WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK
This is the day that the theologians call the day of silence, but somehow with Jesus, I picture it more as the unrecorded day. We can only speculate what really went on during this ominous Wednesday.
We know that just before bed last night Jesus was anointed with oil probably for at least the third time (once in Luke 7 at the home of a prominent “Simon”, once on Saturday evening at the home of Lazarus, and here on Tuesday evening at the home of Simon the Leper”). Jesus told the crowd it was for his burial. Whether or not anyone in the room understood his very “in your face” description of the anointing is even more questionable than Jesus’ plans for Wednesday.
Luke tells us that He taught in the temple everyday. So, I wonder if many of the lessons the gospels refer to as Tuesday’s teachings were really part of Wednesday’s story. It’s extremely plausible to think that Jesus came back into Jerusalem on Wednesday and taught in the temple again. With so many last minute lessons to share with His followers, an extra day of teaching seems likely. But it’s only Luke that says Jesus taught every day. That seems like it could be a detail that many years later as others told the story to Luke could have turned “on Monday and Tuesday” to “every day.” With all of the lessons Jesus shared, it may have seemed more like three or four days of teaching. Between the parables and the truth about the last days, Jesus’ message was deep, controversial and long enough to be spread over more than two days.
However, an intimate day with His friends in Bethany seems equally likely. We know, like Jesus knew, Thursday is gonna be busy. There’s not going to be a lot of time for chit chat as the disciples get the room ready and make arrangements with a priest to stop by to collect the blood of the lamb and say the holy stuff priests say over Passover Lambs.
So, I wonder if Wednesday was the day that Jesus spent with His friends, the day that was too personal and private for any of them to write down. I picture Jesus resting just a bit. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday had to have been very taxing with so many people asking questions and those in authority watching His every move. I see an exhausted Jesus. The realization that He had less than 48 hours with these men He loved so dearly had to weigh on the humanness of Christ. Perhaps Jesus spent the day enjoy the twelve and the company of his hosts, Lazarus, Mary and Martha of Bethany. Did our Savior take this 24 hours to rest so He’d have the strength to endure the next 48?
The one thing the scriptures are not silent about is that it’s probably this Wednesday that Judas met with the chief priests and religious leaders. We don’t know for sure the day, but we do know that it was right after the woman anointed Jesus at Simon, the Leper’s, home. I guess I picture this right after the evening meal, so I see Judas heading alone to Jerusalem first thing Wednesday morning to talk to the guys who wanted to kill Jesus.
The priests and teachers had originally said, “not during the feast.” I wonder what Judas said to them to convince them otherwise. Was it just since the perfect opportunity presented itself, they decided to go with it. One of the saddest parts of this whole story is that the riots and uprising that the religious leaders expected never happened. Where were the 10,000+ people that Jesus had fed on the mountain? Where were all those who’d heard Him teach in the temple, the crowds that welcomed Him into Jerusalem?
Jesus had enough support that the leaders were afraid of the masses. But we know that on Friday those folks were no place to be found. I’m guessing fear had them hiding in their homes and some may have even bowed to pressure and been in the crowd that yelled, “Crucify Him.” Wherever they were, we know where they weren’t, and that’s fulfilling the religious leaders’ worst fears.
I wonder if I have enough courage to make the highly religious nervous . . .