Summary: Easter from the viewpoint of Caiaphas, demonstrating that it would be better for obstinant rebels if Christ had not been raised from the dead. The fact of Easter requires us to repent and turn to Christ

Matthew 28:11-15

This is all most inconvenient, not to mention dangerous! I don’t know what the Romans will make of all this. They only put me in power as High Priest to keep the country in order and to stop things like this happening.

If that Jesus had kept to carpentry none of this would have happened. But he started preaching and teaching. The crowds loved him, at one time five thousand people flocked from miles around, leaving their own work and daily lives, just to hear him teach all day. He had some special magnetism. What was worse he spoke with authority as if he knew what he was talking about. When he talked about God, it was as if he had some sort of special relationship with him. It wouldn’t have been so bad if he had kept to those who understood the law and who were trained in theology and Scripture, but he went out to all the riff-raff of society and gave them ideas above their station. He even spoke to sinners, tax-collectors and prostitutes.

Then there were the miracles. Bringing of sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, people who were sick were restored to health, even the dead were brought back to life. They excited the stupid crowds and seemed to give authority and lend support to what he was saying.

The things he said were so preposterous and dangerous. He claimed that the scriptures were all about him and that the prophets spoke about him. He had the audacity to state that he was the only way to God. Not that he knew the way, but that he WAS the way. He claimed that no-one could come to God except through him! What an insult to us sons of Aaron, the priests of God! He even claimed to have existed before our father, Abraham was born!

He went around telling the dregs of society that their sins were forgiven. The very dregs of society! Instead of leaving them to face the judgement of God as they deserved, he called them to repentance.

He was, of course, full of warnings about the judgement of God, but he didn’t just aim them at the scum who deserved them, but at us righteous people. He even dared to state that if a person’s righteousness did not exceed that of the teachers of the Law, they would not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He even aimed it at us priests, the sons of Aaron, as well. His message was “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”

His message was that all who acknowledged their sins and believed in him could be forgiven, but those who did not would be exposed to the wrath of God. Including priests and leaders of the people.

He talked constantly about the kingdom of heaven and himself coming in glory. That risked stirring up a revolt against the Romans, and of course, if that happened, it would have been the end of me as High Priest.

The crunch came on the first day of the week leading up to Passover. He rode into the city on a donkey, deliberately trying to fulfil the prophecy of Zechariah, who talked of the King of Jerusalem coming into the city on a donkey foal. The crowd, mainly Galilean yokels went mad, cheering, weaving branches, throwing their cloaks onto the road in front of him and generally causing a disturbance. It was then I knew for definite that he had to go. He was just too dangerous. He was a danger to the nation, and, more importantly, was a danger to me, and the other priests.

I discussed with the other priests, and we decided to join forces with our rivals, the Pharisees. They were as keen to get rid of him as we were. He seemed to have it in for them; I must admit that I enjoyed hearing how he had put them down at times!

We began to look for things that we could use against him. But could find nothing. He seemed to have done nothing wrong and to have broken no laws. We tried to trap him with questions, but he always turned the tails on us. We tried to get him to say that it was wrong to pay taxes to the Romans, then we could have got them to do the work for us, but he didn’t fall for it.

The other factor was the mob who followed him about. We knew that we couldn’t arrest him in front of them or else there would be a riot. And the Governor would have my head on a block for causing it. So it would have to be somewhere in private. But where did he go in the evenings? Then, at last, a breakthrough. One of his closest disciples came and haggled for money to lead us to him. We eagerly took him up on his offer. So he took us to a garden where Jesus was with his other disciples. We arrested him. Strangely he did not put up a fight like we expected, indeed when one of the more hot-headed of his disciples cut off my servants ear, he healed it and put it back on! He even performed a miracle when he was being arrested!

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