Monday, March 25, 2013

Six Monologues from John's Passion: Monologue #2

The High Priest

Caiaphas was right.  He told us, right after that man Lazarus was raised from the dead.  "It is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed."  We doubted his wisdom then, but now I am coming to see that he was right.  The more I talked to this man Jesus, the more I saw that he had to be dealt with.  He didn't submit to authority.  He stood right in front of me.  I asked him questions that ought to make him hang his head in shame.  I asked him serious questions right back in my face.  He acted as if he knew the whole thing was a set up.  We already knew the answers.  We had been there every day, hearing him teach.  We saw him do signs, and how the people hung on his every word and action.  The truth is, he saw right through us.  That's how I know that Caiaphas was right.  He had to die.  It was the only way to protect the people from him.

You don't realize what a difficult job we have.  The Romans have given us permission to practice our religion.  We exist by their good will.  That means that we have to keep our devotion in check at times. We can worship God, but not too fervently.  If we become too fervent, the Romans will worry, and we could be destroyed.  So we have to convince them that we are not a threat, our nation is not a threat.  Some people believe that we have compromised our faith, that we only read the parts of the Bible that are convenient for us, that we bend over too far for the sake of the Emperor.  But they don't understand.  The Roman Empire can be our friend, if only we understand our relationship.  It's for Israel's sake that we do what we do.

This Jesus didn't understand that.  He was one of those radicals who believed that we had sold out.  He said, "My kingdom is not of this world," but in the meantime, he was turning our world upside down.  He healed on the sabbath.  He multiplied loaves of bread and then said that HE was the bread of life.  He dared to suggest that we did not understand our own scriptures.  He told us that we were slaves and said that the truth could set us free!  How dare he!  We are children of Abraham and we have never been slaves to anyone!

Caiaphas was right.  Killing Jesus was the only way to protect the people from him.  They would have followed him anywhere.  It's a good thing they were open to other suggestions.  Ha!

Lately I have heard disturbing rumors, though... Rumors that he isn't dead any more.  I know it can't be true.  But if it is... how can we protect the people from him now?
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