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CAIAPHAS – THE MAN WHO PLANNED
THE MURDER OF CHRIST!

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, March 4, 2018

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, 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. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death” (John 11:49-53).


This was the end of Christ’s public ministry. There are ten more chapters in John, but Jesus’ ministry ends right here in Chapter Eleven. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead Christ went out into the countryside. He did not come back to Jerusalem until the last week before His crucifixion. You would think that raising Lazarus from the dead would have convinced the religious leaders, but it did not. Jesus said,

“If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead”
        (Luke 16:31).

People are not convinced by seeing miracles. The miracle they need is the convicting work of the Spirit of God in their souls, which are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). If you are not miraculously convicted of sin, you will not be converted, “though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). The conviction of God’s Spirit, making you feel your sin, is the miracle you must receive to experience real conversion.

Now, when the chief priests and Pharisees saw that Jesus was doing “many miracles,” they called together “a council,” a committee of the Sanhedrin (John 11:47). The Sanhedrin was their high court. It was made up of 71 members, including the leading Pharisees and the Sadducees, who worked in the Temple. It was led by the High Priest, Joseph Caiaphas. That council said,

“This man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:47-48).

Dr. McGee said,

They feared there would be a mass turning to Jesus Christ which would bring a revolution. This would provide an occasion for Rome to pounce on them. They moved from a basis of fear. Fear is the motivation which keeps a great many people away from Jesus today (McGee, ibid., note on John 11:48).

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, 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. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (John 11:49-52).

Dr. McGee said,

They begin to...say that Jesus should die rather than the nation die at the hand of Rome. It is interesting to note that although they did succeed in putting Jesus to death, in spite of this, the nation perished when [the Roman general] Titus destroyed [Jerusalem] in A.D. 70 (Thru the Bible, note on John 11:49-52).

But we find that a strange thing happened in that council. The High Priest Caiaphas gave an accurate prophecy concerning Christ. Caiaphas “did not know the meaning of fairness or justice…He [was not afraid of] shedding innocent blood... He was a hypocrite, for in the final trial… he tore his priestly robe as if overcome by profound sorrow! Such was Caiaphas.” (William Hendriksen, Th.D., New Testament Commentary, Baker Book House, 1981 edition, volume I, p. 163; note on John 11:49-50).

Now notice that this evil High Priest gave a prophecy. Like Balaam in the Old Testament, this wicked man actually gave a true prophecy,

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, 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. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad” (John 11:49-52).

But then the Bible says,

“Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death” (John 11:53).

About a week later, Caiaphas sent the Temple guards to arrest Jesus while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Those guards took him to Caiaphas, who said to Him, “Tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (Matthew 26:63). Jesus answered that He was,

“Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?” (Matthew 26:65-68).

The High Priest did not have the authority to execute people. Therefore Caiaphas dragged Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor – and called for the Romans to crucify Him.

I think we should draw two general conclusions from the words and actions of this man, Joseph Caiaphas, the High Priest who planned the crucifixion of Christ.

I. First, Caiaphas was very religious, and even spoke the truth about Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice.

Caiaphas was the son in law of the old High Priest Annas. He had been appointed to the position of High Priest by Valerius Gratus, the predecessor of Pilate, in the year A.D. 18. He retained the position of High Priest for 18 years, longer than anyone else in that period.

Unfortunately, I think I know from experience what kind of man he was. Several times, when Dr. Hymers was young, he was told, “You can’t preach that.” The men who told Dr. Hymers that were concerned more about their positions than about the truth, as it is given in the Bible. Dr. Hymers learned that you cannot please men who are only concerned with keeping their jobs, and not upsetting anyone. Caiaphas was that kind of man. He knew that Jesus did “many miracles” (John 11:47), but he was only interested in stopping Jesus out of fear. He thought, “If we leave him alone we will lose something.”

Jesus said and did what He said and did out of love and obedience to God. Caiaphas said and did what he said and did without any thought of God. There are many like him today in our churches. He was very religious. Without realizing it, he even spoke the truth about Christ’s atonement when he said,

“It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people” (John 11:50).

Thus, he spoke the profound truth of Christ’s death as a substitute for sinners, which was foretold by the prophet Isaiah,

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

But be careful! You can know those words without receiving any benefit from them! That was the case of Caiaphas. He knew the right words, but they had absolutely no effect on his life. Listen to me! You can know about Jesus dying on the Cross for you and still be lost. Caiaphas knew about Christ’s death – but it didn’t do him any good – and it won’t do you any good unless you trust Jesus. Unless you are saved by Jesus! You can say the right words, but it won’t save you. You have to trust Jesus to be saved!

II. Second, Caiaphas, like Cain, never repented – and was never saved.

Was Caiaphas like Cain? Cain knew that he needed to bring a blood sacrifice, as Abel did. But Cain did not repent. Instead,

“Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him” (Genesis 4:8).

There is a similarity between Cain and men like Caiaphas. The Apostle John said,

“Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous” (I John 3:12).

Caiaphas, like Cain, was influenced by Satan, “that wicked one.” Like Cain, Caiaphas was of “the world.” He never stopped listening to Satan. He never left the “world” to serve God. The Essenes of the Jewish Qumran community, which produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, were very critical of Caiaphas. The Essenes called Caiaphas the “wicked priest” (Archaeological Study Bible, Zondervan, 2005, p. 1609; note on Matthew 26:3).

Cain and Caiaphas give an awful warning to those of you who remain religious but lost. Both Cain and Caiaphas knew about blood sacrifice. Both Cain and Caiaphas were spoken to directly by God. Jesus spoke directly to Caiaphas – as He did to Cain (Genesis 4:6-7). Both Cain and Caiaphas rejected the voice of God, speaking to their consciences. They both went ahead into self-centered lives. Both Cain and Caiaphas will stand before Christ at the Last Judgment, and He will say to them,

“I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23).

If you do not trust Jesus, you too will go to Hell when you die! Christ will say to you,

“I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23).

Then you will “be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12).

I caution you this morning – make sure you trust Jesus. Make sure you think about your sin! Make sure you don’t just say the “right words.” Make sure you admit your sins! Make sure you come to Jesus and trust Him!

Make sure you experience a real conversion – that you really come face to face with Jesus Christ and are washed from your “sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5). Do not wait! Do not refuse to come to Jesus! Do not linger until God gives up on you.

You have waited so flippantly, refused Him so lightly,
   You have sinned long and dreadfully, your heart is so wrong;
Oh, if God grows impatient, the sweet Spirit offended,
   If no longer He calls you, doom is yours when He’s gone.
Then how sad facing judgment, you’ll recall with no mercy,
   That you tarried and lingered till the Spirit was gone;
What reproaches and mourning, if when death finds you hopeless,
   You have tarried and lingered and have waited too long!
(“If You Linger Too Long” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include what country you are writing from. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“If You Linger Too Long” (by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).


THE OUTLINE OF

CAIAPHAS – THE MAN WHO PLANNED
THE MURDER OF CHRIST!

A sermon written by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.
and preached by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, 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. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death” (John 11:49-53).

(Luke 16:31; Ephesians 2:1; John 11:47-48, 49-52, 53;
Matthew 26:63, 65-68)

I.    First, Caiaphas was very religious, and even spoke the truth
about Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice, John 11:47, 50;
Isaiah 53:5.

II.   Second, Caiaphas, like Cain, never repented – and was never saved,
Genesis 4:8; I John 3:12; Genesis 4:6-7; Matthew 7:23; 8:12;
Revelation 1:5.