April 14

Now the Passover was two days away and the chief priest and teachers of the law were looking for a way to arrest Jesus and kill him… “But not during the feast,” They said. Or the people may riot. (Mark 14:1-2 NIV)

The religious leaders were almost comical in their hypocrisy. Here, as in other places in the Gospel, they make no intention of hiding their hostility and hatred of Christ. Yet, though they were looking for ways to arrest Jesus the timing was just not right when they went to do it. “We have to arrest him,” they thought, “but not during the Passover.” Even later when Christ hung on the cross their concern was getting done with the dirty business before the feast.

They were so concerned for their Jewish festivals, which ironically pointed to the one they were trying to kill. They knew His power and words bore the authority of God, but still they plotted to kill Him. Could this be a warning to many today? How many are just going through the motions of religious ceremonialism at Christ’s expense?