Friday, July 4, 2014

That One Man Should Die

John 11:46-57

But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 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."

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."

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, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 

Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 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.

And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then they south Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, "What do you think--that He will not come to the feast?" 

Now both the chief priests and Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

The Pharisees wanted Jesus dead. Imagine clergy plotting against a Man that their status quo would be salvaged. He was a threat to their way of doing religion because His ways were so unconventional. He was turning their religious ways upside down. What religious leader extended the meager resources of loaves of bread and fish, heal and raise someone from the dead and speak with such authority, even claim He was the Son of God, when they couldn't? They feared people would believe in Him. This threat needed to go.

Jesus still desires that everyone would believe in Him. It's His sole (soul) purpose. He still remains a threat. All the disunified's way over God's way. I had a brief chat yesterday with a young woman who said she believed, like I, that denominations just bring disunity, that there is only one authority, the Bible and Jesus Christ. I wish we could have talked more but circumstances didn't allow it.  I am thankful I belong to such a church.

Then Caiaphas the high priest actually spoke prophetic words regarding Jesus! That one man should die for the people to save their nation, their people. What's so amazing about God's Word are the levels of meaning which it has. While they talked only about the people and nation of Israel compared to the world around them, their enemies, and oppression they were under, it's the same for us. Our enemy is anything that goes against the a word of God. We are under the oppression of sin without Jesus.

In the grand scheme of things, we are no different than the Jews. We are mere people in this world. Not one person is ultimately better than another in God's eyes. We all start at the same place in life, sinners in need of salvation. And only one Man can do that. There is only one way. While the world says there are many ways, there is only one. While the world says we all worship the same God yet in different ways, it is not true. There is only one way. There is no compromise, which is why there is so much division; Jesus' way is too narrow.

Only one Man died for all. Only one Man. And here, in the pages of John, we are seeing Who that is. Caiaphas said that one man should die for the people that the whole of their nation should not perish. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

Jesus died for all mankind. He has been waiting for "all" to come to Him. He was the purpose all along.

1Peter 3:18 - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just and the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.

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