Tuesday and Wednesday started the same as Monday. I met Jesus outside of the house we were staying; watching the sun rise over the Temple in the distance. As the sky exploded in brilliant pinks and oranges I turned to Jesus.
“How can you be so ok with what is going to happen?” I asked.
“What makes you think I’m ok with it?” Jesus responded with a sheepish grin. “I don’t want to do it, but I know I need to. I have to show my dad that there is no more need for blood. The only way to do that is for it to be my blood; then He will see.”
I looked at him for a long time. I don’t know if I would be willing to do the same. I didn’t have much longer to think about it until the others came out to join us, rubbing their eyes and yawning.
“So, what are we doing today?” Peter asked.
“We pray. And when the people come, we teach.” And with that we all went inside, ate breakfast and went out to the garden where we had gone to pray the night before.
By the middle of the day a crowd had gathered. Jesus did what he did best. He taught.
“There once was a man who owned a vineyard. On the land was a hedge, a wine press and a watchtower. At one point he was called away on business and so he left the vineyard under the control of his workers. The time came for him to collect his earnings so he sent a servant to them. The workers beat him and threw him out of the vineyard. The owner sent another servant but had the same results. The owner, fed up with the disobedient workers, sent his son to get the job done. When the workers found out that the son was coming they said to one another, ‘this is the heir to the vineyard, if we kill him there is no one to inherit this place. We would get the vineyard then.’ And that is exactly what they did. If you were the owner, what would you do?”
The hand of one little boy who was sitting at Jesus’ feet shot up in the air. “I know, I know!”
Jesus tousled the boy’s hair with a smile. “What would you do kiddo?” He asked.
“I would put the butt-munchers to death and hire new workers.”
"Ha ha ha, yes. I tell you the truth, the stone which the builders rejected will become the cornerstone.” Jesus said.
As he said this, the Pharisees in the crowd were agitated. They stood up and began to interrogate Jesus. “By what authority do you do these things? And who gave you that authority.”
Jesus turned to them and said, “I have a question for you too, answer mine and I will answer yours. Did John baptize by God or by Man?”
The Pharisees turned to one another; I was close enough to hear them discuss. “If we say John baptized by God then he will ask why we didn’t believe him. However if we say of men we will lose the respect of the people because they held him as a prophet.” After a time they turned back to Jesus and said they did not have an answer.
“Then I won’t answer you.” The Pharisees didn’t respond well to that. Immediately they started to fire off other questions to Jesus.
“Should we pay taxes to Caesar?” They asked hoping to get him to commit treason.
“Whose face is on the coin?” Jesus asked.
“Caesar’s.” They replied.
“Well, there is your answer. Give to Caesar what is his, and give to God what is God’s.”
This went on for a while until Jesus got fed up. His face turned red and he exploded. “Alas to you scribes and Pharisees! Blind guides! Hypocrites! You don’t love God you only hope you can appease him!”
As soon as he was done, the Pharisees left in a hurry. They were followed by two of the younger Sadducees. Judas hopped up and said something in Jesus’ ear. Jesus shook his head, and with that we all left.
While we were walking back to the place we were staying, I noticed Judas looking sketchy. While the rest were farther ahead of us, Judas slipped into an alley. I followed him, and he led me to a really nice house by the temple. I sat down by a window as Judas greeted the men inside, who happened to be the younger Sadducees. The men were discussing how to get rid of Jesus. One of the Sadducees addressed Judas. “We need you to turn him over Judas. We know you care about him, but your people are at risk. If they crown him king, Pilate will send in troops and slaughter everyone. Do the right thing, Judas.”
“What will you give me to do what you are asking? I mean, he is my teacher you know.” Judas replied.
I heard them toss a bag of money to Judas. “Really? Twenty pieces of silver? I don’t think so, but if you make it thirty it can be arranged.” I heard more money being dropped in the bag and then Judas continued, “I’ll come get you and your guards when it is the right time.” And with that, Judas left.
I waited a few minutes then followed back to the house. My mind was racing. It’s not like I didn’t know that Judas would betray Jesus; I just didn’t think about it. Eventually I was able to fall asleep, but it wasn’t very restful. I woke up sweaty and panicked more than once.