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“After two days it was the Passover and the Feast of Un-leavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take Him by trickery and put Him to death.”
The net began to tighten. The general disquiet of the religious leaders hardened into something more sinister as the months went by. Gradually their intention to get rid of God’s Son became an obsession. On many occasions delegations were sent to the Lord with trick questions and one passage that shows the intensity of these attacks comes in Luke 11:53-54, “And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.”
We know that this was a completely futile exercise. Colossians 2:3 tells us that all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him. How could He possible be caught out in that way? Time and time again, His wise answers meant that His critics went away with their tails between their legs and yet they kept coming back for more until they realised that they were doomed to failure. Luke 20:26, “But they could not catch Him in His words in the presence of the people. And they marvelled at His answer and kept silent.” This must have caused them great frustration.
His popularity with the people also irked them as we see from Luke 19:47-48, “And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.”
While they were deliberating about ways to get rid of Him, the Lord Jesus did two things which must have really intensified their evil aims. The first was His ride into Jerusalem. Just imagine what that sight would have done as far as the opponents of the Saviour were concerned. Matthew 21:9 tells us, “Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!’”
The crowd were wild with excitement. They were throwing their garments down to make a carpet for the donkey and his Passenger. They were waving palm branches and shouting their praises, acclaiming the Person on the donkey as THE SON OF David. The prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 that was being fulfilled here spoke of “The King coming.” Surely the leaders must take decisive action to nip this in the bud. The crowd were virtually acknowledging that He was the Messiah and that simply would not do. He must be put to death!