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From Heaven With Love

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    How the Holy Spirit Tried to Help Them

    In this council, assembled to plan the death of Christ, the Witness who heard the boastful words of Nebuchadnezzar and witnessed the idolatrous feast of Belshazzar, was now impressing the rulers with the work they were doing. Events in the life of Christ rose up before them with a distinctness that alarmed them. They remembered when Jesus, a child of twelve, stood before the learned doctors of the law, asking questions at which they wondered. The miracle just performed bore witness that Jesus was none other than the Son of God. Perplexed and troubled, the rulers asked, “What do we?” There was a division in the council.HLv 360.4

    While the council was at the height of its perplexity, Caiaphas the high priest arose. Proud and cruel, overbearing and intolerant, he spoke with great authority and assurance: “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” Even if Jesus were innocent, He must be put out of the way. He was lessening the authority of the rulers, and if the people were to lose confidence in their rulers, the national power would be destroyed. After this miracle, the followers of Jesus would likely rise in revolt. The Romans would then come, he said, close our temple, and destroy us as a nation. What is the life of this Galilean in comparison with the nation? Is it not doing God a service to remove Him? Better that one man perish than that the whole nation be destroyed.HLv 361.1

    The policy Caiaphas advocated was based on a principle borrowed from heathenism. The dim consciousness that one was to die for the human race had led to the offering of human sacrifices. So Caiaphas proposed by the sacrifice of Jesus to save the guilty nation, not from transgression, but in transgression, that they might continue in sin.HLv 361.2

    At this council Christ's enemies had been deeply convicted. The Holy Spirit had impressed their minds. But Satan urged upon their notice the grievances they had suffered on account of Christ. How little He had honored their righteousness. Taking no notice of their forms and ceremonies, He had encouraged sinners to go directly to God as a merciful Father, and make known their wants. He had refused to acknowledge the theology of the rabbinical schools, and, by exposing the evil practices of the priests, had irreparably hurt their influence.HLv 361.3

    With the exception of a few who dared not speak their minds, the Sanhedrin received the words of Caiaphas as the words of God. Relief came to the council; the discord ceased. They resolved to put Christ to death at the first favorable opportunity. These priests and rulers had come wholly under the sway of Satan, yet such was their deception that they were well pleased with themselves. They regarded themselves as patriots seeking the nation's salvation.HLv 361.4

    Lest the people should become incensed and the violence meditated toward Jesus should fall on themselves, the council delayed to execute the sentence they had pronounced. The Saviour knew that their purpose would soon be accomplished, but it was not His place to hasten the crisis, and He withdrew from that region, taking the disciples with Him.HLv 362.1

    Jesus had now given three years of public labor to the world. His self-denial, disinterested benevolence, purity, and devotion were known to all. Yet this short period was as long as the world could endure the presence of its Redeemer. He who was ever touched by human woe, who healed the sick, fed the hungry, and comforted the sorrowful, was driven from the people He had labored to save. He who broke the slumbers of the dead and held thousands entranced by His words of wisdom was unable to reach the hearts of those who were blinded by prejudice and hatred, and who stubbornly rejected light.HLv 362.2

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