It is better for you. 

Like missing a new exit ramp on a familiar highway, the high priest Caiaphas was about to miss the new work God was doing in Jesus. From the start, both he and Jesus had seemed to be on similar footing: they had a deep respect for the Law of Moses, and they loved the people of God and the Temple. Perhaps he was even among those who, twenty years earlier, had marveled at the understanding of the boy Jesus in the Temple. Yet here we find Caiaphas plotting Jesus’ death. How did their paths diverge?

Caiaphas fiercely protected the rights of occupied Israel. He was so concerned about the Roman threat that he feared that the Romans would tighten their grip in response to Jesus’ wild popularity. And so in one of the most ironic statements in the Bible, Caiaphas gave a clear prophetic pronouncement: “It is better for you that one man should die instead of the people” (John 11:50).

Caiaphas couldn’t see who Jesus really was, and so he “missed the exit.” His pronouncement started the gears turning: from that day on, the Pharisees planned to kill Jesus, and Jesus stopped walking about in public.

In fact, it was far better for one man—specifically Jesus—to die rather than risk further loss and humiliation for the whole people of God. Yes, it was good that this one man—this pure, innocent, wonder-working man—give up his life so that his people could receive the fulfillment of their covenant with God.

Throughout the Scriptures, we see God doing new things—things that sometimes seem illogical or even foolish—but in the end prove to be very wise indeed. Whether it’s the meek inheriting the earth (Matthew 5:5), God being at his most powerful when he uses our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9), or God casting down the mighty to lift up the lowly (Luke 1:52), he often works in ways that diverge from what we expect. So keep your eyes open. God just might do something new today!

“Lord, I never want to underestimate your grace. Help me to see your hand at work in unexpected places.”

Ezekiel 37:21-28
(Psalm) Jeremiah 31:10-13
John 11:45-56


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