I cannot believe that it’s almost Easter. It seems as if Lent just began and now Palm Sunday is right around the corner! I shouldn’t be surprised though—this time of year always flies by for me. The school year is beginning to draw to a close and the warmer weather and the sunshine call to me—I just have to soak up every minute of it! Along with this weather and hectic time of year come moments of reflection where I just have to stop and thank God for all that he has given me—on this day and every other day as well. That’s why I love doing these reflections. They give me a chance to sit and spend time with God and in his Word.
I have read the Gospel of John multiple times but, until today, the passage in 11 (after the raising of Lazarus) has never stood out to me. Today I was hit by the significance of this passage. I have (apparently) often breezed through it, going from the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection to the anointing of Jesus, but today when it was the highlighted piece of scripture, I finally took notice of it.
As I was reading, the first thing that stood out to me was the fact that the members of the Sanhedrin never say anything bad about Jesus; they merely say that he is performing many miracle and that the people will soon all believe in him. I find it interesting that none of them are questioning his validity or by whose authority he is doing his work. One would like to think that, if they have no concerns about his actual ministry, he would be left to carry it out. But that is not what happens. These men are so concerned about their positions of power being threatened that they are willing to cut down anyone who stands in their way. They fear the Romans, who will think that the Sanhedrin has lost control, and will come in and “take away our power and our nation.”
The second part of this passage is the one that truly made me think. This was one of those times where you are reading something in the Bible, and you have to stop for a minute to process the magnitude of it. In verse 50, Caiaphas says, “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than the whole nation perish.” This is where I stopped (whoa). You see, Caiaphas meant that, by killing Jesus, they would prevent a possible revolt (which they didn’t—the Jewish people eventually revolted around the year 60AD), which would save the people from death by the Romans. Instead, Caiaphas—without knowing it—says exactly what Jesus is on earth for. He came to die to save the people from their sins. After the weight of this verse sunk in, I read on to see that the author points out the same thing. Isn’t God’s Word amazing? What’s more, isn’t his plan to save us amazing?
This week, as we prepare for Easter, remember that Jesus came to die for you. For you. Yes, I know that you already knew that, but really take some time to think about it. Jesus suffered agony and death for you. I don’t mean for the collective “you” but for you, the individual who God loves so so deeply. Maybe take some time to recall to memory an old song that many of you know:
Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…
Yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves, the Bible tells me so.
Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves you. Let us never, ever forget that.