Wednesday of Holy Week: Not much Jesus?
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Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4 and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.” – Matthew 26:3-5
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. – Matthew 26:14-16
Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him. – Mark 14:10-11
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd. – Luke 22:3-6
The Events of
There’s not much written about Jesus’ words and deeds on Wednesday of Holy Week. The biblical writers don’t provide an explicit chronology of Jesus’ final week before his death on Good Friday. But there seems to be agreement among scholars that there is no specific action of Jesus on Wednesday. Wednesday is a down day for our Lord and his disciples.
It is, however, not a down day for Jesus’ enemies. The religious leaders begin in earnest to plot Jesus’ death. It becomes specific: Not during the feast, “lest there be an uproar among the people,” they say. And Judas also closes the deal on betraying Jesus. Thirty pieces of silver is his price. Wednesday things are happening. It is as though God is silent. Waiting. Allowing things to happen that will bring Jesus into custody, and ultimately to his death.
There are two sides to these events. Those of Jesus’ enemies and co-conspirators on the one side plot and posture. They want to keep things as they are. They don’t want to upset their little fiefdom. They don’t want to have to explain these things to the people. They work behind closed doors. They protect themselves and even Judas who is now their lacky in this effort to take Jesus out of the picture. Judas himself – guided by Satan – sneaks away. Under the cover of darkness he sets up his deed of betrayal. Under the cover of darkness it will be carried out.
On the other side, God seems to be withdrawn. Truly, not everything Jesus did is contained in the Gospel accounts (cf. John 21:25). But Holy Week is a climatic time. You’d think that God would have a more active role in what is happening.
Not a bird falls to the ground apart from the knowledge of the Father. The very hairs of our head are numbered. We live and move and have our being in God. These truths are witnessed to throughout Scripture. He upholds the world in the might of his power. But just as God rested from his labors on the seventh day of creation, Jesus seems to be resting in anticipation of what lies ahead for him.
But don’t mistake inaction on his part for complacency or impotence. All is well in hand. Nothing is spinning out of control. Even though it may seem as though God is absent, he is not abandoning either Jesus or his people. That will come on Friday. God will abandon his Son – the horror! But all things are now in motion according to God’s plan.
The plots, schemes, plans, and strategies of the evil one and his minions will only play into God’s plans.
Maybe you feel like God is all too silent. Too aloof. Too removed. Too inactive. Trust me – or better yet, trust God – he has a plan. It is good. Better than anything we might even try to plan. It will come to pass.