Matthew 26:47-75; Deuteronomy 3-4; Job 5
Caiaphas had a difficult job. As High Priest he had to lead the Jewish people who were under the occupation of the Romans. It was a fine line to walk. Every so often, a self-proclaimed “Messiah” would come to town seeking to stir up the people. Every time, the Romans would put the rebellion down. There must have been a lot of political tension; perhaps some threats. At one point in the story Caiaphas told the other priests that for the sake of the nation, Jesus must die. And now, less than a week after Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt as the Messiah, Jesus was standing trial before him. He was going to take care of this problem easily, or so he thought. He couldn’t get any witnesses to agree on a charge. He was going to follow the Law even on this matter. He directed a question towards Jesus about His divinity. When Jesus answered, Caiaphas knew he would be able to convict Jesus. “Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?’ ‘He is worthy of death,’ they answered.” (Matthew 26:65-66) I am Caiaphas. I have strong religious feelings, but I work hard to keep a balance between society and my beliefs. I don’t want to rock the boat. I don’t want to cause offense. I worry that what I say might bring ridicule, scorn or even persecution on myself and on others. It’s so easy to play it safe. Caiaphas played it safe and that safety put an innocent man to death. God hasn’t called on us to play it safe in His kingdom. We are called to put our lives on the line for His sake every day.
Oh Lord, how much I just want to play it safe. I want everyone to like me and think I’m a pretty good guy. You have not set us in a safe world. You have set challenges in front of us for to face and conquer. Let me face those challenges head on as I stay faithful to You.