Passion Week: The Days in Between, Part Two

On the second day following the triumphal entry, when Jesus and the disciples arrived in Jerusalem, they were immediately approached by the chief priests and the scribes, who challenged Jesus’ authority to do the things He had been doing. Jesus answered their question with one of His own, “Was the baptism of John from heaven or was it from man?” Perceiving that an answer either way would put them in a lose-lose situation, the chief priests and the scribes responded by saying they did not know, to which Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I act.” (Mark 11:26-33).

Jesus then told the parable of the tenants, which spoke of a vineyard owner who sent some of his servants to get fruit from the vineyard from the tenants who were leasing the vineyard. The tenants beat or killed one servant after another, and so the vineyard owner sent his own son, whom the tenants then proceeded to kill. Perceiving that Jesus had told this parable against them, the chief priests and the scribes now sought to arrest Jesus, but they were afraid of the reaction of the people. So, instead of having Jesus arrested, they left Him and went away (Mark 12:1-12).

The chief priests and scribes then sent the Pharisees and Sadducees to question Jesus, with the purpose of trying to trap Him in what He said. Jesus was questioned about taxes, about the resurrection, about which of the commandments is the greatest. Jesus answered each of these in such a way that the Pharisees and Sadducees, seeing that they could not succeed in entrapping Him, did not dare to ask Him any more questions (Mark 12:13-34).

Later that day, Jesus left the temple and went with His disciples to the Mount of Olives. It was there that some of the disciples asked Jesus about the signs of the end of the age. Jesus responded by telling them that there would be many who would be teaching false teachings, there would be wars, rumors of wars, famine, and earthquakes. He warned that believers must be on guard as they will suffer persecution, but they must continue to preach the gospel to all nations. Jesus spoke about tribulation that would come and about His return in glory and power. But, as to when all of these things would place, He taught that no one knows except for the Father (Mark 13:3-37).

On the next day, the day before His Passion would begin, Jesus went to the home of Simon, a leper whom He had healed. While Jesus sat at the table in Simon’s home, a woman came with an alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume and anointed Jesus with it. That very same day, the chief priests and scribes began to plot to have Jesus arrested and put to death. And one of Jesus’ own disciples, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus. In return, Judas was paid thirty pieces of silver. Everything was now in place for the Passion of Jesus to begin (Mark 14:1-11).

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