From Heaven With Love


Chapter 59—Priests and Rulers Continue Plotting

This chapter is based on John 11:47-54.

News of the raising of Lazarus was soon carried to Jerusalem. Through spies the Jewish rulers were speedily in possession of the facts. A meeting of the Sanhedrin was called at once to decide what should be done. That mighty miracle was the crowning evidence offered by God that He had sent His Son into the world for their salvation. It was a demonstration of divine power sufficient to convince every mind that was under the control of reason and enlightened conscience. HLv 359.1

But the priests were only enraged at this new miracle. The dead had been raised in the full light of day, and before a crowd of witnesses. No artifice could explain away such evidence. For this reason the priests were more than ever determined to put a stop to Christ's work. HLv 359.2

The Sadducees had not been so full of malignity toward Christ as were the Pharisees, but now they were thoroughly alarmed. They did not believe in a resurrection of the dead, reasoning that it would be impossible for a dead body to be brought to life. But by a few words from Christ, they were shown to be ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. How could men be turned away from Him who had prevailed to rob the grave of its dead? The miracle could not be denied, and how to counteract its effect they knew not. After the resurrection of Lazarus the Sadducees decided that only by His death could His fearless denunciations against them be stopped. HLv 359.3

The Pharisees believed in the resurrection, and they could not but see that this miracle was an evidence that the Messiah was among them. But from the first they had hated Him because He had torn aside the cloak under which their moral deformity was hidden. The pure religion that He taught had condemned their hollow professions of piety. They thirsted to be revenged for His pointed rebukes. Several times they had attempted to stone Him, but He had quietly withdrawn. HLv 359.4

To excite the Romans against Him, the Pharisees had represented Him as trying to subvert their authority. They had tried every pretext to cut Him off from influencing the people. But their attempts had been foiled. The multitudes who witnessed His works and heard His pure teachings knew that these were not the deeds and words of a Sabbathbreaker or blasphemer. In desperation the Jews had finally passed an edict that anyone who professed faith in Jesus should be cast out of the synagogue. HLv 360.1

So, Pharisees and Sadducees were more nearly united than ever before. They became one in their opposition to Christ. HLv 360.2

The Sanhedrin was not at this time a legal assembly. It existed only by tolerance. Some of its members questioned the wisdom of putting Christ to death. They feared that this would excite an insurrection. The Sadducees, united with the priests in hatred of Christ, were inclined to be cautious, fearing that the Romans would deprive them of their high standing. HLv 360.3