Here is proof that people can see wonderful miracles and not believe. Some who saw Lazarus rise from death still didn’t put their faith in Jesus. It reminds you of the words in the parable, ‘They will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead’ (Luke 16:31). Some of these people went to the Pharisees to report what Jesus had done.
The governing body of the Jews was convened. The Sanhedrin consisted of 70 leaders with the high priest in charge. They were concerned that too many people were believing in Jesus. They feared the Romans and their probable reaction to these events. A messianic rising would bring down the heavy hand of Rome, and the present Jewish rulers would be in the firing line. Caiaphas the high priest spoke up and said, ‘It is better that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.’ It was a political statement. He knew what the stakes were; he thought on balance that to take Jesus out of the picture was the best thing in the circumstances. They had no doubt that Jesus was doing many miracles, but principle gave way to expediency. There was no room for discovering the truth. He must be eliminated.
John tells us that Caiaphas spoke wiser words than he knew. In fact, John says, it was prophetic. Jesus would indeed die that others might live, that the scattered children of God might be gathered into one family. He died in our place. In Isaiah’s words ‘He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.’
One writer on this passage says that it was the responsibility of the high priest once a year to offer the atoning sacrifice for the nation. Though Caiaphas didn’t know it, he fulfilled his high priestly office and planned the death of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I wonder what Caiaphas thought later on when he saw the curtain of the temple torn in two, from top to bottom?
In my place condemned he stood; sealed my pardon with his blood. Hallelujah! What a Saviour.