187. “It is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish” (John 11:50).
Caiaphas’ cryptic words somehow seek to make the most despicable of ideas a patriotic necessity. These leaders do not feel the impact of a Roman crackdown on the people. They fear the loss of their places of prominence. If the Romans think we can’t control the people, they’ll get someone else. Loss of position has motivated many evil decisions throughout human history. One may rise to authority through excellence and good deeds, but the hunger to stay in that place often brings just the opposite. We must hold all things loosely. We must not allow our “place” to determine our direction. Righteousness exalts, but evil is the companion of those who want to maintain the status quo.