Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Many Women


The ninth hour of the day, which corresponds to 3 in the afternoon, is the set time priests were instructed to burn incense on the altar which sat just outside of the Holy of Holies. As the smoke of the incense rose from the altar, the priests would offer prayers for the people which would be carried heavenward to the throne of God. Only a thick curtain separated the priests from the place God chose to rest the Ark of His Covenant.

This was a well-known and well-attended daily ritual. It was more important than the changing of the guard or seeing the Queen at Buckingham Palace in London.

You may remember:

Acts 3:1  Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

The accounts that took place in Mark 15 did not happen on just any ordinary afternoon, it was a high holy day, the day on which the Feast of Passover was about to begin. The incense offered on the altar would be joined with the Passover prayers of the priests. No doubt multitudes  visiting Jerusalem were divided into two groups that day. The group at the Temple and the group at the Cross.

Remember, the sky had turned dark at noon and it was still dark at 3 in the afternoon as Jesus hung on the cross of Calvary … the sabbath was set to begin at sundown, in just 3 hours.

Mark 15 NKJV

34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”


37  And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

38  Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

39  So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

40  There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome,

41  who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

There is no mention of the disciples being at or near the cross except for the brief encounter Jesus had with John concerning him taking the care of Mary, His mother. Perhaps they were afraid or could not stand to bear to look upon their leader; the one who had been arrested, tortured, and condemned to die on the cross while they ran for their lives and hid in fear.

Not one of the disciples stood by Jesus and it must have shamed them to see these women who had followed along, ministering, and were obliged to stay behind the scenes while the men took the lead in assisting with the miracles in the Galilee. Now these women, deacons as they are called here and elsewhere in the Gospels, (ministered = Gk: Diakoneo – to wait on tables; supply necessities; serve; take care of; administer; attend), outshined the disciples in faith, courage, and witness.

Those who do not stand in awe when considering the most lovely and helpful creature ever created, woman, must not know God. The first shall indeed be last and the last first. That which we esteem least the Lord esteems most. The pure hearts of these loyal maids and maidens gave their resources, their strength, and their very lives to ensure Jesus and His disciples were fed and cared for throughout His three and one-half years of ministry in the Galilee. Now we see them in loyal attendance just in case Jesus might need something they could supply. The writers of the Gospels do not choose to share the brokenness of these women as they watch their Lord suffer such injustice at the hands of wicked, evil, and ungodly men.

These women stood at the cross, not in the packed crowd, but at a distance to look upon the scene and offer their continued support to the one they loved, the one in whom they had believed. Such is the heart of a virtuous woman and he who finds one has found a treasure from God indeed.

Where would families be; where would the world be; where would the Body of Christ be if it were not for the loyal, self-sacrificing, ministry serving women? It was a woman who bore Jesus in a lonely stable cave; It was a woman who gave thanks at the dedication of Jesus and told all who would hear of the redemption of God; It was a few women who followed Christ and ministered to Him of their substance, paying the bills and providing the needs of the group throughout His ministry; It was a woman who Jesus met at Jacob’s well in Samaria who became an evangelist and brought the whole city to hear and believe; It was a woman who drew healing virtue from Jesus by her faith when she touched the hem of His garment; It was a woman who received kindness and forgiveness when caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus for punishment; It was a woman who gave her costly perfume and anointed Jesus’ head for burial against the harsh objections of the men who were His disciples; It was a woman who pleaded with her husband, Pontius Pilate, to leave Jesus alone; And many other women, as Mark accounts, remained at the cross to the very end; It was a woman who came to the tomb and risked her life and safety to take care of the dead Body of Christ while the men remained in hiding; Then it was a woman to whom Jesus first appeared and called to go and tell the good news of the resurrection to His disciples.

I find it of interest that at no time in the Gospels did any woman oppose Jesus or take any action against Him, or accuse Him or treat Him with malice or disdain. No woman ever did Jesus any direct harm in body or in reputation. The recorded enemies of Jesus were always and only men.

Women are survivors, peacemakers, kind, gentle, motherly, good, true, loyal, and selfless servants. They join themselves and give their hearts to serve those whom God chooses. From the beginning when God took a rib from Adam and fashioned Eve, the grace God has given women is for family and they are often tempered to sacrifice their personal needs and desires in order to serve the greater good of others they love. Find one not so and you may have found a devil.

The Bible tells of horrible, evil, selfish women driven by lust, greed, the love of money, power, jealously, anger and rage. Those who lord over others, cutting, demanding, ill-tempered, and hateful. But not these women who followed Jesus. They had committed their lives to Christ. It changed them … even the one who was herself possessed of seven devils. I cannot fully imagine what honor and what eternal blessings come to these women or to any woman who finds herself content with the will of God for her life.  People change when they meet Jesus … Have you met Jesus?

Just a little more about the kind of woman who follows Jesus:

Proverbs 31

10 ¶  Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.

11  The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain.

12  She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.

13  She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands.

14  She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar.

15  She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.

16  She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.

17  She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms.

18  She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night.

19  She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle.

20  She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

21  She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet.

22  She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

23  Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.

24  She makes linen garments and sells them, And supplies sashes for the merchants.

25  Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come.

26  She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

27  She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28  Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her:

29  “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”

30  Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

31  Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

A woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised!

I would recommend to all women that you turn your lives over to the design and will of God and that you aspire to live the life of a virtuous woman.

As well, I would recommend to all men that you work on yourselves, stop trying to perfect the women in your life. Appreciate the gift they are and pray they continue putting up with, loving, forgiving, and helping us.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Season of the Cross


Hebrews 12:2  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The Jewish Feast of Passover began last night at sundown in Jerusalem. In accordance with the Biblical calendar, the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Christ occurred on either Thursday or Friday of this past week, just a couple of days ago. We are in the season of the cross and we should be expecting a resurrection of the Body of Christ at any moment.

The season of the cross is a season of suffering. It is arguably the best and the worst times the world has ever seen. The best because of the salvation the cross affords and the worst because of the price Jesus had to pay for our forgiveness.

It does not take a prophet to tell us that we are in an intense season of suffering for so many people around the world. The affects of COVID 19 on families, world affairs and finances, coupled with the erosion of personal freedoms and the increased attacks on faith all serve to remind us that this world is not our home. Thankfully, there is a resurrection in our future.

Let’s begin this morning by reading from the 14th and 15th chapters of Mark. This account occurred one day before Passover, at night, just after what we know as the Last Supper.

Mark 14

32  Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane …

Let’s pause here for a moment. Gethsemane means “an olive press.” In those days, the Roman government taxed the produce people grew on their lands. Olives were grown primarily for oil, and taxes were levied on that oil. To insure no one escaped being taxed, the Roman government made it against the law for any private person to own an oil or wine press.

Gethsemane was the place where individuals brought their olives to be pressed in public by the Romans. It was the point of taxation. The oil was measured, and taxes were collected at that time. All around Gethsemane were small private olive groves called gardens. This is why the mountain upon which Gethsemane is located is called the Mount of Olives.

The Gospels describe this Garden of Gethsemane as being just across the Kidron Valley from the city of Jerusalem, most likely on the way to Bethany. Jesus used this path frequently as did many of His followers. He was very familiar with this garden and knew it would be a place where His disciples could rest while He sought a more secluded place to pray.

There was so much pressure on Jesus. His followers describe the stress He was under. He was committed to doing the will of His Father and yet He prayed for another way. We are told this moment was so intense that drops of blood came from His pores like sweat as He prayed.

Have you ever been under such stress and pressure? A place where you need help and direction but want to be alone. A place where it is a challenge even to think about how you are going to make it through the night. Perhaps we all come to a personal Gethsemane at some point in our lives.

32  Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane;

and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

38  “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

At times we also find ourselves willing, but weak.

43 ¶  And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

Share the story of the crucifixion …(in brief)

Mark 15

15 ¶  So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

37  And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.

Jesus felt abandoned, shame, despised, rejected, betrayed, and alone. But why? He was the Son of God. Didn’t He know God loved Him and had a plan for His life?

·        It is certain God loved Him.

·        It is certain God approved of His life and work.

·        It is certain Jesus was innocent and did not deserve this.

·        It is certain God had a plan for His future.

·        Yet He felt abandoned, forsaken, and forgotten in the moment.

Suffering such intense pain, injustice, and betrayal weighs heavy, even on the mind of God.

·        Betrayed by a friend.

·        Abandoned by followers.

·        Disregarded by family.

·        Rejected by community.

·        Disdained by the church.

·        Dishonored by strangers.

·        Disrespected by even the criminals.

·        It is enough to make a loving, giving, caring Savior feel forsaken.

To imagine Jesus does not feel the physical, emotional, or spiritual pain of your hurts, disappointments, betrayals, would be to deny the great exchange which took place on the Cross of Calvary. .

God was committed to Jesus and God would not leave His soul in hell, (Psalms 16:10). However, Jesus went through hell to gain victory over hell.

Psalms 16:10  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Our earnest and honest questions to God in times of pain and suffering will not go unanswered. Although it may seem for a moment as if we are abandoned, joy will come in the morning. But, that day on the cross Jesus felt such pain. Why did God turn His face from all that was going on that day?

God’s intent is to save man, not destroy him in his sinful state. God wants to be a Father, not a Judge. The injustice delivered to the children of God is no where better seen than in the way these ingrates treated His only begotten Son, Jesus. Perhaps God wrestled with the plan of salvation at the cross more than Jesus did in the garden.

A few hours before the scourging and crucifixion, Jesus asked the Father to remove this burden from Him. “If there be any other way, take this cup from Me … nevertheless … not My will but Thine be done.”

Of course there was another way. Simply abandon the salvation of the souls of men. Let them pay for their own sins. Allow evil to take over the earth and destroy all mankind forever. Or choose to be a willing sacrifice and suffer the shame and endure the scourging and die on the cross.

God and Jesus no doubt agreed to go forward with the plan to save mankind, but I can see why God did not want to watch His Son become sin. Jesus felt abandoned when His Father turned His face from the earth that day. 

The full account tells us that early in the morning Jesus was sentenced to be scourged and crucified. He was taken by Roman soldiers and stripped of His clothes. Then Jesus was beaten with 39 stripes by a cat of nine-tails. This was the foremost punishment which could be given short of crucifixion. The whip used was designed to tear pieces of flesh from the victim and weaken them through blood loss and unrelenting pain.

Jesus was forced to shoulder a heavy cross and carry it outside of the city to the hill of Golgotha. When on His way, Jesus fell beneath the load, a man named Simon was compelled to carry the cross the rest of the way.

Beaten beyond recognition, with a crown of thorns pressed into His head, Jesus was laid on His back and His arms stretched wide. There the Roman soldiers drove spikes through His hands and His feet. The cross was lifted and set in place that morning at 9 o’clock.

Jesus hung suspended between heaven and earth in agony for 3 hours while people cursed Him and spat on Him and made fun of Him saying, “You saved others, now save yourself!” Even the leading priests and the criminals crucified on either side of Jesus insulted and belittled Him. They all watched with joy and disdain while the Son of God bled in agony and suffered alone.

Along with everything that was going on in the natural, there is no doubt hoards of demons and angels of satan, perhaps the devil himself, was looking on and cheering as the Son of his avowed enemy was suffering evident defeat. Insults and arrogance, pride and wickedness filled the air.

By noon, no doubt God had had enough. I can easily imagine Him wrestling with allowing this to continue, especially since Jesus was suffering this cruel violence for the very ones who despised Him. It was at that time the scriptures account, that God must have hid His face from the agony of Christ and the sins being laid on His innocent Son.

Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin, so the undeserving souls of men and women, boys, and girls, might have a chance to be born-again and be saved from the eternal wrath of God. Suddenly, at noon, the sky became dark for the space of 3 hours. When it was finished and Jesus had taken upon Himself the sins of the world, He cried out.

I cannot fully imagine how alone Jesus must have felt. The King of Glory, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Savior, alone, despised, rejected, full of sin, shame, and sorrow. At His lowest moment Jesus looked into heaven and perhaps for the first time, He did not see His Father’s face smiling back at Him. There Jesus cried: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” Then He died!

It is finished! It’s over. Jesus did it, and God allowed it. But don’t ever imagine it was easy or that it was something either of them were forced to endure … it was something they both chose to do for you.

Earlier I asked the question: Have you ever been under such stress and pressure? A place where you need help and direction but had rather be alone. A place where it is a challenge even to think about how you are going to make it through the night. Perhaps we all come to a personal Gethsemane at some point in our lives. After all, this is the season of the cross.

How are you dealing with your personal Gethsemane? Are you burdened with knowing how to make it through the night? Do you feel alone … committed to doing whatever God requires yet earnestly seeking a way out?

Might I recommend doing what Jesus did … He is our ultimate example.

When your spirit is willing, but your flesh is weak:

·        Go to God in prayer.

·        More than once if necessary.

·        Ask others to pray with you.

·        I can’t guarantee the situation will always change, because It may not always be all about you.

·        But You will find rest, peace, and strength for your soul.

We are in the season of the cross … but Good News!!! – The cross was not the end of the story … Soon there will be a resurrection.

But for the moment, we must look to Jesus as our example …

Hebrews 12:2  Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Invisible Inspiration


Today we are going to read a very familiar account in the Book of Mark and discover the invisible inspiration of God at work in the life of a young lady. Most likely this woman was completely unaware of just how important she was to the plan of God. To many she seemed a very unlikely candidate to be chosen and used by God in such a bold and public way. You may remember the woman I’m referring to … she owned an alabaster jar of costly perfume. We imagine it to have been the most valued and treasured possession she had. Perhaps she had planned to use it for her wedding night … but something changed her plans.

There will be three important elements you will want to listen for as we read this account.

1.   The first important element we will look for involves The Invisible Inspiration of God.

2.   The second element is Critical Timing.

3.   Thirdly, there will be some Personal Cost.

So, without delay, let’s read from our text for today:

Mark 14 NLT

1 ¶  It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.

2  “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”

3  Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard. She broke open the jar and poured the perfume over his head.

4  Some of those at the table were indignant. “Why waste such expensive perfume?” they asked.

·        Let me assure you, whatever you do for the Body of Christ is never a waste.

·        To honor Christ with our best is not a burden but is our sacred privilege.

 Let’s continue … “Why was this fragrant oil wasted?” 

5  “It could have been sold for a year’s wages and the money given to the poor!” So they scolded her harshly.

6  But Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing such a good thing to me?

7  You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.

8  She has done what she could and has anointed my body for burial ahead of time.

9  I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

So, let’s remember and discuss this woman’s deed for a little bit today.

“She has done what she could.”

·        That is all that is ever required from anyone.

·        God will never ask you to do more than you and Him can accomplish together.

·        She reached the highest that was within her power and means.

·        It may have taken everything she had, but she willingly gave it all to Jesus.

“She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.”

·        No question this woman was inspired by the Holy Spirit to do something completely outside of the ordinary and way outside of the understanding of anyone else but Jesus that day.

·        What made her want to do this thing?

It is evident this woman saw something others did not see. Or she heard something others did not hear. Perhaps she felt something others did not feel. And so she did something others did not do. As well, she paid a price other people did not pay. And she was harshly criticized for something others were not chosen to do. But she is remembered in a way which others are not remembered.

Who knows, maybe she was not the Holy Spirit’s first choice … but she was His last. Perhaps you are not  the first person God has called to do something He needs you to do. Maybe there are several people around you, or even closer on scene, who are ignoring God’s moment of need.

To say God did not choose one of Jesus’ disciples or someone closer in Simon’s house might not be correct. But, to say no one else attended to the Body of Christ would be.

Evidently this woman had an invisible friend, the Holy Spirit, who inspired her to take this costly oil and go to Simon’s house and anoint the Body of Christ. Chances are that this woman had no idea why she was doing what she was doing. Nonetheless, she allowed the Holy Spirit to use her without hesitation. She followed that invisible inner witness of the Holy Spirit and did what she did with kindness, grace, gentleness, and love … as well as at a great personal cost to herself.

This account amazes me and inspires me to hope for and listen for that gentle prodding, that almost silent nudge of the Holy Spirit to do something God needs someone to do. I’ve felt the tug of what must be angels on assignment, interrupting my thoughts, pulling at my will, introducing opportunity or solution to me. You know what I’m talking about.

The Holy Spirit is interested and invested in everything you do … not just the big things but even the seemingly small things. Everything that involves you in on God’s mind. It’s hard not to recognize those gentle nudges but, wait too long, and it will go away.

When we ignore inspiration of the Holy Spirit, we can miss the best God wants for us. And just like Mordecai told Queen Ester, timing is critical. “If you hold your peace at this time …”

·        This week I was encouraged by the unseen around me to ask God for help with installing a starter on a generator. With that evident intervention of God interrupting and invading my thoughts with the ever-so-sweet nudge, I stopped what I had been trying to do by myself for over an hour and laid back on the pavement underneath that vehicle and simply asked God to speak to me and give me a creative idea on how to do the impossible and to send an angel to assist me with the task. This amazing idea immediately materialized in my mind and I crawled out and fashioned what I saw and slid back underneath that vehicle. I was not one bit surprised that it worked as easy as pie. What had previously taken a mechanic’s shop two days and over $500 to do, which was estimated to be over a thousand dollars in just labor, I was able to repair myself in a few minutes with no added cost.

·        There is no equal to having a companion like the Holy Spirt.

It was after 5pm when that unseen inspiration made me stop and ask God for help. Now, the Holy Spirit didn’t just tell me what to do, but rather I was inspired to stop and ask God for divine intervention. God knew I had a dinner appointment with an out-of-town pastor and his wife who were driving through our city. He knew I didn’t have much time. And, if I had not have listened to that gentle nudge invading my thought at the moment I did, the opportunity would have passed, and I would have missed it. Perhaps it would still not be repaired or maybe I’d have gotten discouraged and given up and paid all that money to have someone else do it the uninspired way. Later I told that Pastor and Brenda that I wanted to write a manual on how to fix this problem and send it to the manufactures. It was a whole lot quicker, cheaper, and easier than the instructions they have in their repair manual.

But timing was critical. Like the woman with the alabaster box of perfumed oil. If she had have said, “I’ll do it later,” later would have come and gone and so would Jesus. In just two days He would be crucified, dead, and buried in a tomb with a big stone sealing the door.

A similar thing happened in the life of Zacchaeus. He was inspired to leave work and climb up in a sycamore fig tree in what he thought was an effort to see Jesus. But God had a plan far beyond Zacchaeus seeing a famous celebrity. This would be the last time Jesus walked through Jericho. If Zacchaeus had have said to himself, I’ll catch Him on His way back through, or perhaps next festival … Zacchaeus and all those poor and burdened people would have gone without that day and it is possible Zacchaeus would have been in hell today. 

The Holy Spirit will inspire, guide, and provide, but Not everything can be done later. You will never be asked to do more than you and the Holy Spirit can do together. We don’t have to know all the reasons why. No investment you make in the Body of Christ to honor Jesus is a wasted gift.

Refuse to listen to the critics and don’t consult fear when considering your future. Fear comes from inferior information. And don’t mistake adversity for God’s opposition. (Pastor Mike Maiden) Stop drawing ungodly conclusions about your life. The Holy Spirit is your friend. He speaks to you often.

Pay due respect to the invisible inspiration of God.

Here are three things I want to leave you with this morning:

1.   Pay attention to the invisible inspiration of God.

2.   Timing is critical.

3.  Be less focused on what it will cost you if you obey God and more concerned about what it will cost others if you don’t.

That which you give to and all that you do for the Body of Christ is never a waste.

Now let me pray a blessing on you that you might hear and discern the inaudible voice of God.

Don’t be concerned or afraid … this is not spooky. This is how it happens … just little nudges and inspirations and revelations all throughout life. You are going to experience these nudges with or without your knowledge or permission. All I am asking this morning is for you to be a little more alert and aware of them and discern the Lord’s attempts to work in you, for you, and through you for everyone’s benefit.

Ok, so let’s open our hearts and minds and ask the Holy Spirit to make us more spiritually keen.

John 16:13a  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Public Insanity



Mark 14 NLT

1 ¶  It was now two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The leading priests and the teachers of religious law were still looking for an opportunity to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.

• Leading priests and teachers of religious 
law …
Which included the Ten Commandments …which includes:
Commandment #6: Thou shalt not commit murder …
• But they were still looking for an opportunity … a secret opportunity.
• To capture (arrest or contain) Jesus.
Gain control over Him and His ability to impact others …
Capture also means to become the master over.
They wanted to restrain Jesus because He was a threat to their power base and their job security.
• But only secretly (Deceitfully; with guile; evil hidden agenda)
• They didn’t just want to restrain and contain Jesus, they wanted Him dead. They wanted to kill Jesus!
Who would want to kill Jesus?
Isaiah 53 – Prophesy to Israel concerning their suffering Messiah whom they would reject and smite and murder along with common thieves.


John 16:2  “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.


2  “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”

• They agreed …
Treacherous people often pay more attention to their popularity in the polls than they do to their right standing with God.
You’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse of the people or else how would a leader know which policies to support?
• Rioting is ok if they are rioting to crucify Jesus but … if they are rioting to support Him, that’s not ok.
• The leading priests and the teachers of religious lawdid not fear God, their feared people. 
• They did not care to do wrong, only to get caught and fall into disfavor with the people.
Later they would hire unscrupulous people to lie in court and misrepresent the truth about Jesus.
These same leaders later got a mob the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus.
Finally these same leaders incited the unrulymob to scream crucify Him … and they kept screaming until the government agreed, even though Pontius Pilate felt the decision was wrong.
• They did not care for the multitudes Jesus had helped and healed, but they were afraid of them
So they planted evil liars in the crowd to be the loudest voice.
It sounded like everyone wanted Jesus to be crucified.
Falsely fueled, like at the theater in Ephesus, (Acts 19), when 25,000 people gathered and rioted in the city without most of them, the bible says, even knowing why they were there.
• The leaders did not want this to happen during the Passover celebration because they were not certain they could control the crowd … but they hated Jesus so much. Still, not at Passover …


However, God had a different plan. It was God’s design that the things these treacherous people would do to Jesus would be done during the Passovercelebration, in front of the masses of people, so that the sacrifice would be made public, and not be done in secret.


It will be the same with the two witnesses spoken of in the book of Revelation, that in the last days, in that same city, they will be slain by the anti-Christ in plain view of the whole world. They will lay in the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days and then be resurrected by the Spirit of God in the sight of all men(Revelation 11:3ff)


Gone is the day when the wicked of this world can hide in secret to perform their treacherous intent. They will find no hiding place in which to work the desires of their demon masters. God will bring all things to the light. Like in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, the wicked and the evil will feel no need to hide in darkness. Driven by demons and their own addictions they will be unwilling and unable to wait for a secret place. Their evil deeds will be done in public for all the world to see. Intoxicated with lustful desire, they will feel no fear of God and no shame before men.


God said: “I’m not going to allow you to do something this terrible in private. If you do it, it’s going to be in front of the whole world.” Would you believe it? Those silly people could not contain the evil in their hearts … they went ahead and killed Jesus in spite of their own counsel. This was Public Insanity … the beast unleashed.


Open your eyes and see the evil who are foaming at the mouth without shame, sinning in the light for all to see. Listen to the blasphemous words railing against all that is holy and good and right and true. See where satan’s puppets are enthroned and pray to the God of heaven that He will yet deliver His people. For we live in a day in which people who kill the righteous will fool themselves into thinking they are doing God a favor.


It is the same devil with the same tricks using the same people who have no shame, who feel the ends justify their means. There is nothing new under the sun!


10  Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them.

• It is unimaginable that one of the twelve arranged to betray Jesus!


11  They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

• Delighted – How can someone be delighted to see a man so wrongly treated, falsely accused, and summarily executed as was Jesus?
• The promise of money was all it took … the love of money … the promise of power, position, and the provision it brings. 
• May God have mercy on our souls … Lord forgive us! Lord, help us!


These scriptures leave me with three 

take-a-ways. I am going to:

1. Check my agenda.
2. Challenge my motivations.
3. Change where needed.