Sunday March 26th Matthew 20 : 17-19
While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised".
What must Jesus have been feeling, going up to Jerusalem and knowing what lay ahead of him in that city? He was, as always, most concerned for his disciples, trying to prepare them for the terrible things that were going to happen.
The awful truth is that it was the religious leaders who were going to condemn him to death, not the ordinary people. They loved Jesus, even though the Pharisees and Scribes despised them for this. Does this give us a wake-up call? Are we sometimes opposing God's will by stubbornly sticking to our rigid beliefs and not listening to his voice?
I was struck by the fact that the religious leaders hunted Jesus down but then handed him over to the Gentiles, the Romans, to do their dirty work for them! Yet Jesus finished by telling them of his resurrection, a glorious hope, even if they could not understand it fully at the time.
Dear Lord. Teach us to listen to your voice, so that our thoughts and actions may be in accordance with your will. May we accept your guiding hand, to help us to live in the joy of your resurrection power.
Muriel Nelson Harrogate Road, Ripon