Thursday, December 20, 2012

Luke 22

These are the events of Holy Week:
Wednesday, according to tradition, Judas Iscariot goes to the chief priests and officers of the temple and takes 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus.

Thursday's events begin in verse 7 with the Passover and the institution of the Lord's Supper. It is vital to remember that the Lord's Supper happens in context of the Jewish ceremonial meal that was celebrated at Passover. This meal, called the Seder, was a ceremonial remembering of the deliverance from slavery in Egypt -- plagues, and all. In the context of remembering and reliving a previous deliverance Jesus takes the bread and cup and announces a new covenant -- a covenant established through the death of Jesus. At this dinner (last supper) there is a dispute among the disciples about "which of us will be the greatest" and Jesus predicts Peter's denial. Jesus also tells them that life with get more difficult after he is killed -- they should take purse, bag and sword with them now.

They go to Gethsemane -- the Mount of Olives -- when they pray and where Judas arrives with the arresting band of soldiers. Jesus is arrested and taken to the home of the high priest -- there in the courtyard Peter is spotted by others but denies he even knows who Jesus is.

Jesus is mocked and beaten by the soldiers and finally taken before the council where the council charges Jesus with blasphemy -- in their understanding since Jesus has equated himself with God (the son of God is as much God as God is) he must be killed under their understanding. In ancient times the penalty for blasphemy would be stoning. However, the Roman authorities had forbidden the Sanhedrin from exercising any executions. Jesus would have to be taken to the governor Pilate. This simple distinction changes the mode of death Jesus would have to endure from stones to crucifixion.

This trial takes us from Thursday into Friday . . .

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