Now the chief priests and the entire Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death.”Mathew 26:59
When reading the accounts of Jesus, I can often feel the strain between Him and the Pharisees. He often used piercing language to characterize the spiritual and political leaders of Israel. “Hypocrites, snakes, and children of the devil” are only some of the colors used to paint the moral nature of these men. It is then no surprise that Caiaphas, the leader among this group, considered Jesus and His rhetoric a threat to their rule.
Over the past few months, I have enjoyed reading several biographies. These stories of despair and triumph have deeply moved me. Their struggles are not constructed in a writer’s mind but are the penned narration of real events. I have observed a similar element in each life story—they all have a ruthless antagonist. Either through impossible circumstances or evil men and women who rage war with the main character.
In this account, Caiaphas is the vicious adversary. He is attempting to stop Jesus from becoming any more popular among the people. His means of destruction is a trial, held in the middle of the night, not to retrieve the truth, but to get a conviction and death sentence.
Something seems wrong with this picture. How can those who “stand in Moses’ seat,” with full knowledge of the scriptures, act as children of Satan? Except, the thirst for power goes back to God’s first enemy, Lucifer. He held a high position in heaven but desired more power. His desire for control led him to come against God.
Caiaphas and the other leaders were blinded by an identical desire. They would not accept Jesus as God because that required accepting His authority. As a result, their hunger for dominance led them to come against God. The same God they claimed to defend, the God who stood right in front of them.
We all want to stand with the hero of every story, as they are good and deserve victory. However, in the grand story between God and man, we are the enemies in the quest for power. Every time we disobey God, we state, “I am in control now.” We want to be the judge and determine what is right or wrong. We place God and His Word on trial when we ask, “did God really say?”
Christ’s journey toward the cross was not only because of the power-hungry Pharisees. His journey started because all humanity became adversaries against God.