Read John 11
It’s back to a familiar story. Jesus kept doing incredible, unbelievable works, and some believed and some felt threatened. The Sanhedrin met to discuss the matter.
Jesus had become more than a disruption. He threatened the security of Israel as this ruling council knew it.
If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.
The religious leaders were worried about their status with the Roman Empire. If the religion of the region did not threaten the security of the state, then the Romans considered them harmless and generally let them go about their business. If you throw in an occasional, Caesar is god or Caesar is king, you had some job security.
This was their predicament. If this Jesus movement kept growing, the Romans might consider it a threat and put it down violently. On the surface, that sounded exactly like what the ruling religious leaders wanted, except they would all lose their jobs. The Sanhedrin would be considered incompetent and unnecessary. The Romans would tolerate them only as long as they kept the peace.
Nobody in Jerusalem really liked the Romans but they were tolerable in the current arrangement. People complained about them and their taxes and their pagan ways, but they were tolerable. If the Sanhedrin could not stop the build up of these followers of Jesus, the Romans might just take matters in to their own hands.
Listen to the words of the Chief Priest.
Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
It was better for one man to die for many than it was to let the growing support for Jesus continue. Jesus had to die. It was for everyone’s good.
While it seems that Caiaphas framed this statement in purely political terms, his words were in effect prophecy. God sent his Son to die for our sins so we would not perish. Caiaphas said more than he realized. Finally, he got to speak the words of God.
While bringing Lazarus back from the dead may have been the tipping point in the thinking of the religious leaders that they had to kill Jesus; this meeting set the plot in action. The Sanhedrin issued a BOLO for Jesus. If you saw him, you were to report him to the nearest Pharisee.
It was time for Jesus to keep a low profile, at least until the Passover. His time had almost come, but there was still much more for Jesus to do in these last few days.