Wednesday of Holy Week (Silent Wednesday)

Tuesday marked one of the most active days recorded in the New Testament as there is more recorded about Jesus’ teachings on this day than any other day. Tuesday was filled with parables and teachings both in the temple and from The Mount of Olives. Wednesday on the other hand is virtually silent. There are only three events recorded that could be considered to be on Wednesday and that is because in the Jewish culture the next day actually began at sunset of the previous day [1]. The following marks the three specific events recorded on Wednesday.

Matthew 26:1-16

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, the Passover is two days away and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.”

While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Then one of the Twelve-the one called Judas Iscariot-went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you? “So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

woman anointed Jesus feet
Today, Jesus predicted his death once again, but much more clearly this time, He also was anointed for burial in the home of Simon the Leper, and finally Judas Iscariot finalized his deal to betray Jesus. Through these passages we see Jesus preparing for his final days in which He will lay down his life willingly for the sins of mankind that whosoever would believe in him would have eternal life (Jn. 3:15).

Take today to reflect upon what is about to happen in the next couple of days. Think about how you might have reacted if you were one of the twelve disciples who were with Jesus at this time and had heard the things that he said today. Would you have accepted them? How would you have felt? Do you feel the same way today? Can you feel the same way today? What Jesus is about to do is incomprehensible for us as human beings, but Jesus was so much more than just a man. Let us take today’s “silence” to focus on Jesus and what He has already done for us, but is historically getting ready to do for us in the upcoming days.

Thank you Lord for willingly laying down your life for us. We thank you for this day and we simply ask that you would lay it on our hearts the extent of what you have done for us so that as we continue reading about you the next couple of days that we can truly understand just how mighty you are, just how merciful you are. Father reveal our sins to us that we have hidden away so that we may be completely cleansed. Remind us throughout the day to remember and to pray; to take advantage of the silence to hear from you and the Holy Spirit moving within us. We thank you Father. Your ways are remarkable. We thank you for Jesus and we pray in his name. Amen.


References

1] Elmer L. Towns, A Journey through the New Testament: The Story of Christ and How He Developed the Church (Orlando, FL: Harcout Brace, ©1996), 186.

Tuesday of Holy Week

Mark 11:20-26

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

6873826882_88e6b99d96_bCould you imagine walking with Jesus and seeing the fig tree completely withered away within 24 hours? The disciples had seen Jesus do many things through the power of His Father. He had seen Jesus walk on water, they watched and participated as he healed people, they watched and participated as he cast out demons. They were by his side as he spoke and taught the people with authority unlike that of anyone they had ever heard before, yet they were still learning from Jesus as they were walking with Him during His final week in his earthly vessel. There was so much for the disciples to learn that they could not possibly have learned everything from Jesus during their time that they had with him, even though they barely left his side during the last three years. The same goes for us today. Jesus is always teaching us. He is always molding us into the people that we were meant to be through the Holy Spirit, but just like His disciples we have to be ready to hear with ears that understand what we are being told.

We need to know the Word, both the Old and New Testament and stand strong in it. We need to not be swayed by society and its ever changing policies and interpretations for the Word of God is never changing. It is the same today as it was in the beginning. All that it took to strip unfettered access and communion with God from Adam and Eve was one simple word of doubt from the serpent; “did God really say…” (Gen. 3:1). When Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan He was being tempted through a manipulation of the word, but Jesus knew the Word in his head and in his heart; it was through the word that Jesus fought of Satan during his tempting of Him and we must do the same. We must learn the Word and know it not only in our heads, but in our hearts. It is only then that we will truly understand where the authority that we have comes from and the power that we have through the authority that we have received.

Mark 11:27-33

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”-they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

God is loveChildren of Satan do not understand where we get our authority because it is different from what they know. They receive power through their own strength, some use it for good, while others use it to do harm, but it is not true power. True power is humble, it does not boast, it is honoring to others, there is no envy in it, it rejoices in truth, it always protects, trusts, and hopes, it always perseveres (1 Cor. 13:4-7). True power is love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).

Have you received true power? Do you know where your authority comes from? As we remember this week the final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry we are reminded of the love that our Father has for us that He would give us life through Jesus. That He would cleanse us through Jesus. That He would give us power through the blood of Jesus. We have no power, no authority, no hope without Jesus. So rejoice today as your remember all that you have received because you have a Father that loves you so much that He gave, in love, His only Son so that you could have life eternal.

Father we thank you for Jesus. We have so much to learn, just as the first disciples did. Keep us close as you do your work in the world and show us your ways. We want to join in with you in bringing life. We want to engage in battle and fight against the darkness of this world. That even though Satan thought he won by seeing Jesus crucified on the cross he was overcome by the power of His blood and we have that same power today. Humble our hearts today God as we learn what it really means to love, how we are to respond to others and act in all situations. Fill us with your grace and mercy so that we can get out of our own way to minister to everyone that you place before us. We love you Father and we are eternally thankful for the only true sacrifice made through Jesus so that we may live and know you and it’s in His name that we pray. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice. Amen.