What Jesus Did! 'This Scheme Is Evil!' — Matthew 26:1-5

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, "As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."

At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. "But not during the Passover celebration," they agreed, "or the people may riot."

— Matthew 26:1-5 NLT

Key Thought

One of the key things we will notice throughout Jesus' journey through the cross and on to his glorious return to his Father is his deliberate and purposeful control of these events. Jesus' crucifixion is not some horrible mistake. Jesus' death is not some horrible miscalculation on his part. The cross is Jesus' commitment to our redemption and God's will.

Jesus does not face death blindly. He knows he is about to be rejected and treated with scorn. He knows he will be abandoned by those he loves most. He knows he will face humanity's inhumanity alone. Yet he does it at his own pace, by his own will, and because of his deep love for us.

In contrast are the opponents of Jesus, the religious aristocracy and power base. They must scheme and plan to get rid of him. They must find an appropriate time to do him wrong, a time when no one else is looking because they are afraid. Interesting and pitiful at the same time. The one who will die goes purposefully to his death to redeem us, and those who will murder him are afraid and scheming. Somehow the Evil One and those most aligned with him have some kind of premonition of their ultimate defeat and yet press the battle that will ultimately ruin them. Just as they will try to prevent the discovery of an empty tomb that will provide verification of Jesus' resurrection, their scheme to kill Jesus will make him the world's Savior.

Praise God!

Today's Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, thank you for frustrating the power of Satan through the weakness of the cross. Thank you for taking people's cruelest and worst nature and using it to redeem us. Thank you for Jesus and his willingness to die to save me so I can live for you now and with you forever. In the name of my Savior and Lord, who died to conquer death. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 1:20-25
  • Psalm 2:1-5
  • Matthew 27:62-66


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Illustration of Matthew 26:1-5 NLT — "or the people may riot."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.