Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Plot to Kill

The book was opened to a new chapter that started half-way down the page, but my eye was drawn to the phrases I had underlined years ago. Blue, black, red, and green ink markings litter most pages of the giant print Bible I’ve had since the last century (not really as long ago as it sounds). I read: “He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take his life.”

I had underlined ‘he prophesied’. Apparently that had caught my attention before, but at this reading I was drawn to read the preceding paragraphs for clarification. The section was conveniently subtitled by the translators as ‘The Plot to Kill Jesus’. I learned that the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting and complained that this Jesus was performing miracles (no dispute there) and that if they let him continue all the people would believe in him and then the Romans would come and take away their temple. Interesting. Here they have the fulfillment of scripture right in front of them and they’re worried about the Romans’ reaction. It’s at this point that one of them, Caiaphas, speaks up and says, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

Was that not profound? Yet, I don’t think Caiaphas knew what he was saying. From his perspective he was thinking of saving the old (traditional) ways of the people and not the people themselves. From our perspective we can see something quite different, can’t we?

Next Caiaphas goes on to prophesy that Jesus would die for the nation. Again, did he really know what he was saying? It’s so much deeper than he realized.

And so much more personal. The Easter plot thickens.