THE PLOT TO KILL JESUS
45 Therefore, many of the Jews who came to Mary and saw what he did believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and were saying, “What are we going to do since this man is doing many signs? 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
49 One of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! 50 You’re not considering that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but also to unite the scattered children of God. 53 So from that day on they plotted to kill him.
54 Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews but departed from there to the countryside near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and he stayed there with the disciples.
55 Now the Jewish Passover was near, and many went up to Jerusalem from the country to purify themselves before the Passover. 56 They were looking for Jesus and asking one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think? He won’t come to the festival, will he? ” 57 The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it so that they could arrest him.
THE ANOINTING AT BETHANY
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead.
2 So they gave a dinner for him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor? ” 6 He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.
7 Jesus answered, “Leave her alone; she has kept it for the day of my burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
THE DECISION TO KILL LAZARUS
9 Then a large crowd of the Jews learned he was there. They came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, the one he had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests had decided to kill Lazarus also, 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus. — John 11:45-12:11 (CSB)
The Scheme (11:45-57)
Why won’t they believe?
Surface v. Root
People try to persuade us that the objections against Christianity spring from doubt. The objections against Christianity spring from insubordination, the dislike of obedience, rebellion against all authority. As a result people have hitherto been beating the air in the struggle against objections, because they have fought intellectually with doubt instead of fighting morally with rebellion.
– Soren Kierkegaard
“You know nothing at all! You’re not considering that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish.”
The concept of substitution may be said to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives that belong to God alone; God accepts penalties that belong to man alone.
– John Stott, The Cross of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:21
He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
The Surrender (12:1-11)
A Snapshot of Surrender
Humility / Vulnerability / Security
denarii & decidere
Is Jesus useful or beautiful to you?
Look at him. By faith, see his dying love for you. What is it worth? His blood is flowing down into pools at the foot of that cross. But it doesn’t lie there in waste and loss. It flows out toward us — guilty, sad us. His blood flows out toward a woman who has shamed herself in a desperate craving to be loved. His blood washes her shame clean off her. Then that shame flows back to the cross, where it shames Jesus and is no longer her burden to bear. His blood flows out toward a man held in bondage to lust. He has discovered too late that there is no comfort there, only emptiness and self-hatred. But the blood of Jesus flows out to that man, cleanses him entirely, and takes that painful wrong back to the cross where Jesus suffers for it as his own wrong, freeing that man forever. The blood of Jesus is flowing out to sinners of all kinds, taking from them their guilt, their shame, their loss, their tears and despair, and giving them a whole new life. Jesus is saying to you right now, “I don’t want you to bear your burden one moment longer. Let my chastisement give you peace. Let my stripes heal you.”
– Ray Ortlund
2 Corinthians 2:14-16
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. Who is adequate for these things?
How’s your smell?
The fragrance of Christ can only come through being led in triumphal procession as captives of the cross…The way to live is to understand that weakness, suffering, and death are the means by which the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ wafts to the ends of the earth.
– Kent Hughes
How Will You Respond?
REPENT. REMEMBER. REJOICE.
A Prayer for Salvation
“Heavenly Father, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever before believed, but through your Son Jesus I can be more loved and accepted than I ever dared hope. I thank you that he lived the life I should have lived and paid the debt and punishment I owed. Receive me now for his sake. I turn from my sins and receive him as Savior. Amen.”