It seems fairly challenging for us to grasp the depth of Christ’s death on the cross. The reality is that we are people who probably do not fully grasp the Sanhedrin having to redefine their understanding of the messiah, the disciples wondering if they have been deceived, and Pilate never encountering a person like Christ. Why is it so hard for people to grasp Christ? Why is it that we think we grasp who He is without seeing the blind spots in our Christian life? Why is Christ’s death on the cross such a difficult thing for us to understand?
Christ is the one who does not deserve to die because He is the only one who can claim that He does not fall under the sentence of Adam. He is unjustly condemned so that we can be mercifully reconciled to the living God. We read in Hebrews that we have a high priest who can sympathize with us. How can the God-Man sympathize with mere humans? How can He really know our struggle if He Himself has not sinned, done any wrong, or struggled with sin? How do we know that Christ really does know the pain of this world?
Christ’s arrest did not really go that smoothly considering all that happened. It was not carried out in stealth, it was not after the feast of unleavened bread, and ironically Christ told them how they could have executed this arrest with greater precision. Christ told them that if they quietly escorted Christ out of the temple it would have gone a lot smoother. If the leaders of Israel desire to maintain credibility they better hope that the trial goes much better. So, does the trial go better? Is there proof against Christ that grounds their claims that He is a legitimate problem? Or is this another example where fallen man cannot competently conspire against the Lord?
I wonder what it must have been like for the disciples to have the last supper with Jesus. They would expect this to be a normal day where they could enjoy the day and the time with one another recounting the history of Israel. Their experience is something that is radically different as Christ is preparing them for what awaits Him in His ministry: His betrayal and death. The disciples are horrified, and so what is the assurance in this text that there is no need to worry? How do we know that Christ is still in control?
We know that our Lord is one who cares for the poor, the widow, and the orphan. We know that our Lord is the one who heals the sick, takes away diseases, and is one tho ultimately takes away the sting of death. If this is true, then why is Christ so cavalier by respond to the disciples that they will always have the poor? Why not hear their suggestion to sell the ointment, give the money to the poor, and then just use a cheaper bottle? What does this story have to do with the tragic decision of a disciple and the leaders of Israel finally having the fortitude to send Christ to the cross?