- Read the overview of the book here.
- Read about Palm Sunday here.
- Read about Monday here.
- Read about Tuesday here.
On to Wednesday, where the story of Holy Week shifts dramatically. Plans are laid, things are set in motion. Discussion is done. What will happen, will happen. But little do they know that it won’t work out the way they want it to.
Porterfield begins discussion about Holy Wednesday by looking at the religious leaders. And with good reason. The ball is in their court, so to speak. We’ve seen what has happened over the last few days at the Temple. The Romans sat by quietly — they don’t care about a religious dispute, unless it is going to become a riot or insurrection. Jesus outsmarted his opponents, squashing their attempts to trap him theologically or politically. What are the religious leaders going to do?
They have a dilemma on their hands. The Temple authorities serve a function and that function will be their main concern. Because in serving their function, remain in a position of privilege, even as they are under Rome’s authority. “Contrary to what you might expect, Rome actually oversaw the appointment and removal of those on the council. As New Testament scholar Craig Keener points out, by filling the council with the members it desired, Rome was also able to obtain the results it wanted. Chief among those results were the collection of taxes and the maintaining of public order.” (pg. 100)
And that’s the key to understanding what happens on Holy Wednesday. While Jesus wept coming into the city because no one would pay attention to the things that make for peace, Godly peace, the temple authorities, Rome, and even the people were more concerned with an opposing peace — peace through violence and squashing anyone who threatened status quo which ensured the flow the money and the maintenance of power. “Jesus was a threat to regional stability.” (pg. 101)
The contrast that is on display on Holy Wednesday is this — the ends justify the means vs. the means are as important as the ends. Caiaphas argued that it is better for one man to die than the whole nation perish. (John 11:49–50). The ends justify the means. He was pragmatic. He believed that if people kept…