Lazarus, Come Forth
Quote from my study Bible: God works through, not in spite of, the malice of men
We skip to verses 47-53, and get a sneak peak into a pack of wolves, as they plot and plan the elimination of the Man of Miracles: Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
Dear reader, have you ever said something and thought it strange, only to discover further on down the road, that it spoke into the future, without any apparent forethought on your part? This is precisely what Caiaphas had done: his ambiguous statement that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not, did not originate with him. The high wicked priest of that fatal for him year, spoke prophetically, about the mission Jesus had come as incarnate God/Christ to complete. He came to die for the sins of the world, and it was the job of evil men, to do their part, play their role, in fulfilling God’s established plan.
This may seem odd, but what is odder, then seeing a man bring someone back to life after burial, and four days in the grave, and wanting to kill said man for performing life, or should I say death, altering miracles? Prior to raising His friend Lazarus from the grave, Jesus called Himself the resurrection, and the life (John 11:25). Those that believed in Him, those that took Him at His word, saw this miracle and marvelled. Not so for the murderous of heart, that only desired the maintenance of their positions of prestige and power, as chief priests and councilmen.
I repeat the quote above: God works through, not in spite of, the malice of men
Unlike man, God has no malice. Even while the priests plotted, even while Jesus could hear their thoughts and knew their scheming ways, He stayed the course, kept to the redemptive plan, and did not smite them, although perhaps you and I would have, dear one?
I have wanted to smite. I have wanted to take out my sword, just like Simon Peter did in the garden of Gethsemane:
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:10-11)
It is presumptuous of us to suppose that Jesus, God Almighty, relies upon our pithy attempts to defend His honour! While He commends us for our fidelity, He does not rely on us to sustain His Royalty as the Sovereign of the Universe:
Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)
In this short piece of writing, I am hoping to give you a sense of God’s presence, His commanding ways, and His ability to work all things according to His ultimate, pure, undefiled, holy ways. The plotters, the planners, the ones that presume they can kill God and His children that were scattered abroad have another thing coming. Even in death, Jesus is our resurrection and our life. He came to earth to establish His supremacy, and included in this is His use of mere men, even the wicked amongst us, to glorify Himself. He is, after all, God, and He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, with whomever He wants!
He has, He does, and He will… we get to watch Him in action and hope and pray that we play a fabulous role as His children in this once in a lifetime opportunity to pledge our allegiance to the One and Only King of the world.
We are God’s little lambs. We hear His voice, and where He leads, we follow. The malice of men is between them and God, and I don’t want to stand where they do when judgment day arrives. Caiaphas uttered death threats, and so did those that called themselves priests. This never bodes well for the murderous… of this we can be confident, because God does not take kindly to the destruction of His flock.
Keep all this in mind as you watch the avarice ridden, self-aggrandizing, arrogant men and women posturing and preening in front of cameras and microphones, spewing hatred and nonsense. They, like the high priest, will die one day, and unlike Lazarus, they will not be resurrected in Christ, but be damned for eternity, if they do not repent and return to God before their last breath.