The little passion performance that our church put on protrayed Caiaphas as a really mean, bad guy. He was a bad guy. Anyone who engineers the murder of an innocent man cannot be considered a Saint. Not only did Caiaphas murder an innocent man, but he helped torchure and brutally killed God's son. The Son of God suffered hanging by nails through his hands and feet because of Caiaphas and his angry, bitter evil jealousy. A priest should conduct himself better. Surely if anyone deserves to rot in the firey pits of hell, it would be Caiaphas, right?
Of course, Caiaphas was not alone. He was the head priest of a religious community, and the overwealming mass of this community, God's Chosen People, joined in. The other priests, Roman guards, the Jewish nation, the whole world could claim blame for the death of Jesus. Even the discipples, Jesus's friends, are not blameless. There was plenty of sin to go around the week of Christ's passion. But Caiaphas was the architect, the leader. Surely this is a man who ended up suffering for eternity, right?
Of course, Jesus spent much of his time criticizing the religious leaders of the time. Religion had lost sight of its primary purpose which was to serve God, and Jesus pointed it out. By doing so, he alientated Caiaphas and the rest of the established power structure of the time. To get even, Caiaphas arranged to have Jesus killed. God frowns on this kind of vengeance.
I picture Caiaphas dressed in black, scheming in the dark with demans looking over his shoulder, supporting him with nods and laughter. Satan himself was certainly there to help plan Jesus's assassination. Caiaphas had eyes as black and evil as the devil. They might have eve glowed red. Caiaphas is burning hell even now, isn't he?
I do not think so.
I believe that the Grace that saved us all and forgives all our Sins even saved an evil vengful murderer like Caiaphas. When Jesus said "forgive them for they know not what they do", he was asking and granting forgiveness to everyone who participated in his torchure, humiliation and death.
Why do we call the events leading up to and including Jesus's death the Passion of Christ? Jesus was born so that he could be crusifed and raised from the dead. That was his purpose. That was God's plan for him. To die was his passion.
And Caiaphas helped execute God's plan. The betrayal, the abandanment, the brutality, the blood, the cross, the death, the whole plot was part of God's plan. Without Easter, the raising from the grave, Jesus was little more than one of the many prophets from God that came and did their thing. And without the cross, and the atrocities that it represents Easter, could not have happened. God executed His will through the evil in the heart of Caiaphas.
This is not the first time that God transformed evil deeds into good. God used Joseph to save the nation of Isreal. The reason that Joseph was in a position to save his family was because his brothers acted out of petty jealousy and sold their brother into slavery. A brother should know better.
So Caiaphas probably eventally died and went the Pearly Gates with shame and dread in his heart. He probaby felt like Joseph's brothers when they discovered their broter in Egypt. Seeing Jesus, Caiaphas must have realized what he had done and expected punishment and was probably ready to beg for mercy. Jesus, however, had forgiven before Caiaphas could even begin to appologize. The lamb of God scooped Caiaphas up in a heavenly embrace and celebrated the return of one of his prodigal sons.
This is what I assume happened because I believe in the Grace of God. I do not know. I would assume all Christrians would look at this the same way, except wrath of God and Judgement of sinners is also a way to go. And Judgement is something that humans seem to understand more than forgiveness, especially when it comes to certain atrociousities. Like I said, I do not know. I'll let God take care of that. Of course, I do not have much of a choice, do I?
But I have come to belief that the Lord forgives Caiaphas all his sins. And, if God can accept an evil murdering monster like Caiaphas, I guess my spot in heaven can not be in doubt.
Unfortunately, I am the kind of person who beats himself up for every part of me that lacks perfection. I am tough on myself for not always treating others as myself. I know I do not always act like I love God with all my heart. I feel bad about all these little transgressions. I beat myself up even though I say that I know I am forgiven. Afterall, I just said that Caiaphas is probably in God's arms, and I certainly have not done anything as bad as putting any innocent person to death.
Chances are, you have not done anything that bad either. Remember always that you are God's child and that everything will be alright. This is not a trivial thing, being a child of God.
Anyway, I started writing this blog right around Easter. I wrote it mostly on my cell phone and always intended to come in later with supporting bible verses and other brilliant additions. I guess since it has been over 2 months, I might as well go and publish it. God’s grace is timeless, so it does not really matter if I publish it now or 2 months ago or two months from now.
Of course, no one reads my blogs, so it REALLY does not matter.