Tuesday, April 14, 2015
“But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus” (John 12:10,11 KJV).
To save their religion, these Israeli chief priests are willing to kill twice!
In the previous chapter, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Verses 45-48 continue: “ Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.  But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.  Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.  If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.”
“Then from that day forth they took counsel for to put him [Jesus] to death” (verse 53). Jesus immediately escaped from Bethany, going out into the wilderness, and abiding in a city called Ephraim, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Jerusalem. As chapter 12 opens, it is six days before the Passover (and His death). Jesus returns to Bethany, where Lazarus is living (again!). There, Lazarus attends a supper held in Jesus’ honor.
Verse 9 says, “Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.” Now we reach today’s Scripture. Lazarus’ living testimony is a threat to their religion—many have converted to Jesus because of His miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead. Now, these chief priests start plotting to kill Lazarus also; they had been conspiring for some days to kill the Lord Jesus, and now they want to silence His friend, too! The plan to murder Jesus was effective because He gave Himself up. However, the scheme to kill Lazarus was evidently unsuccessful. God had him stay around for more witnessing!
Imagine their horror, when they killed Jesus… and then He came back from the grave, too!