The religious leaders of Israel want Jesus dead.
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.” (Matthew 26:2-5)
Judas betrays Jesus to the religious leaders.
“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” (Matthew 26:14-16)
“And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.” (Matthew 26:47-50)
Trial of Jesus before the religious leaders.
“Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.” (Matthew 26:59-66)
Peter denies Jesus three times.
“Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech betrayeth thee.74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. (Matthew 26:69-75)
Religious leaders want Jesus crucified.
“But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.” (Matthew 27:20-23)
Jesus crucified, dies, and buried.
“And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 And set up over his head his accusation written, This Is Jesus The King Of The Jews. (Matthew 27:33-37)
“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” (Matthew 27:50)
“When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.” (Matthew 27:57-60)
If this were the end of the story, it would not be incomplete. Something happened three days later that changed everything.
I will tell you what happened tomorrow!
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001