Money played a major role that first Easter. It is mentioned several times.
We can’t live without money. But we can use it wisely, and in a godly way. After all, it is our Master’s money! We are only stewards of what God gives us.
However, over-desire for money is a nasty taskmaster, and a wicked motivator!
Watch this cruel taskmaster at work:-
That Palm Sunday: the merchants missed the Messiah because of MONEY!
This was no ordinary man who entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. This was Messiah Himself!
But when He came they didn’t recognise Him.
These money-changers had waited all their lives for Messiah, and missed him because of their love of money!
And it’s no different today. Once the ‘church’ sold salvation – now they sell blessings. And at His 2nd Coming there will be those who miss Him because their focus is on money! “In the last days people will be lovers of money,” Paul prophesied. (2 Timothy 3:2).
And then again, Judas was motivated by MONEY to betray the Master!
Judas was the disciples’ treasurer, “He kept the bag!” But he was a thief. Remember: Judas was the one who criticised Mary when she anointed Jesus! He saw it as a waste of money that could have been spent on the poor – “not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” John 12:6.
Soon after, his malicious taskmaster THE LOVE OF MONEY drove him to “the chief priests in order to betray Jesus to them. And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.” Mark 14:10-11.
All they offered was 30 pieces of silver. But it was bait enough for Judas.
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, in their eagerness to get rich, have wandered away from the faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.” 1 Timothy 6:10.
Finally, the soldiers were bribed with MONEY! And for a handful of coins they lied about the resurrection.
The religious leaders “agreed on a plan to give the soldiers a large amount of money. They said, ‘Say that Jesus’ disciples came at night and stole him while you were sleeping. If this is reported to the governor, we’ll personally persuade him to keep you out of trouble.’ So the soldiers took the money, and did as they were instructed” Matthew 28:12-15.
This story was spread among the people. And to this day, the lie is still being told. One British biblical scholar wrote a book that spread that same lie.
He said that Jesus had really just fainted! What a lie. People don’t just faint when a Roman centurion plunges a spear into their side!
No one can serve two masters; We cannot serve God and money.
The Pharisees were lovers of money! They made their choice. Money would be their master.
What about you and me? We must make the choice of who will be our master: The Lord or the love of money!