4-11-17 - Holy Tuesday: Caiaphas, the High Priest

Each day this week we will hear from one of the main characters in the Holy Week story, as I imagine they might speak. I hope this will help engage your own imagination as you walk this story with Jesus.

Caiaphas: I’m the chief priest this year. I’m not going to take up much of your time. I just think it’s important you hear from one of us before you judge too harshly. I know we come off badly here – this guy was a much-loved rabbi, after all. He taught some truth, I’ll grant you, and he does seem to have had amazing powers. He did much good, you’ll get no argument from us on that score.

But he was a troublemaker. His following got too large, and when the crowds are too big, the Romans start nosing around. We go to a lot of effort to keep the Romans focusing attention elsewhere. This guy and his followers – they were putting all of us at risk.

That sounds self-serving, isn’t it? I don’t want you to think we were just trying to protect ourselves. I know that’s what some of his followers are saying, but that’s not really it. Much more important is this: the claims this Jesus made about himself were blasphemy. You don’t go around saying you’re the son of God and have the power to forgive sins! You just don’t. Only God can do that – and if God were to show up in the temple as a human being, don’t you think he would have let us, the guardians of the Torah know about it?

This Jesus has no regard for the law, God's holy truth. You don’t go changing the rules whenever you like. The law is a sacred gift of God to our people. And God gave the care and protection of this law to us. Not to some itinerant rabbi who thinks he’s the Messiah! He gave it to us, and it’s our job to make sure the law is kept and that it is preserved for our children and our children’s children.

Do you understand? That’s all I want, for you to see it from our point of view…

So, where do Jesus’ claims conflict with your understanding of the way things “should” be?
How does he rub you the wrong way?
And when have authorities misunderstood and judged you? Have you been able to forgive them?

Today in prayer, we might draw near to Jesus and stand with him as he is condemned at this false trial… and maybe draw near to those who sought to silence him. They need our forgiveness too…

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