On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith. Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority. They organised an ambush with the intent to place him under arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them, saying:
"Blind guides!...For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people's bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness...Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?" (Matthew 23:24-33)
Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which sits due east of the Temple and overlooks Jerusalem. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He speaks, as usual, in parables, using symbolic language about the end times events, including His Second Coming and the final judgment.
Scripture indicates that this Tuesday was also the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical court of ancient Israel, to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).
After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples returned to Bethany to stay the night.
Lord God,The message of the cross is difficult to take. How can death give way to life? How can weakness be strength? Yet your word says that Jesus, being God, Took on human flesh And suffered the worst kind of death. How can this be? This message is indeed difficult to take. But your foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. Your weakness is greater than our strength. Help us to know that none of us can boast before you. It is only in Christ Jesus that we can boast. In his name, we ask you to help our unbelief. That we may love you, and walk in the way Jesus taught us. In his name, Amen.