By Omar Rojas
In the narrative leading up to the crucifixion we find that Israel was so far from God that the highest representative of the people, that is, the high priest, totally missed the mark on seeing the Messiah.
You have to understand that at this point in time Israel no longer had kings and prophets like that of the Old Testament. Because of this, the role of the high priest had increased in power and became corrupt.
Before the crucifixion, Jesus had performed miraculous signs that drew great concern among the religious leaders. It was to the point that they gathered together with the Sanhedrin (highest legal, legislative, and judicial body of the Jews) to figure out what to do. To them, Jesus was a controversial figure that had challenged them in every way, including their money-making business in the temple. When they gathered, the high priest of the time, Caiaphas, addressed them, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed” (John 11: 49,50). A verse later it is noted in the Gospel that the words of the high priest were prophesy. Caiaphas had no idea of the prophetic meaning he pronounced.
Their plan of having Jesus killed came to realization as they pushed and pursued it.
However, they offered the most acceptable sacrifice any priest had ever offered. You have to understand that in the Old Testament, the priest as a mediator would validate the offering and give it to God. It had to be flawless, without blemish. In the narrative of the crucifixion, they offered the perfect unblemished sacrifice all the while claiming it was the just thing to do. Still, the high priest and his own did not recognize the truth of his prophecy and the magnitude of this action.
What makes this story even more astonishing is that a Gentile governor named Pilate, recognized Jesus as one who was innocent. When Jesus was on trial, Pilate validated the unblemished offering. This had never happened before!
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Two worlds collide in this sacrifice. The world of the Jew and that of the Gentile. The Jew made the offering and the Gentile confirmed it as one without blemish. Without their realization, they were both the same people the Lamb had died for and sought to unite for a greater purpose. The conspiracy of a few corrupt leaders was no match for the glorious and perfect plan of God. Indeed, no sacrifice had ever been that way, chaotic yet composed, scandalous yet acceptable, disastrous yet promising!