In the first section of this chapter we see two different points of view regarding the conspiracy against Jesus. Jesus was aware that his time had come to leave the earth. It was now fast approaching when he would be betrayed into the hands of the chief priests and would be condemned to death.
Jesus did not want his disciples to be afraid nor unaware of what was about to happen. As he had done numerous times already he warned them of the events to come. His knowledge was such that he knew exactly how and when his time would come and by what means it would occur. To that end he kept the disciples informed so they would not be surprised by the events about to unfold.
Jesus has provided many advance warnings to his people. As he did with the disciples then, so too he has ensure that today we would have signs of his second coming. These have been discussed in part in some earlier posts and there will be more to come. He does not want his people to be in the dark over what is happening today as he did not want his disciples then to be uninformed. We must look to the signs today so that we are not caught unawares by what is coming.
The chief priests took counsel at that time as to how they could get rid of Jesus. Jesus was a thorn in their side for many of the people were going to him to hear his teachings rather than following the priests and giving them glory. Jesus taught with authority and power. He took away their diseases, cleansed the sick and cast out demons. The chief priests could not compete with him and on many occasions Jesus showed up their hypocrisy in front of the people. The priests were consumed with jealousy and envy and sought to arrest him and kill him.
The conspiracy against Jesus was about to go into high gear, but even then Jesus had a better understanding of what was going to occur than those conspiring against him. Jesus told his disciples that he would be delivered up to be put to death at the Passover which was to occur in two days time. However those involved in the conspiracy against Jesus said not to take him during the Passover feast in case there was a tumult or a revolt among the people. The words of Jesus prevailed for he was taken and put to death on the eve of the Passover as he had said would occur.
It was necessary that he die this way and at this time. Under the Law of Moses a male lamb without blemish was killed on the eve of the Passover. This originated when the people of Israel were in slavery in Egypt. After many plagues the Pharaoh would not release the people so the angel of the Lord was sent to kill the first-born of all people and animals in Egypt. To ensure the Israelites did not also suffer this punishment, the Lord through Moses instructed the people to kill the Passover lamb on the eve of the night this destruction was to occur and dab some of the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and lintels of their homes. When the angel of the Lord saw the blood he would pass over those houses so that they did not lose their first-born children.
The allegory is that Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for his people so that they too could pass over from death to life through him. Thus it was necessary that he die on the eve of the Passover as these Passover lambs were sacrificed, and by his blood we are able to pass through death into life.
The chief priests were unaware that in their conspiracy against Jesus they were fulfilling the requirements of the Passover that would bring into effect the New Covenant. They did not understand that it was necessary that Jesus died in this way so that he could give life to all who come to God through him. They also did not understand that in their actions, rather than removing a thorn in their side, they were setting in place the foundation of the New Covenant that would supersede the Old Covenant and take away the old forms of worship. The temple worship under Moses would cease to exist and their power base would be destroyed through their actions in putting Jesus to death.
We can be thankful that Christ died and suffered for us in the way he did for through his sacrifice we have the chance at life. We have the opportunity to find a better life now, freedom from sin, law and condemnation and the hope of a future with Jesus Christ in his kingdom.