she is perceived as a threat to us.
Nowadays, we seem to live in a world of vengeance. It’s sad that our country sometimes uses vigilante justice.
This means innocent lives must be destroyed to avenge the death of another. We’ve watched this happen before our eyes in recent times.
Truth is, this is not the way God commanded us to behave. He says:
“‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly.
You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:15-16 NASB
We’re all guilty! Aren’t you thankful you and I have Christ to guide us – and to forgive us?
Are we listening?
Love in Christ
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