I’ve known the story of Lazarus for a long time. I’ve known that Jesus wept but then raised him from the dead. I’ve heard and read that story so many times.
But it was only within the past year or two that I realized what John had written after that story.
In John 11:45-46, it says that many of the Jews who saw the things Jesus did (such as raising Lazarus from the dead) “believed on him.” But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.John 11:47-48 (KJV)
I could sputter a bit about how these blind people refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah–even though sign after sign screamed out the fact, and they of all people should have known the signs–, and were SO worried about keeping the peace and looking good and not losing their positions and nation. . !
But that’s not what I was going to talk about. 🙂 (Besides, how many times have I missed seeing things that I should see, and have been concerned about keeping the peace and looking good and not losing something more than worshiping and serving and following Jesus with all that I am? Ouch. Nothing like stepping on your own toes.)
The verses that one day jumped out at me are these:
And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.John 11:49-52 (KJV)
He prophesied. That Jesus would die. For the people.
And he didn’t even mean to! Like, he was saying Jesus should die so that the whole nation wouldn’t get in trouble with the Romans and blah-blah-blah. But we looking back at it. . .
Jesus’ death is what saves us. He keeps us from perishing. He died for us, “the people,” so “that the whole [world] perish not.”
It blew my mind–still does–that Caiaphas meant this one way but ended up saying something that meant so much more than what he realized. God used him to prophesy this, even though Caiaphas was just trying to save his own skin.
How many times does God use “Caiaphases”? How many times does He use the most unexpected people (and situations) to teach us things, to blow our minds, to make us stop and think and realize what an amazing God He is?
He even used the cross. Death. Humiliation. Agony. A c–whoa, whoa, whoa, Julie; that’s for the next post. Oh, right. Guess you’ll have to come back tomorrow to see where I was going with that. 😉