Let's Go Back to the Bible

What the Opposition Said

Don’t you love it when the bad guy gets caught monologuing? He rambles on about his plan or how much he hates the hero, all the while giving up plot clues and time for the hero to escape. There are three times in the New Testament when enemies of the cause of Christ were caught monologuing. These events were very profound, and in one case, inspired.

After the resurrection of Lazarus, the high priest and the Pharisees were more intent on killing Jesus. They feared what Rome would do if there was a king being raised up in Jerusalem. “But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish’” (John 11:49-50). John tells us that this was given by inspiration. They thought it meant to kill Jesus. One dies that others might live physically. As one wise person once said, “A prophecy that misread could’ve been” (Yoda). We know the rest of the story. This was a spiritual concept to pay the debt of sin.

Before the crucifixion Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent (Luke 23:4). Pilate chose to offer up Barabbas, an obviously guilty person, or Jesus to be released. However, the crowd was stirred up to cry for the Christ’s crucifixion. Seeing that they were about to riot, Pilate publicly washed his hands as a sign that Jesus’ innocent blood was not on his hands. The crowd cried out, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (Matt. 27:25). They were yelling that they would gladly accept the guilt for His death, even to the next generation. What they didn’t know was how profound that statement was. It is only by that blood that we can be washed (Rev. 7:14). It was by that blood that we were released from our sins (Rev. 1:14). It was with that blood that the we were purchased (Rev. 5:9).

When the apostles began preaching and teaching Christ in Jerusalem, they were reprimanded by the council and told not to preach in Jesus’ name (Acts 4:1-22). They did not stop and were later arrested, then freed by an angel (Acts 5:17-20). They were brought before the council again and were about to be killed before Gamaliel intervened. In his speech to the council, he mentions two others that had risen up to lead the people away and how they came to nothing. In his wisdom, Gamaliel encouraged the council to leave the men alone. “If this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39). We should be encouraged that today we are still preaching the same message.