Are you living above board? Are you living a life of integrity? Are you living a life of secrecy or a life of openness? Are you living in the shadows, lurking for your opportunity? Are you walking in the light where all can see? What is your intention? What is your purpose? What is your goal? What’s in your heart? It all comes down to it being a matter of the heart!! From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks! Will you live a life that leaves a legacy? Will you live a life that will proclaim the goodness of God? What motivates you? Is it all about money? If someone were to give you enough money would that be enough? If someone were going to try and get you to do something is there enough money in the world that could sway you? What would be the consequences of your actions? Could that money cover it up enough that you could live with yourself? Will you live a life of character or will you be swayed and live a life of betrayal?
Let’s take a look at today’s reading before I ask more questions that come from the last supper in Matthew 26
The Conspiracy Grows
1Now it happened that when Yeshua had finished all these words, He said to His disciples, 2“You know that Passover comes in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be executed.” 3Then the ruling kohanim and elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the kohen gadol named Caiaphas. 4They plotted together in order that they might seize Yeshua by stealth and kill Him. 5“But not during the festival,” they were saying, “so there won’t be a riot among the people.”
A Woman Anoints Yeshua for Burial
6Now while Yeshua was in Bethany at the house of Simon ha-Metzora, 7a woman came up to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive oil. And she poured it on His head as He was reclining at the table. 8But when the disciples saw this, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9It could have been sold for a lot, and the money given to the poor!” 10But Yeshua, knowing this, said to them, “Why do you cause trouble for this woman? She’s done Me a mitzvah. 11You always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have Me. 12For when she poured this oil on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13Amen, I tell you, wherever this Good News is proclaimed in all the world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
Betrayed and Sold for Silver
14Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judah of Kriot, went to the ruling kohanim 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” And they weighed out thirty shekels of silver for him. 16From then on, Judah began looking for a chance to hand Him over. 17Now on the first day of matzah , the disciples came to Yeshua, saying, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 18He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; at your house I am to keep the Passover with My disciples.”’” 19The disciples did as Yeshua had ordered them, and they prepared the Passover. 20Now when it was evening, Yeshua was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21As they were eating, He said, “Amen, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” 22And being very sorrowful, they began, each one, to say to Him, “I’m not the one, am I, Master?” 23And He replied, “The one who dipped his hand in the bowl with Me, he’s the one who will betray Me. 24The Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written about Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” 25And Judah, the one betraying Him, replied, “I’m not the one, am I, Rabbi?” Yeshua said to him, “You’ve said it yourself.” 26Now while they were eating, Yeshua took matzah ; and after He offered the bracha, He broke and gave to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27And He took a cup; and after giving thanks, He gave to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the removal of sins. 29But I say to you, I will never drink of this fruit of the vine from now on, until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.” 30After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Yeshua said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of Me; for it is written, ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I am raised up, I will go before you to the Galilee.” 33But Peter replied to Him, “Though all fall away because of You, I’ll never fall away.” 34Yeshua said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35“Even if I must die with You,” Peter says to Him, “I’ll never deny You!” And so said all the disciples.
“Your Will Be Done”
36Then Yeshua comes with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He tells the disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” 37And He took along Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, and He began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then He tells them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” 39Going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me! Yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40Then He comes to the disciples and finds them sleeping; and He tells Peter, “So couldn’t you keep watch with Me for one hour? 41Keep watching and praying, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again for a second time He went away and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, let Your will be done.” 43And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44So He left them again and prayed a third time, saying the same words once more. 45Then He comes to the disciples and says to them, “Still sleeping? Taking your rest? Look, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Get up, let’s go! Look, My betrayer is near.”
Taken into Custody
47While Yeshua was still speaking, here came Judah, one of the Twelve, and with him a big crowd with swords and clubs, from the ruling kohanim and elders of the people. 48Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The One I kiss, He’s the One—seize Him!’ 49And immediately Judah drew near to Yeshua and said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. 50“Friend,” Yeshua said to him, “do what you’ve come to do.” Then they came up and threw their hands on Yeshua and seized Him. 51And suddenly, one of those with Yeshua stretched out his hand and drew his sword, and he struck the kohen gadol ’s servant and cut off his ear. 52Then Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back in its place! For all who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. 53Or do you suppose that I cannot call on My Father, and at once He will place at My side twelve legions of angels? 54How then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55At that hour Yeshua said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs, to capture Me as you would a revolutionary? Every day I sat teaching in the Temple, and you didn’t seize Me. 56But all this has happened so that the writings of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples fled, abandoning Him. 57Now those who had seized Yeshua led Him away to Caiaphas, the kohen gadol , where the Torah scholars and elders had gathered. 58Peter was following Him from a distance as far as the courtyard of the kohen gadol . And after going inside, he was sitting with the guards, to see the outcome.
Yeshua’s Trial Begins
59Now the ruling kohanim and all the Sanhedrin kept trying to get false testimony against Yeshua so they could put Him to death. 60But they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I’m able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days!’” 62The kohen gadol stood up and said to Yeshua, “Have You no answer? What’s this they’re testifying against You?” 63But Yeshua kept silent. The kohen gadol said to Him, “I charge You under oath by the living God, tell us if You are Mashiach Ben-Elohim!” 64“As you have said,” replied Yeshua. “Besides that, I tell you, soon after you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the kohen gadol tore his clothes and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66What’s your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67Then they spat in His face and pounded Him with their fists. Others slapped Him and demanded, 68“Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Which one hit You?”
Peter Denies Yeshua
69Meanwhile, Peter was sitting in the courtyard. A servant girl came over to him and said, “You also were with Yeshua of the Galilee.” 70But he denied it before everyone, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71When he went onto the porch, another servant girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Yeshua ha-Natzrati.” 72Again he denied it with an oath: “I don’t know the Man!” 73A little while later, some of the bystanders approached Peter and said to him, “Surely you’re one of them, too—your accent gives you away.” 74Then he began to curse and to swear an oath: “I do not know the Man!” Right then, a rooster crowed. 75Then Peter reminded himself of the word Yeshua had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” And he went away and wept bitterly.
–from Matthew 26
Jesus knew the time and the day! Jesus knew what had to happen! Jesus didn’t complain or worry about it, rather He went with the attitude that he gets to do it! He gave it up into God the Father’s hands because it was thy way to bring reconciliation to the world! And so He lead by example providing us with the example of communion by the breaking of bread and the sharing of wine. His body that was broken for us and His blood that was shed. The perfect innocent lamb sacrificed so that we could have a path to reconciliation with God! We get the opportunity to choose! We get the opportunity to decide! We get to ask Him into our hearts and lives! We get to call on the name of Jesus and be saved!
We see how in Gethsemane He wanted His disciples to watch and experience what He was going through. We see the weight of the world’s sins being put upon Him! We see the pressure and stress that it caused as He started to sweat blood! And as He gives it all up to the Father, the betrayer shows up.
Ever heard the saying “the kiss of death”? Ever wondered where that got its roots?
Jesus knew the time. Jesus didn’t want anyone to get hurt in and through it, which is why He went with them. He also wanted to make sure people knew what they were doing and give them an out. He even healed the ear of one of the centurions who was coming to take Him away. He knew that His purpose was to complete and fulfill the scriptures! Fear strikes hard! It scatters the group! Dreams dashed — or at least it would appear (except that we know the rest of the story)
Don’t someone who just makes up accusations that are true or real. There are people who are just out there trying to trip you up! Don’t be one of them!
There is forgiveness! There is hope! No matter what you said or did! But you need to turn back to God! You need to ask Jesus into your heart and your life! And then the process will begin! Jesus paid it all! When He gave His life on the cross, it means no more sacrifice of blood is needed! He was good enough for all of eternity so that all can turn to Him and be saved! Once for all! So no matter what you have done, it’s not too late to ask Him in and be forgiven! Why not today before the sun goes down decide to ask Him into your life! Why not go to an Easter service and celebrate the resurrection power of Jesus on Sunday?