The Review and Herald

1071/1902

June 12, 1900

Caiaphas

EGW

With Caiaphas the Jewish high priesthood ended. The service had become base and corrupt. It had no longer any connection with God. Truth and righteousness were hateful in the eyes of the priests. They were tyrannical and deceptive, full of selfish, ambitious schemes. Such ministration could make nothing perfect; for it was itself utterly corrupt. The grace of God had naught to do with it. RH June 12, 1900, par. 1

Virtually Caiaphas was no high priest. He wore the priestly robes, but he had no vital connection with God. He was uncircumcised in heart. Proud and overbearing, he proved his unworthiness ever to have worn the garments of the high priest. He had no authority from heaven for occupying the position. He had not one ray of light from God to show him what the work of the priest was, or for what the office was instituted. RH June 12, 1900, par. 2

So perverted had the priesthood become that when Christ declared himself the Son of God, Caiaphas, in pretended horror, rent his robe, and accused the Holy One of Israel of blasphemy. RH June 12, 1900, par. 3

Many today who claim to be Christians are in danger of rending their garments, making an outward show of repentance, when their hearts are not softened nor subdued. This is why so many continue to make failures in the Christian life. An outward appearance of sorrow is shown for wrong, but their repentance is not that which needs not to be repented of. May God grant to his church true contrition for sin. Oh that we might feel the necessity of revealing true sorrow for wrong-doing! RH June 12, 1900, par. 4

The mock trial of Christ shows how base the priesthood had become. The priests hired men to testify under oath to falsehoods. But truth came to the help of Christ. Pilate declared, “I find in him no fault at all.” Thus it was shown that the witness borne against the Saviour was false that the witnesses had been hired by men who cherished in their hearts the basest elements of corruption. It was God's design that those who delivered Jesus to death should hear the testimony of his innocence. “I find no fault in him,” Pilate declared. And Judas, throwing at the feet of the priests the money he had received for betraying Christ, cried out, “I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” RH June 12, 1900, par. 5

Previously to Christ's trial, when the Sanhedrin had been called together to lay plans for waylaying Christ and putting him to death, some of the members pleaded with the others to check their passion and hatred. They wished to save Christ from death. In reply Caiaphas said: “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.” RH June 12, 1900, par. 6

These words were uttered by one who knew not their significance. He had lost the sense of the sacredness of the sacrifices and offerings. But his words meant more than he or those connected with him knew. By them he bore testimony that the time had come for the Aaronic priesthood to cease forever. He was condemning one who had been prefigured in every sacrifice made, but one whose death would end the need of types and shadows. Unknowingly he was declaring that Christ was about to fulfill that for which the system of sacrifices and offerings had been instituted. RH June 12, 1900, par. 7

“This,” adds the evangelist, “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.” RH June 12, 1900, par. 8

Caiaphas was the one who was to be in office when type met antitype, when the true High Priest came into office. Each actor in history stands in his lot and place; for God's great work after his own plan will be carried out by men who have prepared themselves to fill positions for good or evil. In opposition to righteousness, men become instruments of unrighteousness. But they are not forced to take this course of action. They need not become instruments of unrighteousness, any more than Cain needed to. God said to him, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Cain would not hear the voice of God; and as a result, he became his brother's murderer. RH June 12, 1900, par. 9

Men of all characters, righteous and unrighteous, will stand in their several positions in God's plan. With the characters they have formed, they will act their part in the fulfillment of history. In a crisis, just at the right moment, they will stand in the places they have prepared themselves to fill. Believers and unbelievers will fall into line as witnesses to confirm truth that they themselves do not comprehend. All will co-operate in accomplishing the purposes of God, just as did Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod. In putting Christ to death, the priests thought they were carrying out their own purposes, but unconsciously and unintentionally they were fulfilling the purpose of God. He “revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.” RH June 12, 1900, par. 10

Heaven and earth will pass away, but not one jot or tittle of the word of God will fail. It will endure forever. All men, whatever their position, whatever their religion, loyal or disloyal, wicked or righteous, are fitting themselves for a part in the closing scenes of this earth's history. The wicked will trample one another down as they act out their attributes and fulfill their plans, but they will carry out the purposes of God. RH June 12, 1900, par. 11

Christ, the foundation of the whole Jewish economy, stood before the Jewish rulers, to be condemned by his own nation. With his divinity clothed with humanity, he stood to be judged by the beings he had made. His garment of human flesh was to be torn from him. He could have flashed the light of his glory upon his enemies, but he bore patiently their humiliating abuse. RH June 12, 1900, par. 12

Our Redeemer humbled himself, fully identifying his interests with the interests of humanity. Look at him girding himself and washing the feet of the disciples. Mark how tenderly he performs his act of ministry, to give them a lesson in true service. He who was one with God, who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, humbled himself, and took upon him the form of a servant. Constantly he ministered to the needy, the sorrowful, the distressed. But in the hour of his need, who was tender and compassionate to him? During his trial, what friend had he who dared to say as much as the heathen judge said, “I find no fault in him”? Christ's divinity was so completely veiled that it was difficult for even his disciples to believe in him; and when he died on the cross, they felt that their hope had perished. RH June 12, 1900, par. 13

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,” ... full of grace and truth.” “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” RH June 12, 1900, par. 14

How different was the true High Priest from the false and corrupted Caiaphas. Christ stood before the false high priest, pure and undefiled, without a taint of sin. RH June 12, 1900, par. 15

Christ mourned for the transgression of every human being. He bore even the guiltiness of Caiaphas, knowing the hypocrisy that dwelt in his soul, while for pretense he rent his robe. Christ did not rend his robe, but his soul was rent. His garment of human flesh was rent as he hung on the cross, the sin-bearer of the race. By his suffering and death a new and living way was opened. There is no longer a wall of partition between Jew and Gentile. “By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.” This enabled him to proclaim on the cross, with a clear and triumphant voice, “It is finished.” “Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Christ entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” He has qualified himself to be not only man's representative, but his advocate, so that every soul, if he will, may say, I have a Friend at court, a High Priest who is touched with the feeling of my infirmities. RH June 12, 1900, par. 16