Have you ever been trapped in a situation where there is no good alternative?
Jesus faced that as He stood trial before Caiaphas, the religious power broker of the time and the most influential member of the Jewish council. The Jewish elders were determined to do away with Christ by any means, even resorting to false witness. The council feared that the slightest civil disorder would mobilize Roman troops and lead to Israel’s downfall.
Caiaphas held his position for 18 years in a climate where Jewish spiritual leadership was replaced by the whim of Rome. This politically savvy, shrewd leader achieved the ultimate in job security for those times. So when Jesus came, drawing the attention of vast numbers of people and performing astounding miracles — especially the raising of Lazarus from the dead — the high priests were determined to destroy Jesus. The situation was so distorted and malicious that there was no good response, so Jesus remained silent. As the anger of the high priests intensified, Jesus was placed under oath and bound to answer truthfully. Jesus was being coerced for a response. That coercion was rewarded when He told them that He was “the Christ, the Son of God.”
That response allowed the priests to impose their prearranged verdict. All these elements led to a well-conceived plot being carried out, in which Jesus was arrested, an illegal trial was held and false witness was brought against Him. By playing Pilate, the Roman governor and King Herod against each other and by whipping up the crowd into a mob, Caiaphas triumphantly orchestrated the conviction, which led to the execution of our Lord and Savior.
Wait a minute! Doesn’t this sound so familiar to many of us in today’s world? Haven’t we seen this type of action carried out in our lives? All of us can answer ‘yes’ to these questions! And today, like then, all of you and I can attest that this type of ungodly behavior still exists not only in our daily lives, but in many churches in our community. We also know that through these means, some situations cannot be salvaged, there is no way out and the worst happens.
But like Jesus, there is a course we as believers can take and have hope that even in those moments, God remains in control, and ultimately He will see that justice is done by His hand. The toughest road to follow in our daily lives is God’s will through His written word and to “let go and let God” show us the way to “walk the talk” each day. Being consistent in our walk each day is tough today, as it always has been.
For me and many of you, the celebration of Easter is a wonderful time of the year and a time to reflect and rejuvenate our faith-based principles in our daily lives. It’s a season of rebirth, regrowth, warmth and rededication for us, to those we love and those around us. It’s an exciting time in our “faith life,” with yet another God-given opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior and what that means to us. He lives indeed! He lives in us by what we think, do and say to emulate Him in our daily lives. We are given the renewed burst of eternal energy to prove the teachings of His word and His grace in our lives and show those we may come in contact with that he lives through our thoughts, words, deeds and our countenance.
To Caiaphas’ amazement and that of so many others through history, the sparks that were thought to have been extinguished flamed up with renewed power. The apostles preached the gospel in Jerusalem and beyond to huge effect. And like Jesus, they began performing miracles that not only drew people’s attention, but also their response to the message of Jesus Christ.
And like the Apostles and many others, we have the opportunity to draw people’s attention to Christ, young and old alike, every day. We are all ministers in our own right, and maybe, isn’t it time we start believing that and go out and “do something for the kingdom” with that knowledge?
Now is the time to rejoice again in the good news, that He is risen, that the resurrection is the most amazing news the world has ever heard! It means that Christ is alive — then and today. We can know Him and be touched by His life, death, resurrection and power. It means we need not fear death and have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him. It also means that knowing Him and rededicating our lives, thoughts, words and especially our actions is of the upmost importance — right now!
Scherer is a crisis intervention minister and the leader of the local Stephen Ministry.