1When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples,
2“You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”
3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,
4and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
5But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”
The drama of Jesus’ Passion is now about to play out for us to see. Because Matthew writes by the power of the Holy Spirit we are allowed to know what is going on with Jesus and with the His enemies. The plots that go on behind closed doors are revealed to us the readers. The Pharisees are done with talking to Jesus. They have turned their attentions toward killing Him, ridding themselves finally of the problems that this Messiah brought into their lives. They were not going to allow their power structure to be toppled by this fraud. It is interesting that for the Pharisees it was important to keep this event from taking place during the Passover feast. That was not God’s plan. The whole thing takes place right in the middle of the feast. You can make your plans, but God always gets His way. The Apostle John also writes of the maneuverings of the Pharisees, giving us even more insight into their plans. These plans took place after Jesus brings Lazarus back from the dead.
45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,
46but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
47So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.
48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
49But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all.
50Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”
51He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
52and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
53So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
Jesus tells His disciples exactly what the next few days are going to look like. He will be delivered into the hands of His enemies and crucified. There are no surprises in store. As people surrounded by Roman rule, the Disciples knew exactly what a crucifixion entailed. Jesus pulls no punches. He tells them that this is what is going to happen to Him. You have to admit this was tough news to hear. Jesus had already warned them that He was going to be killed. But now He is specific. It’s going to be crucifixion – the worst possible way to die at the hands of the Romans. While the Pharisees make their plans and plot their revenge today’s passage allows us to see that Jesus always had all of this firmly in His grasp. None of the event of His Passion ever leaves His control. Jesus give His life up because of our sin, it is not taken from Him. Our salvation did not happen by happenstance but by the will and plan of God Himself. We are in His hands at all times.