[So from that day on they planned to kill him.
So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews,
but he left for the region near the desert,
to a town called Ephraim,
and there he remained with his disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, “What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?”] (Jn. 11:53-56)
The stage is set. The lights are turned on. The main character is about to enter stage right. The anticipation of what’s to come is palpable.
A few verses earlier Caiaphas, the high priest, makes the final decision of what the religious leaders will do about Jesus. They will kill Him (cf. Jn. 11:50). Many of the common Jewish people have begun to believe in Jesus. Some believe Him to be a religious reformer. Others believe Him to be the promised Messiah. Still others believe Jesus to be a political revolutionary. Regardless, beliefs in Jesus as something special and the determined decision to execute Jesus are about to clash amidst the crowds of pilgrims flooding into Jerusalem for Passover.
All of these tangible tensions bring many to ask, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast” (Jn. 11:56). How about us? Can we feel the tension building? Jesus is not just a “nice” guy with “nice” things to say, nor is He a lunatic political figure. Jesus is the promised Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God.
To make such a claim is to escalate the tension in our own lives as it did 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. The “nice” things Jesus said now become counter-cultural directives and teachings from God Himself. His identity too now has political ramifications.
As Holy Week begins enter the drama of our salvation. Don’t just be an indifferent spectator, but a supporting cast member. Join Jesus on the stage, and walk with Him to Calvary this week. Experience the radical Person of Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, and allow your journey with Jesus to drastically change your life.