This is the beginning of the end. The Jewish religious leaders, on hearing the news that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the grave, grudgingly admit that He can do lots of miracles. There were those who could perform miracles in those days when the only hope for sufferers was something that looked miraculous, but nobody had even given sight back to someone born blind before- John 9 v 32,33-let alone brought somebody back from the dead! If they do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah when He performs such miraculous signs, then what hope is there for them? You may recall the words of Abraham in Jesus' parable about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 v 19-31, especially verses 30, 31. What more could Jesus do than He had already done? The governing group, the Sanhedrin, consisted of Pharisees and Sadducees. The Sadducees dominated the political scene and Caiaphas, the High Priest, pronounced that it was better for one man to die than the whole nation be destroyed by the Romans because of the upset He was causing. At formal times like this, it was reckoned that God spoke through the High Priest and, unbeknown to Caiaphas, this happened: the prophecy was uttered and Jesus would die not only for His own people, but for the whole world! The cast is set, the end is coming, there is no way back: still, however, Jesus waits His time. He retreats to the wilderness area, north of Jerusalem. The crowds were gathering in the holy city, purifying themselves so they would be able to take part in the feast which recalled the rescue of the nation from Egypt and the protection of the Jews from the angel of death by the slaying and blood letting of an innocent lamb. Only six days until Passover (12 v 1) and soon the Paschal Lamb will be sacrificed for the sins of the world!
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