It is funny how things jump out of passages that you have read a hundred times. Yesterday being palm Sunday we were reading John 12 and I noticed this:
Then a large crowd of the Jews learned He was there. They came not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus the one He had raised from the dead. Therefore the chief priests decided to also kill Lazarus, 11 because he was the reason many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus. [HCSB]
I nearly laughed out loud! What kind of crazy rationale would lead well-educated men to kill a man that Jesus had recently raised from the dead? In front of a crowd of people Jesus had stood before that rock-hewn tomb and simple said, "Lazarus come out" and he came out apparently still wrapped in the shroud! And now the Sanhedrin is going to give Jesus an opportunity to do it again in front of an even bigger crowd as Jerusalem fills up for passover week.
I thought of Psalm 2: Why are the nations in an uproar / And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand / And the rulers take counsel together /Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us tear their fetters apart / And cast away their cords from us!" [NIV]
I find it interesting that the disciples of Jesus connected this same passage with this turbulent period in Acts 4:25 ff. And in linking these events they prayed, "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word!"
May this Holy Week bring all true servants of the King boldness to proclaim His righteous anger against all unrighteousness of mankind and tell of His gracious transference of that anger to His son Jesus for the salvation of all who will simply believe!