Antagonism. Admiration. Betrayal. Denial. These were all responses to Jesus on the eve of His suffering and death.
Mark's gospel records that, "the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him" (Mark 14.1) Jealous hatred consumed those who felt threatened by Jesus. But, in sharp contrast, "there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head." (Mark 14.3) Lavish love and devotion was a higher priority than fiscal responsibility with a costly possession.
But, in even sharper contrast, "Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them." (Mark 14.10) One of the inner circle, who should have had the deepest love and appreciation, instead committed the most dastardly deed.
Finally, there was Peter, who most emphatically declared his allegiance; to whom Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times." (Mark 14.30)
The hard-hearted religious leaders orchestrated the crime of the ages. A selfless woman's act of love is inseparably tied to the gospel message (Mark 14.9). The betrayer, seeing the outcome of his cold-blooded deed, committed suicide. The one who denied would later repent with deep remorse, and would eventually be restored.
These responses and reactions represent the range of responses to Jesus. So, the urgent question before each of us today is: What will YOU do with Jesus?
©Steve Taylor, 2016 --Used by permission
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