2017-04-02
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

Memory Verse:
John 11:50
“…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.”

Today, we continue our series, The Outsiders. Looking at the story of the passion of Christ from those who helped bring about His death. Last week, we looked at Malchus, the assistant to the High Priest whose ear was cut off by Peter and healed by Jesus. What an amazing story. Imagine what must have been going through Malchus’ mind during Christ’s trial and execution…this man healed me!

Today, we look at the high priest, Caiaphas. The man who wanted Jesus dead.

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 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.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
The plot began. Caiaphas was the High Priest of Jerusalem. He was the son in law of the former High Priest, Annas, and was appointed in 18 a.d. to serve in this capacity. He maintained that position until around 36 a.d. when he was thrown out by the Roman procurator. The fact that he served that long proves that he knew what he was doing. He was a politician and knew how to play the games, and please the right people. He knew that he had to keep everything in line if he was going to maintain his power. That’s why he had to stop Jesus.
After the arrest in the garden, Jesus was led from the Garden across the Kidron Valley and taken first to Annas and then to the home of Caiaphas. Annas was appointed high priest by Quirinius, governor of Syria, in 7 A.D. The account of Jesus’ trial before Annas is found in John 18. Jesus was bound and sent to Caipahas.
It was during this time that Peter denied Jesus three times, just as Jesus had said. Let’s pick up the story as Jesus appears before Caiaphas at his house on Mt. Zion.
Matthew 26:57 And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58 But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end. 59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60 but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” 62 And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” 67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
Why is the viewpoint of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin so important to understand? Their religion was more important than truth. Their tradition was more important than hope. Their power was more important than God’s plan. Sound familiar?

1. The world is always looking for another way

vs 59 Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60a but found none…

* Their desired result was more important than truth
* Their comfort was more precious than their faithfulness

2. Jesus claimed to be able to do what no one could imagine

vs 60b …But at last two false witnesses came forward 61 and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’

* This is from John 2:19-22 where Jesus cleaned the Temple
* Jesus was referring to His body as the Temple he would rebuild in three days
* After His resurrection, the disciples remembered these words

3. Sometimes in the most difficult moments of life, He remains silent

Not because He is powerless, but rather because His timing is far better than ours

vs 63a But Jesus kept silent… (He could have saved Himself but His plan was far greater)
vs 63b …”I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!”
64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

* Caiaphas played an important role in carrying out the mission of Christ
* Sometimes the most vicious attackers are the greatest opportunities to help bring about God’s perfect plan

4. Jesus’ plan was the one we so desperately needed

John 11:47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 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.”

– Caiphas had no idea that in these few simple words, he gave one of the greatest prophecies in all the Bible. He proclaimed the truth of Christ’s presence on this earth. One for all. The question is…will it be “all for One!”

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