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Mark 219 - Scheming

Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

Mark 14:1,2[1]

In today’s world, there are lots and lots of opinions. There are as many ideas and solutions as there are people. There may be agreement on what’s wrong but there is precious little agreement on what to do or how to do it.

Everyone says that education is broken, but there is no agreement on how to fix it. There are lots of people that think the economy is in trouble, but there is no consensus on what to do. There’s fear about terrorism and cyberterrorism, but there is no single solution that people can agree on.

As Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, the religious, political, and economic capital of Israel, everyone knew that he had arrived. The crowds flocked to him. They hung on every word when he spoke clearly about who God was, what’s wrong with society. He was their rock star solution to all their problems.

But when it came to the religious and political leaders, there was no debate or division about what they wanted to do. They all wanted to get rid of Jesus. He was a huge disruption to the status quo. He threatened their economic and power status.

They were in complete harmony about the end game. They didn’t just want his Twitter account closed, they wanted him cancelled and terminated. They didn’t want him silenced, they wanted him silenced for good.

But they didn’t just want him arrested, they wanted him arrested in such a way that there wouldn’t be any witnesses. They wanted him to vanish like smoke through a keyhole. They didn’t want any evidence for his followers to latch onto. They didn’t want any crumbs for conspiracy theories to grow from.

But their agreement and planning didn’t stop there. They not only wanted him to vanish from the public, they wanted him to vanish from life. They wanted him dead. He was that disruptive. He was that dangerous.

It must have been like that scene from The Untouchables where Al Capone, played by Robert DeNiro say about Elliot Ness, “I want him dead.” He keeps repeating the phrase, “I want him dead. I want him dead.” Al Capone didn’t care how it was done, if there were witnesses, or how it was done. He just wanted Elliot Ness dead.

But while these leaders didn’t care about the how, they did care about the when. They didn’t want it to happen during the festival because the city would be crowded, fueling even more distrust and unrest.

When evil’s at work, it’s only worried about itself. It’s all about perceptions and image. Evil’s concerned about what people think. How they will react. What they will say. What they’ll do.

But when we do what’s right, what’s in alignment with who God is, then we’re not looking over our shoulder. Thinking about what people say. No, when we stand for the right, we’re more concerned about what God says. How he looks at it.

Let me ask you a tough question. When you’re thinking about saying something, are you looking to please people or God? Whose approval do you look for? Who are you more afraid of offending: a person made in the image of God or God himself?

The only person whose opinion counts, the creator God of the universe, looks at me and he finds me more valuable than all the jewels in the earth.

Tim Keller

Are we so in love with God that his person and opinion matter more than mine? Is he truly the only one whose opinion matters to us? More than my parents? My spouse? My friends?

At the end of the day, at the end of our life, who’s opinion will matter more? What people have said or written about us? Or is God’s opinion of us more important? More enduring?

Well done, good and faithful servant!

Matthew 25:21

These words will ignite and motivate the person whose God is The Lord. When we lift up God to the highest place, the greatest importance of life, then that’s true living. He’s to be listened to. Followed. Obeyed every day of life.

To do anything less is to deny the one who loves you most. To turn our back on the one who not only made us, but laid out a plan for the best life now and for all eternity. To do anything less is to settle for something much less than what you were made for.

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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