A Wanted Man
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 “Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
““What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
49 “Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
51 “He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
54 “Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55 “When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.”
Have you ever felt like you were wanted. Not needed. Wanted. And not in a good way, but that someone was hunting you down. Looking for you, wanting to hurt you, or even worse, kill you. It’s not a feeling that many of us can relate to, and yet, this is the place where we find Jesus. Just days before his glorious ride into the city of Jerusalem, Jesus becomes a wanted man.
His popularity has grown. More and more people as following him and his teachings. People are talking, beginning to wonder if he might be the one they have been waiting for; the Messiah, sent from God to redeem the nation of Israel. And while many would think this was a good thing, the religious rulers of the day did not. Their selfishness and pride clouded their vision. Instead of fearing God, they feared the Roman empire. The feared losing their power, their position, and their wealth. Jesus was a problem that needed to be fixed, permanently. He needed to die.
The rulers met to discuss the matter. Then Caiaphas, the Chief Priest spoke. ‘Don’t you realize? Isn’t better that one man be killed so the rest might be spared and live.’ And while his words were said to save Israel, the impact of his comment rings true on a much larger scale. Jesus was going to die, not just for Israel, but for the whole world.
A plan was hatched; a plan to get rid of Jesus before he could ruin the good thing they had going with Rome. It was sinister, evil, and premeditated. But it was God’s plan all along. God’s plan to rescue his children. God’s plan that one man would die in the place of the many.
Today, take a few minutes to think about the high priest statement. Not in light of his sinful desire, but in light of God’s plan to redeem the lost. “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” John 11:50.
Jesus is a wanted man. He died to give live to the world. To rescue the children of God. Today, he continues to be a wanted man by those whom God calls. But are you wanting the life that he surrender for you?
Consider the cost of God’s love for you.
*A Wanted Man, is written as part of the week long Holy Week series called, A Walk Through Holy Week. Join us this week as Jay posts daily readings and thoughts the family of Harvest Church.http://www.HarvestChurchToday.org.
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