Saturday after Exaudi
Scripture: St. John 11:45-57 (NKJV)
45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.
47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.” 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that He will not come to the feast?” 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.
The chief priests and Pharisees intended great evil when they sought to kill Jesus. But God has shown many times before that He takes the wickedness of man and uses it to achieve great good. In the case of these treacherous Jews, God would use their evil to bring about the greatest good that mankind has ever known! The death of Jesus Christ would take away the sins of the world, and give forgiveness and everlasting life to all who believe!
God’s use of such things does not make the evil acts any less evil, but it does show that God truly has power over all things. The Jews thought they would be rid of Jesus if they killed Him. But the will of God made it so that Jesus did not go away, as the Jews hoped. Instead, He was lifted up in glory, where He would draw Jews, and people of all nations, to Himself as their true God and Savior.
Man can plot and work against the will of God, but God will always be victorious. Even when man seems to succeed, he fails. Men can seem to be wealthy, successful, and superior in profound ways, but eventually those men will die. Their legacies will be left to fall apart or be used for good, and those men will never be able to raise themselves up from the defeat of their death. However, God has shown in Christ that His legacy stands forever. It will not fall apart; it will come to greater glory when the current things pass away! And even as He laid down His life according to His own will, was betrayed into the hands of evil men, and was executed for sins He did not commit, He was ultimately able to raise Himself up again! Thanks be to God!