It’s Good Friday. The Ultimate Leader, Jesus, did Thursday and Friday what no manager would ever do.
On Maundy Thursday, Jesus did delegate a couple of his disciples to prepare a room to have the Seder for Passover. They all got there and did the ritual, but Jesus didn’t stop there. He added another sacrament sharing bread and wine with his disciples and describing himself as the sacrifice that would normally have been a lamb. He alluded to the fact that soon he’d be sacrificed as the lamb that takes the sins of the people in the old Passover.
He and the disciples went to the garden where he prayed fervently. When was the last time you saw a manager pray for guidance and the strength to carry out the goal? He doesn’t want people to think he’s weak and needs help from anyone. The leader, however, wants his people to know that there needs to be guidance and that because he’s a leader, he asks for it. He doesn’t pretend he’s the be-all and end-all. Here’s the thing: Jesus WAS the Be-All and End-All, and still he prayed. He knew what was coming.
About midnight, the crowd of soldiers and looky-loos came with Judas to the garden. Jesus didn’t have his secretary stop them in the lobby. He didn’t call down legions of angels to his rescue. When Peter cut off the servant’s ear, Jesus put it back on. That should have gotten the attention of the servant and his master (who was a priest!) He stepped in front of his disciples and voluntarily went with the crowd. He asked that his followers be spared and they all ran away. If you came upon a gangster and his crew, and he volunteered to go in for questioning rather than get into a beat down, then pleaded for his crew, wouldn’t you still pursue his followers? If one of them cut off an ear of one of your officers, and then the gangster healed him, wouldn’t you question your purpose there? (Hmmm, a real gangster wouldn’t perform a miracle to one of the arresting officers would he?)
He was arrested and then taken to the Father-in-law of the high priest for questioning. That would be the equivalent of taking the prisoner to the uncle of the police chief. And, he was questioned at 1:00 AM! Who does that?! That was illegal by the way. He was then taken to the high priest who also illegally questioned him, and Jesus was struck by one of the guards. That was illegal. They couldn’t find anyone to agree in the testimony, so they had no case. Then when they got a confession of sorts from Jesus, the priest tore his clothes. (Matthew 26:62-64) That was illegal. They then started to beat him up, and THAT was illegal. A normal person would not have acknowledged any of the charges against him, and he would surely curse and cry out against the beatings. The beatings were also illegal. This was around 2:00 AM.
About 3:00 AM they assembled the priests and the Sanhedrin. This was an illegal meeting. They decided Jesus’ sentence: Death. They could have stoned him, but that would have buried him under a bunch of rocks. By having him killed by the Romans publicly, they could humiliate him and drive all his followers away. He was guilty of blasphemy by Jewish standards, but that was not a capital offence under Roman Law so they MADE UP CHARGES THAT PILATE WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO IGNORE.
About 5:00 AM, they took him to the governor. I tell you the truth. If I had been aroused by a bunch of crazy priests saying I had to execute this beat-up homeless person at 5 in the morning before coffee had been invented, and then told I had to meet THEM outside because my palace was unclean according to their crazy religion (that only recognized 1 god) I would have gone out in my p.j.s and told them to get stuffed. Jesus only spoke the truth in the questioning, didn’t get angry or curse or swear or resist the officers. Even when they removed most of the skin off his back, he didn’t curse them, and I think a curse from the Son of God would be pretty danged serious! In fact, in the end he FORGAVE them. He always maintained his cool.
The trials were all over and the sentence was carried out by 9 AM. 9 hours from arrest to trials (3 Jewish, 3 Roman) to sentencing to execution. Not 9 days, not 9 months, 9 hours. That’s nuts, and also illegal by Roman laws. Jesus wasn’t sentenced before he was flogged, and in fact was judged innocent and still punished!
Jesus remained focused, cool, fulfilling prophesies right up until his death about 6 hours later. He didn’t ream out his associates, he didn’t curse his detractors, he didn’t counter sue, he didn’t do anything but finish the job. He took all the blame, then he took all the punishment. Managers don’t do that. Leaders do. And he saved the world.
WWJD? Then do it.