Unlimited: Politics and Piety
Mar 31, 2021 1681
Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.“But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot” (Mark 13:1–2, NIV).
The high point of the Jewish calendar was the Passover. It was, for the Jews, one of the holiest times of the year.
However, while Jesus encouraged and prepared his disciples for the things that are to happen, the religious leaders were engaged in a very different kind of activity.
This passage presents us with a very strange contradiction. On the one hand, it is almost the holiest time of the Jewish year, in which the festival of the Passover is observed, which represents salvation and life. On the other hand, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, who are responsible for being the spiritual leaders of the people in this observance, plotted to kill the Son of God.
What this passage is highlighting is the evil and self-delusional nature of religious hypocrisy. In the end, the plans of the chief priests and the teachers of the law came to nothing. They ended up arresting Jesus on the eve of the Passover, and murdering him during the Passover itself. And in the end, Jesus returned from the grave anyway.
These religious leaders who thought that they were so carefully manipulating everything eventually lost it all in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
There is a vital lesson here for us. The chief priests and the teachers of the law ended up in this situation of gross hypocrisy because they were intent in protecting their own interests first.
If we claim to be followers of Jesus, then we have to put Jesus first in every aspect of our lives, otherwise we will slide, even unknowingly, into hypocrisy, and even into murdering the Son of God.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Examine your own life carefully. Where might there be hypocrisy in your life and heart? Who can help you work this out and walk closely to Jesus?