The Passover Week – Wednesday

On the Wednesday of that most important Passover Week in history, our Lord is teaching in the temple.
He had entered triumphantly on a donkey and was welcomed as the Messiah. The following day, He cleared the temple of the money changers and those who were selling animals meant for the sacrifices, then taught and healed many.

And now, it’s Wednesday and the religious leaders are furious with Him. He had taken away their income for the feast week, continued to expose their hypocrisy, upstaged them by doing miracles that none of them could do, and taught as one having authority. Their indignation is highlighted by their question in Mark 11:28, “By what authority are You doing these things, or who gave You this authority to do these things?”

The Pharisees tried to trap Him into saying something against paying taxes to Rome to get the Romans to arrest Him. That didn’t work out. (Matthew 22:15-22)

The Sadducees (who do not believe in the resurrection from the dead) tried to entrap Him into saying something against Moses’ levirate marriage law wherein if a man died, his brother would have to assume the marital duties to his brother’s widow (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). The logic was simple: If Jesus was going to defend that there is a resurrection, He would be hard put to say who’s wife a widow would be in the resurrection if seven brothers had married the same woman in the course of time. His answer to their question stomped them, so that didn’t work out either. (Matthew 22:34)

The last chance fell back on the Pharisees to try to trick our Lord into saying something incriminating. They sent an expert scribe to ask the question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment of all in the law?” Since He was speaking with so much authority, they reasoned that He would probably bypass some command that Moses would have written in the first five books of the Old Testament.

His answer: “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mark 12:29-31)
So, He quoted Moses and doesn’t bypass him at all. So much for all these traps. After this last one, “…no one would venture to ask Him any more questions.” (Mark 12:34)

That last answer of our Lord has to be our meditation this Holy Wednesday. What marks true disciples? How can one know that he/she is a true believer saved for eternity? THEY LOVE THE LORD. And it’s a love that involves our entire being: ALL of our heart, ALL of our soul, ALL of our mind, and ALL of our strength. That’s everything! We’re commanded to love Him with all of who we are.

To love our God and Lord Jesus Christ with our whole being is to remove anything that adulterates that love: our self-righteousness, our own agenda, our own personal philosophies, etc.

To love our God is to desire to do what He wants, to be saddened when we sin, and to want to know Him more. AMEN.

Devotional for Holy Week

Holy Wednesday

Written by: Pastor Paolo Pacis

Word for the World – Mandaluyong