Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two Voices in Caiaphas' Courtroom

I'm being aided in my personal Holy Week reflections by Frederick S. Leahy's little book, The Cross He Bore: Meditations on the Suffering of the Redeemer. In numerous places in the margins, I'm finding myself scribbling the words, "great insight." My eyes are being opened to the redemptive significance of the plot/trial leading up to the crucifixion.

Here is one such instance.Concerning the high priest's garment-tearing response to Jesus' confirmation that He is in fact the Son of God (Mt 26:63-65), Leahy writes,

Ultimately two voices have spoken in that courtroom, the voice of God and the voice of Satan: both said, 'One for all.' But there is fundamental disagreement between them. God speaks in terms of redemptive substitution, substitutionary atonement; Caiaphas, who is Satan's tool as much as Judas, speaks in terms of elimination. God would have his Son die for his people so that they might live; Caiaphas would have Christ die in order to be rid of him, and so he sticks by his policy (John 11:49-50) that one man should die for the people rather than that the whole nation should perish.

Thus predestination and human responsibility meet as Christ is condemned. He was 'delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God,' yet 'crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men' (Acts 2:23). God's eternal purpose was realized in the death of His Son.

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