ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 433
Caiaphas, who was high priest at that time, said, “You don’t know
what you’re talking about! You don’t realize that it’s better for you that
one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”
He did not say this on his own; as high priest at that time he was led to
prophesy that Jesus would die for the entire nation. And not only for that
nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered
around the world.
So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. As
a result, Jesus stopped his public ministry among the people and left Jerusalem. He went to a place near the wilderness, to the village of Ephraim,
and stayed there with his disciples.
It was now almost time for the Jewish Passover celebration, and many
people from all over the country arrived in Jerusalem several days early so
they could go through the purification ceremony before Passover began.
They kept looking for Jesus, but as they stood around in the Temple, they
said to each other, “What do you think? He won’t come for Passover,
will he?” Meanwhile, the leading priests and Pharisees had publicly ordered that anyone seeing Jesus must report it immediately so they could
Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany,
the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was
prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those
who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That
perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money
given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and
since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for
Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.
You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and
also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many
of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.
The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept
through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches
and went down the road to meet him. They shouted,