Tuesday, 23rd March
Reading John 11: 45-57
You do not realise that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.John 11:50
In the 1992 film “A few good men” the character played by Jack Nicholson applied a principal of it being alright to work outside the law in order to defend laws and freedom. While some of what he said was true, we do sleep at night thanks to those on guard duty, he was wrong to consider that ends justified the means, and that his actions were outside of the law. This blinkered view of the law not applying to all is also the approach in our passage of Caiaphas.
Fearful of what wonders were occurring by the power of God, and rather than taking time to examine what God was doing through Jesus, the High Priest seeks to maintain a societal status quo by having Jesus arrested and executed. What he fails to realise however is that his words in verse 50 apply in a far greater way than he might imagine, we can almost in fact imagine Jesus using these words as he teaches the disciples about his coming sacrifice.
Caiaphas saw the loss of temple, and the loss of priestly power as the nation’s death, but under his watch the people were already perishing as they were separated from eternity by their sins. Only by one man, not any man, but the Son of God, dying taking on himself the sin of the world, could anyone be forgiven and saved. It was indeed better that, in Love for the world, Christ dies.
Have you ever thought that ends justified means? That it was ok to take something from work, because it was for church? To speed, because you were doing someone a favour? To gossip, because it was “for prayer”? Come before the Lord, that we may be renewed by His Holy Spirit in the seeking of His way, rather than our inbuilt understandings.