Jesus and Judas Plan



As Jesus spread his message he attracted some crowds to hear him. Jesus was constantly debating with the other preachers regarding his visions. He was prevailing in those debates. Gradually he got more confidence that his solution is the answer for the Jewish problems. In his view the Great Temple should have been sanctified and devoted purely for worshiping of God. Any other activity was a violation of the sanctity of the Great Temple. Jesus confidently believed that doing business in the Great Temple had violated the sanctity of the Great Temple and God's Commandments. Those vendors might have been open for business even on Sabbath day. And this was a clear violation of the God's Commandments.

To pursue this message and advance his case Jesus made a daring plan to debate the Chief Priest of the Great Temple in Jerusalem. This was a gutsy plan which involved some risk, but nothing serious or life threatening; because after all Jesus was under the protection of the Jewish Law. And he was not doing anything against the King or the Romans. He just wanted to challenge the Chief Priest on the issue of the Sanctity of the Great Temple in Jerusalem.

Jesus planed to disrupt the small vendors who had set shops in the Great Temple. Jesus thought his minor mischief, to disrupt the vendors in the Temple ground, was just a challenge purely against the religious establishment and the Chief Priest, and had nothing to do with the Jewish King authority or the Romans.

Jews by their tradition are always allowed and they are encouraged to debate about the teachings of their faith. This is the way that rabbis educate themselves on the difficult issues concerning the Judaism. These are very healthy debate to advance Judaism.

Jesus discussed this plan with Judas in great details. Judas knew some officials in Jerusalem, so he could arrange the arrest safely. They coordinated that after the mischief it was Judas Job to guide the officials to arrest Jesus. They thought Jesus mischief would force a hearing between Jesus and the Chief Priest on the issue of Jesus mischief. In that hearing then Jesus would have the opportunity to argue that his action was in compliance with the God' Commandments and it was his solemn duty to disturb the businesses in the Great Temple ground; because the sanctity of the Great Temple was at stake. And God's Commandments had awarded him for his action.

This way Jesus could prove, the way the Chief Priest was running the Temple affairs was in violation of God's Commandments. He thought he could cleanse the Great Temple from the abuses of the corrupt priests who were collaborating with the Romans, and God would bless and condone his action. Jesus figured out that his plan was not that risky, because it was not a high crime. According to the Jewish law, the maximum that he could be punished for would be to pay some restitution to the vendors, some atonement and that would be all! No Jewish laws could convict him for anything worst than that. Of course challenging high authorities always had the risk to get punished for much worse than the stated Law, because the authorities could arbitrarily define the Law at their own discretion. And there would be no independent Justice department to protect the individual rights against the authorities. Anyway, Jesus was determined to take that risk and the best time to have such a debate would be when there were a lot of Jews around to hear that debate. Those Jews would be the witnesses to the debate and they would carry his message to all around the Galilee and Judea. So Passover celebration was chosen as the ideal time!

Actually the following passage in Luke points to this conclusion; that Jesus was praying for strength to succeed in his task just before his arrest.

Luke 22:40 When he came to the place, he said to them, "Pray that you will not fall into temptation." 22:41 He went away from them about a stone's throw, knelt down, and prayed, 22:42 "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done." 22:43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 22:44 And in his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Here you sense that Jesus is behaving like a fearful man who is agonizing on a risky decision; whether to go ahead with his gamble or escape. His plan could go astray and could bring him very undesirable consequences. This was a risk which could cost him more the monetary fines. And yet it was a test of his absolute faith and devotions in God.

There are many elaborated stories regarding the Jesus arrest. The basic themes of all these stories are to emphasize that Jesus could have escaped but he didn't. While Jesus was waiting for his arrest he participated at the Last Super. The Last Super is a powerful ritual story that gives a mystical view to the Christianity.

All Gospels are agreeing about the Jesus mischief but there are differences between the gospels whether there was any Jewish trial. In Gospel of Mark and Mathew there are two Jewish trials one at night one in the morning. In Luke Gospel there is only the morning trial. In John Gospel there is no mention of the trial. However if there was a trial that would have been something like this:

I, Jesus of Nazareth, allege that Chief Priest has violated the sanctity of the Great Temple by allowing the vendors to operate on the sacred ground of the Great Temple Courtyard. These businesses are operating even on Sabbath day which is clear violation of God's Commandments. So by solemn duty which Jehovah has placed upon all of us I deliberately disrupt those businesses to preserve the sanctity of the Great Jewish Temple.

The Chief Priest rebutted with something like this:

The Jewish Laws can only be interpreted by the authority of Chief Priest, so you, Jesus, can not challenge or over ride the judgment of the Chief Priest. Who gave you the authority to interpret the Torah in this way? Only Messiah can over ride the Chief Priest's interpretation of the Jewish Laws. So Jesus, are you claiming that you are the Messiah? If so prove to us your authority.

Just like that the Chief Priest prevailed.

Then it came the sentencing, Chief Priest did not appreciate an unknown rabbi like Jesus to make such mockery of his authority, and he hated Jesus guts. But the Chief Priests' hands were tied, Jesus had not committed any high crime to be sentenced to death. So he could not punish Jesus more than just money restitution. Letting Jesus go scot-free would have encouraged the others to challenge his authority, after all Jesus had offered a reasonable argument and a valid point regarding the Jewish Law. So the Chief Priest sent Jesus to the Roman governor, Ponchos Pilate, and labeled him as a Dangerous Agitator. Ponchos Pilate without any hesitation he ordered Jesus to be crucified. After all, Ponchos Pilate and the Chief Priest had common interests in keeping the status quo. What was undesirable for Chief Priest it was undesirable for Ponchos Pilate. That simple!

Now, Judas, who was part of the plot he saw how Chief Priest had manipulated the situation and he had used the Romans to put Jesus to death. He agonized about the event; how he was an instrument in death of an innocent and honorable person. He blamed himself for the death of his best friend. He could not brush off his own role in the plot. The weight of guilt on his part was unbearable. So he committed suicide. Judas was the only Apostle who showed a strong emotion for Jesus death. The rest of the Apostles carried on without any disruption to their lives. Jesus had taken a tough risk and he had been punished for it so harshly. But that was his choice, he knew better than that not to mess around with the authorities. So the other disciples were only concern for their own safety, and they did not want any part of that gamble.

Jesus crucifixion scared off the Apostles. Usually when the authorities decided that a movement was too dangerous then the troops would move against them. Usually they would arrest the leaders and the active members of the group. That way, the authorities would eliminate the movement altogether. But in Jesus case the authorities really did not pursue to arrest any of the Apostles. This proves the point that the Jewish King and the Romans did not consider the Jesus movement as a threat. All the Apostles survived without any hardship.

Peter went to wilderness in search of the truth. After awhile Apostles' fears subsided and they were looking to pull back their lives together. For the followers, Jesus crucifixion was very disappointing event. Apostles were confused and disoriented. Apostles were righteous people they were looking for truth and they wanted to follow the God's Commandments, and they wanted to serve God and be saved. If they could not be saved in this world they wanted to be saved in the other world. They could not accept so much miseries and injustices that were happening all around them. To make the matter worse the Roman Pagan Religion was threatening the Judaism to the core. The Roman religion was a formidable competitor which was luring Jews away from the Judaism. The people who would participate in Romans religious rituals they would benefit in their social status. The Romans were favoring those people. The Romans were Building pagan temples for their gods everywhere.

The memory of Jesus gave the disciples a unique sense of admirations and a new meaning to the phrase: "for love of God". When you love God and follow his instruction you should not be afraid of anything, and Jesus crucifixion was the ultimate proof for his devotion to God.

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