My Daily Journal:
There is an old saying about not being able to see the forest because all of these trees are in the way. That was the challenge for the high priests. Their day-to-day reality was that of a nation living in the presence of a more powerful occupying army. They were the religious leaders, but also the leaders of real, flesh and blood people and families all of a shared ancestry and nationality. They lead, but they did not have power or authority. That, in their view, belonged to Rome.
To set the stage for our study today, we really need to step back in time to John 11. This is the story about Jesus coming at the call or Mary and Martha and then calling Lazarus out from the tomb. He raised him from the dead in the presence of lots and lots of witnesses right outside of Jerusalem. Picking this up in John 11 starting in verse 45: “
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.“
See, this is the story within the story – the trees within the forest. Never does the high priest, whether the puppet master (Annas) or the current high priest (Caiaphas), ever contradict Jesus. Their words and actions do not once deny that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God. They do not say that this man, Jesus, is not the messiah. Jesus points out that their words and actions actually do the opposite. Matt 26:63-64, “Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” “You have said so,” Jesus replied.
Maybe they had doubts. Maybe they didn’t want to believe. Maybe their hearts were hardened. Maybe they could not picture this man standing in front of them being the same one who would come on a cloud. But I think as much as anything, in their little world, it simply didn’t matter if Jesus was the Messiah. He wasn’t going to set them free from Rome. If He kept going, Rome was simply going to come in and take away their temple and their nation and where would they be then? In their world, it was better that one innocent man die than risk that happening.
It just so happened that their solution (Jesus’ death) and God’s solution (Jesus’ death) coincided. But their plans ended in death and Jesus’ plans did not. He had already shown, with Lazarus, his power over death. His viewpoint of the forest was one from the vantage point of heaven and eternity.
the father in law of Caiaphas
(1) false witnesses, “I am able to destroy temple and rebuild”, no answer? (2) oath, are you God? you say so (3) spit, strike
made plans how to have Jesus executed, bound Him, led Him to Pilate
The son of man coming with the clouds of heaven – the one with authority, glory, power, worshiped, dominion
It is a transition from Jesus work on earth to His glory in heaven. Their words and actions have led to prophecy fulfilled.
He was the one, the Messiah, the Son of Man spoken of in prophecy – not blasphemy if true