Many people wanted to hear Jesus and follow Him, because of the miracles Christ did by healing and even feeding thousands of people. They did not follow Jesus Christ for the right reasons, because they were only interested in their own selfish wants.
“It is God’s way to give, rather than to get, isn’t it?” says Nanna.
On one occasion Christ fed 5,000 people. He turned 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish into enough food to feed them all and there were 12 large baskets of leftovers. (John 6:9-13)
Yet again, another time Jesus fed 4,000 people. He did this from 7 loaves of bread and a few small fish, leaving 7 large baskets of waste. (Matthew 15:33-38, Mark 8:1-9)
Even the disciples of Christ did not understand, when He said: “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.” (Mathew 16:5-12)
“You see, our child, even though the Pharisees looked like they were very good, righteous people, Jesus knew they were nasty and deceitful people, who were very greedy, covetous, and jealous about Jesus Christ”, says Grandad. “Jesus called them hypocrites, which means that they did not do what they preached, but demanded that other people do what they said.” (Matthew 23:28)
Jesus showed their hypocrisy, by saying that even though they obeyed part of God’s good law about tithing, yet they missed keeping other important parts of God’s laws. He said they missed being fair in justice, not being merciful and not being faithful to God in their thinking, as well as in their words and actions. (Matthew 23:23)
Well the Pharisees did not like to hear the truth that Jesus Christ revealed about them. They were very proud, arrogant people. They had twisted the true meanings of the scriptures of God, just like many false ministers and teachers in worldly churches, do today. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
The Pharisees did not want to believe Jesus Christ and lovingly follow God and God’s laws. They had made up their own man made laws of do’s and don’ts, which were not in the Old Testament Bible.
So, Satan was able to further pervert the Pharisees’ thinking, to hate Jesus so much, they began to scheme and plot to kill Jesus Christ, the Son of God. How evil was that?!
“But, why did Jesus come to this Earth, our child?” says Nanna. “Have you ever thought about that?”
Jesus had been prophesied to come and magnify God’s law, which He did by living by all of God’s laws perfectly, without sin. He set us a wonderful example of how we should love God and love each other and how we should live by God’s commandments and laws of living. (Isaiah 42:21, Matthew 5:17, Hebrews 9:28)
It was prophesied that Jesus would come to live a perfect life, free from any sin of breaking any of God’s laws. Then the scriptures prophesied Christ would be put to death and His broken body and shed blood, would pay the penalty of death for all of our sins of breaking God’s laws. (Isaiah 52:14, Isaiah 53:2-12, Hebrews 9:28)
All human beings have sinned and broken God’s commandments and other laws. (Romans 3:23)
God tells us through the Apostle John, “sin is the breaking of God’s laws”. (1 John 3:4)
God says that the penalty for sin is ultimately death. (Romans 6:23)
So, the only way we can avoid eternal death for our sins, is to repent of our sins and to accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour, who paid the death penalty for us, because He was the perfect sacrifice, who never sinned once. (Luke 13:3-5, Acts 2:38-39, Acts 3:19)
“Do you know our child, that even before God made the universe and then mankind, God the Father and Jesus Christ planned that Jesus would have to come and die to pay the death penalty for our sins?” says Grandad. “Isn’t God just so amazing and wonderful?”(1 Peter 1:19-20, Revelation 13:8)
“Yes Grandad, so true that God is able to know all the future”, says Nanna. “Isn’t it also so encouraging to know that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’” (John 3:16)
“Yes Nanna. God is love. God is good”, says Grandad. (1 John 4:16, Psalm 73:1)
Well sadly, the sinning Pharisees did not truly love God. They were the children of their father Satan and not the true loving God. So, they continued to plot together, to kill Jesus Christ our Saviour. (John 8:41, John 8:44, John 7:1, John 7:19, John 8:37, John 8:40)
Jesus knew they were planning to kill Him. He also knew the prophecies that His death would fulfil about paying the death penalty for our sins. So, Christ warned His disciples that He would be killed by whippings and crucifixion, but at that time, they did not understand what He was saying. (Matthew 20:17-19, Mark 10:32-33, Luke 18:31-33)
“God’s Passover is something Jesus always faithfully kept, just like we keep it today”, says Grandad. “The Pharisees knew this and were looking for every chance they could to seize Christ and kill Him, when He came to keep the Passover.” (John 11:55-57)
Six days before the Passover, on Wednesday evening, Jesus went to Bethany and visited Lazarus who had previously died and been raised back to life again by Jesus. (John 12:1)
Thursday was the next day, that Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem, which was known to be the custom for a future king to do. So, many people took branches from palm trees and their garments and laid them on the ground before him as he rode. (John 12:12-19, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-40, Matthew 21:1-11)
The people cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!” This event had been prophesied by Zechariah more than 500yrs before. (Zechariah 9:9)
This made the Pharisees even more jealous of Jesus Christ, and made it harder for them to be able to take Him easily and kill him. (John 12:19
Jesus wept when He saw the people and Jerusalem and the Temple, because He knew that in 40 years’ time, Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by the Romans. (Luke 19:41-44)
After walking around in the Temple with His disciples, and teaching the people there, He left and returned to Bethany for the night. (Mark 11:11, Luke 19:47-48)
The next day, Friday, Jesus went into the Temple area in Jerusalem and cast out the Money Changers again, just like He had done previously, three years before. After teaching and healing many sick people who were blind and lame, Jesus returned again to Bethany. (Mark 11:15-18, Luke 19:45-48)
On the Sabbath day, Jesus and His disciples once again returned to Jerusalem and He began teaching the people and telling them how He was soon going to be lifted up and crucified to death. But, His disciples and the gathered congregation of people did not understand what Jesus was prophesying to them.
Jesus Christ called out: “Now my life is troubled and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour? But, for this very purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”
Then a powerful voice came from heaven, in the Temple, saying: “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again!!”
All the people who heard this huge voice, said that “it thundered!” Others said: “An angel has spoken to Him.” (John 12:23-36)
Although Jesus had done so many miracles, the majority of people did not believe Him. This was what Isaiah had prophesied about Jesus, over 700 years before. (John 12:37-41, Isaiah 53:1, Isaiah 6:9-10)
That Saturday night after the Sabbath, Jesus went into a hidden place, so that the evil Pharisees might not find Him. (John 12:36)
On Sunday, when Jesus came back to the Temple to teach and to heal people, the Scribes and Pharisees tried to trick him with a question: “By what authority are you doing these things?” they pompously asked.
Jesus answered them with a question: “The baptism of John, was it from heaven or from men? Answer me!” They were trapped, because if they said, it was from heaven, Jesus would say: “Why then didn’t you believe John?” If they said: “It was of men”, they feared the response from the people around them, who knew John the Baptist was a prophet of God. They could not answer Jesus, so He said: “Neither will I tell you by what Authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:27-33)
On Monday, one of Jesus Christ’s 12 disciples, Judas Iscariot, turned traitor, and accepted 30 pieces of silver to help betray Jesus to the murderous Pharisees. (Luke 22:3-6, Mark 14:10-11, Matthew 26:14-16)
This awful betrayal of Jesus Christ had been prophesied by the prophet Zachariah, over 500 years before this took place, by Judas Iscariot: “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”. (Zechariah 11:12)
To be continued in Chapter 20…