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The Sanhedrim consult how they should deal with Jesus.
rus, by the Advice of Caiaphas agree, that Jesus pould
Jown XI. 47. THEN gathered the Chief I T was before observed, (at the Close of the Sect. 141. 1 Priests and the Pharisees
I last Section) that some who had been presents a Council, and said, What
oth at the Resurrection of Lazarus, instead of being do we? for this Man doth at the Kelurrection of Lazarus,
John XI. 47 many Miracles.
duly wrought upon by the Miracle, went away
many of the most surprizing Miracles that were
believe on him as the promised Meffiah, and will both our Place and Nation. acknowledge him as the King of Israel; and what
can we expect will be the Consequence of this,
to our Guardianship and Care.
against Jesus, one of them, [even] Caiaphas, who
260 Caiaphas advises, that One Mould die for the People. Sect. 141. among the many sudden Revolutions which hap- High-Priest that same Year,
said unto them, Ye know. pened in the Government about that Time, was
nothing at all, John 21. 49. High-Priest that Year in which Christ was cracia
fied (a), said to them, while they were thus de-
of this Jesus, who occasions such an Alarm :
Man should die for the Peo- . made Capital by our Law ; for do you not con- ple, and that the whole Na. fider, that the extream Danger of a State will tion perish not. justify such extraordinary Steps as are necessary for its Preservation, and that it is undoubtedly much better for us, that One innocent Man Mould die for the Security of the People, than that the wbole Nation he belongs to pould perip by our fcrupling to take away his Life?
Now this, by the Way, was a very remarkable 51 And this spake he, not Saying; and it is to be observed, that he spake it of himself : but being High-
Priest that Year, he prophenot merely of himself, but being High-Priest that fied that Jesus thould die for Year, and so a Person of the greatest Dignity and that Nation :Authority, he was moved by a secret Impulse from God to utter these Words, which might be
efteemed as an Oracle, and were capable of a · much higher Şenfe than he apprehended ; and by
them he in Effect prophesied (6), that Jefiis. fhould
fhortly die for the Security, Redemption, and Hapo 52 piness of the Jewish Nation : And' indeed, not 52 And not for that Nafor the Jewith Nation alone, but for all the Na- tion only, but that also he
should. tions of the Earth, even that he also might gather
(a) Was High-Priest that Year. It is well known, that the High-Priesthood among the Jews was not Annual ; but the many Revolutions about that Time might justify such a Manner of speaking, which signifies no more than in those Days, or at that Time. (Compare Deut. xxvi. 3: 706. xx. 6. Ezek. xxxviii, 8. and Mal, iii. 4.) See Mr. Lardner's Creo dibility, Vol. i. pag. 512, 513
(6) Being High-Priest that rear, he prophesied.] The Jewish High-Priests had in former Ages been often under the Inspiration of a Prophetic Spirit : There was therefore some peculiar Congruity in putting this Oracle into his Mouth, and the Dignity of his Office would add some peculiar Weight and Regard to what he said. It is a strange Fancy of Dr. Lightfoot, that Caiaphas knew 7efus to be the Messiah, and that the Sanbedrim founded their Apprehension of Danger from the Romans, in Consequence of the Regard shewn to him, on a ridiculous Interpretation of Isa. X. ult. and xi. 1. whence they inferred, that the Destruction of the Temple should quickly fucceed the Coming of the Meliab. See his Hor. Hebr. on John xi. 48, 51. .
They resolve on bis-Death, and Jesus retires to Ephraim. 261 should gather together in together into one glorious and happy Society all the Sect. 141. one the Children of God
GOD chosen Children of GOD, that a that were factered abroad. broad in the most distant Places and
*** John XI. 52. the Gentiles as well as the Jews. 53 Then from that Day From that very Day therefore, the Members 53 forth they took Counsel to- of the Sanhedrim in general, (tho' some partigether for to put him to
cular Persons were averse to their Proceedings, ) Death.
having thus resolved upon the Death of Jesus,
Tay bim. . . 54 Jesus therefore walk. For this Reason Jesus, who knew the secret 545 ed no more openly among Resolution they had formed to take away his the Jews; but went thence unto a Country near to the Life, walked no more openly among the Jews in Wilderness, into a City call those Parts; till the appointed Hour for his Suffered Ephraim, and there con- ing was come ; but instead of visiting Jerusalem, tinued with his Disciples.
he went away from thence, even from Bethany
Lazarus's Death. ..
preparatory Sacrifices (e), in order to be ready for
the Celebration of that solemn Festival. (Com56 Then sought they for pare 2. Chron. xxx. 17:). Then as the People 56 Jesus,
55 And the
wind and near ; and many wen.come little Time before the
(c) To a City called Ephraim.] This City (which is mentioned with Bethel, 2 Chron: xiii. 19.) is by fome called Ephrem, and is generally supposed to have lain in the North-East Part of the Lot of Benjamin. See Reland's Palestin. pag. 376. and compare Note (a) on Luke xiii. 23. pag. 138. .
(d) Tookalitele Journey Eastward, &c.] This we have Reason to suppose, or Jericha. would not have lain in his Way to Jerusalem, which yet we find that yeus passed throin his Return. See Luke xix. 1. Sit. 143.
(e) That they might purify themselves by some preparatory Sacrifices. ) Dr. Lightfoot (in his Hor. Hebr. on this place, has shewn, that as a variety of Circumstances mighi happen to Multitudes which would require Purification, so some sort of Cleansing required no less than Seven Days.
262 The Sanhedrim give Orders to all to discover him. Sect. 141. came together, they diligently sought for yesus Jesus,, and spake among w m there, being some of them delirous to see and hearin
'themselves as they stood in John XI. 56.
the Temple, What think 11.5°. him, and others wanting to discover him to his ye, that he will not come to
avowed Enemies the Pharisees ; and as it could the Feaft?
Priests and the Pharisees had and the Pharifées, concluding that he would not
given a Commandment, that fail to come according to his usual Custom, no if any Man knew where he longer dissembled their Malice, but publifhed a were, he should thew it, Mandate, by which they had given an express that they might take him. Command, that if any one knew where he was, he should immediately declare [it] to them ; that they might apprehend, and bring him to his Trial, as a Disturber of the publick Peace, and a Person dangerous to the State.
John xi. 47.
gible Malice, as was in the Hearts of these Rulers against our Blessed Saviour ? What but Divine Grace can reclaim Men, when to have heard of the Resurrection of Lazarus from their own Friends and Confidents, who had just been Eye-witnesses of it, instead of conquer
ing their Hearts, served only to inflame their murtherous Rage ? Ver. 47,-50. This is an Instance, where we evidently see the Place of Judgment, that
Wickedness was there; and the Place of Righteousness, that Iniquity was
Reflestions on the Rage and Folly of Christ's Enemies. 263 then, like this foolish Ruler, they will be caught in their own Craftiness ; Sect. 141. and it is more than possible, that they may, in many Instances, hasten them very Distress, they are contriving to avoid. For this was here the Event: The Romans (called therefore the People of Messiah the Prince, Dan. ix. 26.) were sent as Executioners of the Divine Vengeance, and the Yews were given up to a Spirit of Discord and Madness, the terrible Effects of which were such as cannot be read without Horror, till their Place and Nation were taken away; nor could even the Roman General forbear declaring, that the Hand of GOD was apparent in their Destruction.
Let us attend to this Divine Oracle, which God saw fit to put into Ver. 51, 52. the Mouth of so wicked a Man. Hefus has actually died for the People, even for all the Children of GOD that are scattered abroad. His Death is substituted instead of theirs ; and by it they are redeemed and delivered, and shall e’er long be incorporated together, and all the happy Colony be raised to an Abode of eternal Glory. Blessed Harvest, which springs up from Redeeming Blood ! Heroic Love of the dear Redeemer, which at the proper Time brought him to Jerusalem, where he knew that Evil Ver. 56, 57, was determined against him! Let us follow him in a couragious Adherence to God, and our Duty, in the Midst of Danger and Opposition; and.. not wonder, if we are set up as the Marks of Infamy and Reproach, when we fee Yesus marked out by a publick Mandate, as if he had been a Robber or a Murtherer ; and find so numerous and grand a Court of Judicature, requiring their Subjects to seize this most generous Friend of the whole World, as the grand Enemy of God and his Country.
SE CT. CXLII.
CHRIST setting out on bis-last' Journey to Jerusalem, pro
phefies of his Sufferings there ; rebukes the Ambition of
MARK X. 32.
Way-going up to Jeru A of his Retreat, and tho' he knew the Rev falem : and Jesus went be
****for folution that his Enemies had formed against him. Mat. X. 326
yet he set out with his Disciples, and (taking Je-