I. The Conspiracy against Jesus. Sermons spoken with fire. Hard stares from cold priests. Hearts warmed, chains dissolved. And Herod fumes. Multitudes fed. And the Pharisees are not at all satisfied. Time starts to feel short. Murder is put on the Council agenda. Bad signs mean times they are a’changin’. Who are you? Who are you? Who am I? Temple ruckus. Who can be found to put the finger on him?
II. The Upper Room. Late one day, they traveled out to Bethany village where it’s quiet. Invited in to a Pharisee’s home, a woman in their midst wept over Jesus, then she knelt and wiped his feet with her tears and anointed his feet with a costly oil. That set the house in a commotion, but Jesus told them to leave her alone, because it was done out of love. He said she would always be remembered, wherever the gospel is preached.
Another day and the sun slants downward to Passover when they secure a guest room in the city, upstairs somewhere.
Meanwhile to raise a little money for the poor, one of them snuck out to arrange a signal for the plotted arrest, somewhere away from the crowds.
III. At Table with Christ.
Luke 22:14-20 John 13:1-5, 12-15
IV. Gethsemane. Prayer and Confession. Distress.But a trouble overcame his spirit then. He sensed that his demise approached and that it would be triggered by one of his own intimates. Things were rolling inexorably forward, and his disciples held back squabbling as to whose fame would be most glorious. He told them a mystery, that the first shall be last and last first. And that Peter would end up last. Where to pray? Up to the seclusion of Gethsemane, yes. They could hide out there and pray the night through. Travail overcame his spirit then as he saw happening what he long foresaw. The scent of violence now palpable, making true the scripture, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.” So it was, as heavy hands, armed and purposeful, were laid upon him. And he was led away somewhere.
V. Despair and Hope. To Calvary. What happens in the soul when destiny, once distant, comes home? What happens when that exit and that exit and that exit is shut closed? What happens when you are ushered into a dark room overhearing the laughs outside? What happens to the soul when the highest earthly authority and the divine one, abandon your side? The hope you always believed in happens, but it’s a long walk up to the hill.