Now while they were on their way, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And when they had assembled with the elders and counseled together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, and said, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’” (Matt 28:11-13)
Caiaphas, once you adopt a strategy you certainly stick with it. Invent a lie, circle the wagons, and bribe someone to promote the lie. You’ve moved way beyond the 30 pieces of silver you offered Judas. We’re now talking about a “large sum of money.” When you’ve repeatedly confirmed you hold a losing hand it is time to stop betting—only you can’t. You keep wagering more in the false hope that you can win back your losses.
The Book of Acts preserves the irony of your stubborn, self-imposed blinders with your final recorded words,
“What shall we do with these men (Peter and John)? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any man in this name.” (Acts 4:16-17)
You continued down the same dead end road until you too were removed by the same Vitellius that orchestrated Pilate’s fall from grace three years earlier.
And the ironies don’t stop there -
At the end of December, 1990, one of the most significant New Testament-related archaeological discoveries ever made came to light in Jerusalem: the tomb of Caiaphas, high priest in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ death. Some of the ossuaries found in the tomb were inscribed with the name “Caiaphas,” the most magnificently decorated of them was inscribed with the name “Joseph bar Caiaphas.”
(“To Bury Caiaphas, Not to Praise Him,” by David Flusser,
member of the Jerusalem School, January 1, 2004.)
Even now your attempts to cover things up (down to your own grave!) have a way of confirming the historical accuracy of the very thing you hoped to conceal.
* * *
I long for the day when You will pull back the curtain and everything will be revealed. But in the dark corners of my soul I still sense that old fear of “being found out”—exposed. I don’t want to live a self-protected life. Rip away, Loving Ravager of my heart,
Monday, April 16, 2012 (reprinted from April 2010)