“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lords’ purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21)
Here we are in the middle of Holy Week, with more pieces of the puzzle laid out across the table. These puzzle pieces have faces on them. Faces of religious leaders, such as the Pharisees and Sadducees. We even find a piece in the corner with Judas picture on it. But mingled among the puzzle pieces, we will find one face in particular who holds the key to the death of Jesus Christ. That is the piece with the face of Caiaphas on it. Caiaphas was the High Priest who presided over the Sanhedrin trial of Christ. Caiaphas is the key puzzle piece that we need in order for us to put our mid Holy Week puzzle together.
In ancient Israel it was the priests, the sons of Aaron, that God ordained to offer up the sacrifices. Those sacrifices had to be without blemish (Deuteronomy 17:1). That is why the apostle Peter called Christ “a lamb without blemish or defect” (I Peter 1:19). Those facts are important in understanding the connection between the sacrifice for sin in the Old Testament upon the altar, and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The cross of Christ was the altar on which God sacrificed his son, the spotless Lamb – just as the altar in the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament was the place for the people’s sins to be removed by a spotless lamb. Now, in the Old Testament the only one who could go into the Holy of Holies to make the yearly sacrifice for the sins of the people was the High Priest. And that fact is the key piece that connects our puzzle pieces together. Just as the High Priest in the Old Testament was the one required to make the sacrifice for the people’s sins, so it was the Hight Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem who God required to condemn Jesus Christ to death on the cross. You can read about it in Mark 14:60-64. Yes, he was supported by Pilate, but the one who was hungry for Christ’s sacrifice was Caiaphas. It was ordained by God that the ministry of the High Priest in the Old Testament, as well as the High Priest in Christ’s day offer up God’s sacrifice.
Now, let’s fast forward to the End Times and the second coming of Christ. As we do so, we will throw some more puzzle pieces on the table. These pieces too have faces on them. They are faces that do not come into focus right now, for they are faces that will emerge in the future. When Jesus Christ comes again, he will descend as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Those two titles incorporate both a political and religious reign. Therefore, those who will come against him will be both political (kings, monarchs, presidents, rulers, dictators) and religious (the Antichrist who will set himself up as god halfway through the Tribulation). And, just like the High Priest in Jesus day, they will resent Jesus Christ. Together the religious and political leaders of that day will come against Christ when he returns in his glory. They will be the ones ordained by God for the ministry of waring against his Son, just as the High Priest was the one ordained by God to come against his Son at his first coming.
No priest or political leader is powerful enough to stop God’s ordained plans. The people and plans of mankind are but instruments in God’s hand. God used them at the first coming of His Son. He will use them at His second coming. Every priest, every politician throughout history requires their positions only by the will of God.
Now we have a completed puzzle of the midweek events of Holy Week. But there is one more puzzle I would like us to look at. That is the puzzle of the crucifixion itself. Pray you will join me on Friday!