Matthew 26:1-5, 14-16
Matthew 26:3, 4
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed.” Oh, that the friends of Jesus were half as earnest to concert measures for glorifying him, as these men were when they resolved upon his death.
The enemies of Christ’s cause have never ceased to oppose him by meanness and treachery; the truth fears not the day, but evil is underhanded and works by secret plots. Still do the opponents of the gospel conspire to take Jesus by subtlety. Let us, like our Lord, oppose to their cunning nothing but holy courage and truthful simplicity.
Matthew 26:14, 15
The price of a slave. This showed the contempt of the rulers for Jesus and the avarice of Judas, which permitted him to sell his Master for so small a sum. How strikingly does all this correspond with the voice of prophecy in Zech. xi. “So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver; a goodly price that I was prised at of them.” It is to be feared that thousands are selling Jesus for a less price than Judas received. A smile from the world has been a bribe sufficient to seduce many.
They knew that their Lord observed all the commands of the law, but as he had no house of his own, and it was usual for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to lend their rooms to strangers, they wished for his orders as to where he would keep the feast.
Among his friends he had a secret foe, but in the city of his foes he had also a secret friend: the time was come for both to be discovered, for the death of Jesus is that by which the thoughts of many hearts are revealed. The directions given to Peter and John, whom he sent, must have established in them the full conviction that he knew all things, and this would deepen their belief that his prophecy of his death would be fulfilled: thus they would be led to see how voluntarily he submitted himself to the death which awaited him.
The room in which Jesus was entertained is the emblem of a heart into which the Lord comes to sup; such a heart is enlarged by grace with love and joy and gratitude; it is an upper room lifted up from the world and sin, it is prepared and furnished by the Holy Spirit, and is freely opened to the great Master, who comes to feast with his beloved. Lord make our hearts such a room and we will receive both thee and thy disciples into our truest love.
If still thou dost with sinners eat,
Let my poor heart thy chamber be,
With gladness such a guest I’ll greet,
And keep the paschal feast with thee.
If thou wilt come to me below,
My heart shall purge out sinful leaven
And every day more meet I’ll grow
To keep the paschal feast in heaven.