When Jesus raised
However, some did not, and they ran back to the and reported
what they had seen Jesus do. The Pharisees understood that this
latest miracle was so astounding that it could permanently damage
their power in . The helped to unite the Pharisees
in their plot to kill Jesus by saying, “It is better for you that one
man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should
perish” (John 11:50). He said this because he was a smooth
politician, and he wanted the rest of the Pharisees to agree with him.
He wanted them to believe that Jesus should be killed so that they
would be able to remain in control of Israel.
John wants us to see the High Priest’s statement on another level as
well. It is also an unintentional prophecy. Jesus would indeed die
for the Jewish nation, taking their sins upon himself and dying in
their place. Yet the full meaning is even greater than that. He
would die for all of the “Israel of God” (Gal 6:16), the one, unified
gathered from the nations of the world.
The next section tells us how Mary prepared Jesus for burial. She
anointed him with expensive perfume and wiped his feet with her hair.
Her act was remarkable for several reasons. It was an act of
humility, because only the lowest slaves would wash people’s feet.
Also, it was a very expensive jar of perfume. And, of course, her act
foreshadowed what was about to happen. Jesus was about to be killed
for the sins of men.
The last section tells us about the plot against Lazarus. The
Pharisees hatred for Jesus burned so fiercely that it even lashed out
against Jesus’ followers. Lazarus was a living symbol of Jesus’
power, and so the Pharisees decided that Lazarus needed to be killed
as well, so as to thoroughly extinguish the threat that Jesus posed to
This entire passage of Scripture emphasizes the plan of God in
salvation. Though the Pharisees contrived their plots, the death of
Jesus happened according to God’s perfect plan. This plan is still in
effect today, as people throughout the world are being added to the
people of God, and even as Jesus’ followers are still being persecuted
for their faith.