Author’s Note: It’s been said that familiarity breeds unsuspecting unfamiliarity. This series is meant to help your God-given imagination to see things that might feel familiar, but perhaps can be new again: the true events of the last week before Jesus’ death. These posts are adapted from a sermon, and were written with two texts for study: the Gospel accounts and The Final Days of Jesus by Köstenberger and Taylor.
Compared to Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday is the eerie still sky before before the dark storm. It’s the day of planning and plotting, and Jesus is present in the temple.
The air has to be different today. There’s an electricity around Jesus—He is the figure to see this week. But today there is a strange silence from the religious leaders.
It’s your third morning in the temple. You made it early enough to grab a spot near where Jesus was teaching yesterday. It’s mid-morning, so you probably need that second cup of coffee—but your eyes are glued to Jesus. The buzz in the room is helping you focus. People are whispering, “Have the Priests given up? I bet they have. Yesterday was incredible! He was on fire! This is real change. This is real power. This is our King.”
But the holy men have not given up. The plan is in place and all the leaders have to do is bide their time. “Yesterday was heated enough,” they think, ”let Him teach. We know what’s coming.”
For those men, the day is full of hushed details behind closed doors. The hours are thick with plotting and scheming against the prophet from Nazareth. Wounded pride steeping in anger for 48 hours. It is a stew of blinding hate masked with religious zeal.
As a side note, in the midst of this week, we’ve only mentioned one out of the many times Jesus predicts His own death and makes statements that His time is come or that He will be lifted up. All of these statements are way over the heads of the hearers, but not for long. They’re breadcrumbs and anchors, little gifts of memory for the disciples to look back at in the days to come.