“And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.’ ” John 11:49–50
Following the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead many of the people began to believe in Jesus. But friends, there’s no action, no matter how grand or how profound it is, that will the win the hearts of everyone. Jesus could have come in the clouds, sitting on a throne, with a crown on his head, and surrounded by thousands of angels and some people would have still not believed. In fact, scripture tells us that one day Jesus will come, in the very manner I just described to you, and it also tells us that at that time the unrighteous will still not believe.
So what did the unbelieving following the resurrection of Lazarus do? They went to the Pharisees and told them everything that had happened.
Now the Jewish leaders were practically in a panic. “What are we going to do? Look at all the miracles this man does. If we let him alone and he keeps going like this everyone will believe and the Romans will come and we will lose our place as leaders and the nation will be destroyed as well.” (John 11:47-48, paraphrase mine)
At this time Caiaphas stood up and made the declaration found in our focus text. “…it’s expedient that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.”
From that day on the chief priests began plotting how they would put Jesus to death.
It occurs to me that if the priests had actually understood who Jesus was and what he, as the Messiah, was going to do, that, even if they were still resolved to be his enemies, they would have realized that they were wasting their time and energy worrying about how to take Jesus’ life. Jesus was already going to die. In fact, he’d come so that he could and would die so that all the people, not just of Israel, but of whole world, would not have to perish. If they had only known what the scriptures had said and believed they could have just stepped aside and let God’s plan fulfill its purpose and Jesus would have died.
Friends, ignorance of God’s word, stubborn unbelief, hatefulness, pride, and sin drive us to desperately stupid and pointless actions. There was no good reason for the Scribes and Pharisees to go to the effort they did plotting Jesus’ death and there’s no good reason for us pursue our warfare against Jesus either.
Come to Jesus. Learn from him. Get to know him. Believe in him. It’s not complicated or difficult. Just pray to Jesus and ask him to help you accept him as your Savior and friend. He’ll ask you to confess your sins to him and you’ll need to confess how great he is but these things will come easy once you quit fighting him.
O friend, won’t you stop foolishly warring against Jesus? He loves you and he came to give you the most abundant eternal life. Won’t you say, “Yes,” today?