The day Jesus signed his death warrant…

Jesus' arrest As we stand at the door of Holy Week and prepare to walk with Jesus toward Golgatha, I think back to that day near the beginning of his ministry. Jesus encountered a paralyzed man we read about in Matthew chapter 9 …

"Be encouraged, my child!  Your sins are forgiven."  But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, "That's blasphemy!  Does he think he's God?"

In a very real way, that was the day Jesus' death warrant was signed.  From that day forward, the religious leaders began looking for a way to have him arrested and killed.

Finally, the warrant was consummated with that gripping exchange at daybreak on the Friday of his execution…

Jesus was led before the Sanhedrin (the high council of religous leaders) and they said, "Tell us, are you the Messiah?"

But he replied, "If I tell you, you won't believe me.  And if I ask you a question, you won't answer.  But from now on the Son of Man will be seated in the place of power at God's right hand."

They all shouted, "So, are you claiming to be the Son of God?"

And he replied, "You say that I am."

"Why do we need other witnesses?" they said.  "We ourselves heard him say it." (Luke 22:66ff)

Jesus could have been arrested the day he told the paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven and then healed him to prove it.  

But his time had not yet come.  It finally did come, though, late at night in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

There Jesus stood … right in front of many leading priests, captains of the Temple guard and prominent elders.  With these chilling words soberly pronounced,

 "But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns." … Luke 22:53

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