Old Testament: Exodus 30:11-31:18
Jews had a tax to pay.
The priests had to be anointed and clean themselves every day.
On Saturday the Hebrews had to rest.
The Ten Commandments would represent the people at their best.
Exodus 30:11-21 Pay-up time
Each Israelite over twenty years old was to pay a tax of a half shekel for the purpose of 1) making atonement for themselves, i.e., making themselves pure before God to have a relationship with Him 2) to pay for maintenance and service of the tabernacle. It later was reduced to a third shekel (Neh. 10:32) and became an annual tax by the time of Christ (Mat. 17:24). It’s hard to know what a silver shekel from that time would be worth today. A shekel is a measurement of weight. A garah was a Babylonian weight measurement. Whatever the amount was, it was not exorbitant since the poor person as well as the rich could pay it and the amount was the same. The main thing to understand is that there was a payment to be made for sin. Jesus was our payment. We don’t have to pay that temple tax!
Exodus 30:17-21 Wash-up time
Ever gone into a restaurant bathroom and there was sign that said, “Employees must wash their hands or . . . die!”? Moses was instructed by God to have a basin made of bronze for the priests to wash their hands and feet. Or they would die.
Exodus 30:22-33 Spice-up time
The priests were to use myrrh, cinnamon, cassia, olive oil to anoint the tent, the ark, the table, the utensils, the lamp stand, the altars, and the laver. They were to have a professional perfumer prepare the mixture. It is to set all these items apart to the Lord (also the definition of sanctification). The priests were also to be anointed. It was holy ointment. If anyone else tried to make something like it and use on a common person, they would be kicked out of the community. This was serious stuff.
Exodus 30:34-38 Smo-kin’
A perfumer was to make up a batch of incense from spices of various types. Again, kicked out if someone other than a priest uses the incense. God, apparently, would be incensed.
Exodus 31:1-11 Only a Pro will do
Only professionals were to make the designs for the precious stones and wood for the tent, ark, mercy seat, utensils, lamp stand, laver, garments, oils, incense and all the furniture. Nothing sloppy for the Lord!
Exodus 31:12-18 Take two tablets in the morning and then call Me
Another serious matter was Saturdays, the Sabbath for the Hebrews. God rested on the seventh day of Creation. The Hebrews would show themselves to be God’s people by resting on Saturday. If they didn’t . . . it’d be curtains . . . and not the tabernacle curtains either.
God gave Moses the two tablets of the law as a lovely parting gift on top of Mount Sinai (v. 31). They were written by God Himself.
The Jews had to pay a temple tax. The priests had to clean up and be anointed before they could do their work. Hebrews had to make sure they rested every week on the Sabbath, Saturday. After Moses finished talking to Yahweh, God gave him the Ten Commandments written by Himself on two tablets of stone.
New Testament: Matthew 26:47-68
Soldiers came to the garden and took Jesus from there.
Peter cut off Malchus’ ear.
Caiaphas asked if Jesus was God.
The people beat Him. Did they think He was a fraud.
Matthew 26:47-55 Ear! Ear!
A large group with swords and clubs approached Jesus. They were led by Judas. Judas’ sign to the mob was that he would kiss the one they had come for. He did. Jesus addressed him as “friend.” I sure wouldn’t. But that was Jesus. The word for friend also meant companion or associate. It’s only used three times in the New Testament. They began to take Jesus away.
Have you ever heard that Peter was impulsive? Well, he was. He took out his sword and cut off the ear of the High Priest’s slave, Malchus (don’t name your kid Malchus!). Luckily Jesus was there to paste it back on. Peter got rebuked for it. “Those who use weaponry can very well get killed by weaponry.” Jesus said He could called twelve legions of angels if He wanted to. That’s 72,000 angels. I bet they could do some damage.
Jesus said the Scripture had to be fulfilled and things had to go down the way they were. But He said it was a bit classless to come out to get Him the way they did. After all, He had sat out in the temple and taught every day. They could have come and gotten Him then. Then all the disciples absconded.
Matthew 26:57-68 Second Trial
Jesus made six stops that night. All were illegal according to Jewish law. There was a brief stop at Annas’ house to give Caiaphas time to assemble the Jewish governing body, the Sanhedrin (John 18: 12-14; 19-24). The second stop was at the High Priest, Caiaphas’, place. Peter was sneaking around behind them and snuck into the courtyard to see what was going on. (See the Bible Knowledge Commentary on Jesus’ six trials.)
The chief priests tried to get people to testify against Jesus to be able to kill Him. They were miserably unsuccessful except for one guy who quoted that Jesus said He would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. Jesus had said that three years earlier (John 2: 19). Caiaphas asked Him about it but He didn’t say anything (cf. Isa. 53:7).
Caiaphas asked Jesus if He was God or not. Jesus said, “You said it! In fact, you will see Me sitting at the right hand of God and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
I guess that was too much for Caiaphas. Caiaphas accused Jesus of blasphemy. He said Jesus deserved to die which was the very thing he had been shooting for anyway.*
The people spit at Him and beat Him with their fists (cf. Isa. 50:6; 52:14). Dripping with sarcasm, they asked Him to prophecy and tell who was hitting Him.
Soldiers came to take Jesus away. Peter tried to lop off Malchus’ ear. Jesus’ trials were all six illegal. Caiaphas asked Jesus directly if He was God. The people observing with the Sanhedrin council beat Him and spit on Him.
*The council that Ciaphas presided over was called the Sanhendrin. The Sanhedrin represented the nation of Israel, much the same as our Congress and President represent the U.S. When the Sanhedrin rejected Christ, in essence, the entire nation was rejecting Christ.