It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’ (Mark 14.1-2)
They would go to any lengths – stealth, murder – to secure what they wanted to happen, to get Jesus out of the way, out of their hair, once and for all. So many people think that the ends justify the means but this just isn’t true. You may have the very best intentions as a motive but if the means are immoral will the ends provide justification? Hiroshima, Iraq, Libya, actions that appear to have surrounded the investigation into the death of Stephen Lawrence – life on a large scale and on a small is littered with the results of immoral actions that could never deliver the good intentions that led to them.
But I shouldn’t point the finger at anyone else when, if I examine my own ambitions, my own actions, my own intentions, they are mixed to say the least and I wouldn’t want them all examined in public.
Jesus is slowly becoming the victim of huge injustice as this week progresses.
Almighty and most merciful Father,
we have wandered and strayed from your ways
like lost sheep.
We have followed too much the devices and desires
of our own hearts.
We have offended against your holy laws.
We have left undone those things
that we ought to have done;
and we have done those things
that we ought not to have done;
and there is no health in us.
But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us sinners.
Spare those who confess their faults.
Restore those who are penitent,
according to your promises declared to mankind
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake,
that we may live a disciplined, righteous and godly life,
to the glory of your holy name.