Thursday, April 21, 2011
High Noon! Showdown at the not so OK Corral.
Please read Matthew 23
After this scathing rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees, it's no wonder they worked so feverishly to have Jesus arrested and killed.
In one holy tirade of righteous indignation, He called the religious rulers hypocrites, children of hell, vipers, whited graves, murderers, prima donnas, blind guides, dirty dishes and fools.
This was the ultimate slap in the face that signed His death certificate. They must have said, "He's messing with the wrong crowd, we'll show Him!"
Indeed, Jesus went to Jerusalem for this very purpose. As He made His way from the Galilee, it is said of Him that He set his face as a flint toward Jerusalem. He had a meeting with destiny, the death of the cross. He did not shy from it, but egged it on. This affront to the Pharisees was Him fanning the hateful flames that would blaze against Him.
Judas would now be bribed, sinners would be stirred against him, liars would be hired to testify against him, magistrates would be manipulated, and they would not rest until their treachery was complete.
But they didn't take His life, He laid it down. He was the captain of His own ship, the master of His own destiny. He played them like a finely tuned harp.
And here's the kicker... the whole time, He had you in mind! The salvation of your sin-sick soul was His target. The nails, the crown of thorns, the beatings, the cruel mockery, the spittle, the cross, He planned it all out to the smallest detail so that your sorry carcass would not burn in hell.
Jesus came to this shootout with these low down varmints with both gospel six-shooters a' blazing. He let them know there was the new sheriff in town, but in the end, He took a bullet for you. He didn't stay long on boot hill. His body was exhumed by the Father and He lives! There's soon to be a round up and He'll be riding point.