A quiet day for Jesus

The Gospel accounts indicate no activity  for Jesus on Wednesday of the final week. After all of the conflict on Tuesday, one can imagine He needed a time for seclusion. We should consider another possibility. Had He continued the intense conflict with the religious leaders it might have affected the time of His death.

Jesus carefully orchestrated His death. From the beginning He spoke of His hour. After the raising of Lazarus he withdrew to a place northwest of Jerusalem on the edge of the wilderness at Ephraim.

Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples. (John 11:54 ESV)

Jesus would offer Himself as the sacrificial lamb at the time of the Passover meal. This took intricate planning.

The crowds of pilgrims who had come to Jerusalem for Passover overloaded the system. Many of them likely slept in the open on the Mount of Olives and other places near the city. On Monday evening,

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (Mark 11:11 ESV)

Luke tells us that it was His custom to do so.

And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. (Luke 22:39 ESV)

Bethany, the village of Mary, Martha and Lazarus (John 11:1), was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives about two miles from Jerusalem (John 11:1, 18). The photo below of the eastern slope of Olivet was made from near the traditional tomb of Lazarus at Bethany. In the time of Jesus the mountain was likely filled with olive trees. Today we see modern housing. Jerusalem may be seen only after one reaches the crest of the mountain.

Eastern slope of Mount of Olives near Bethany. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Eastern slope of Mount of Olives near Bethany. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

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