by Barri Cae Mallin
Sometimes it is difficult for me to write this. What is it about That Man?
I recall the days when we at the Sanhedrin got the report about John, Wilderness man, issuing forth a call to repent (Luke 3:2-3). We knew our Holy Scriptures, we knew the requirements of the Day of Atonement. Who does he think he is, telling us to repent? And not even on a Holy Day?
Although we heard reports of his followers, we paid no attention. We had more important duties here in Jerusalem.
I, Caiaphas, was High Priest, Cohen Gadol. I succeeded my father-in law Annas, for this most coveted position. I had been groomed for this all of my life, having attended Cheder, Torah lessons all day at the shul, living with the Rabbi, marrying the right girl. Even wearing the Priestly Ephod makes me so proud.
And our Temple duties keep us all busy. Securing lambs for all the feasts, making sure there is plenty of currency in the tills to handle the crowds. And we must pay steep prices to Roman soldiers to uphold the peace. A delicate balance. I am the man of the hour.
Until That Man came along.
We heard the reports of That Man healing the sick, making the lame to walk, opening blind eyes. That Man could do things that not even God could do. Who was That Man?
I had to find out for myself. That Man healed a blind young boy on Shabbat, this was an abomination!
But then, Lazarus (whose funeral service I attended) was brought back to life after four days, by That Man.
Something had to be done, I had to find That Man!
I called for an emergency meeting of the Sanhedrin. One man said,
"If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation." (John 11:48)
I had to speak up.
"You know nothing at all ! Nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you, that One Man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." John 11:49-50
I knew not how prophetic this statement was at the time. Think of it, here I am - High Priest and Prophet.
From that time, we planned to kill That Man.
Passover approaches. Lambs, money changers, pay Soldiers for protection. Thousands arrive
We contact a man named Judas, one of the twelve followers of That Man. He agrees to lead us
to That Man.
That evening could not have gone better. Thanks to our Soldier friends, the Romans had a cohort show up and they had That Man arrested.
That Man was now in front of the Sanhedrin.
That Man looked into my eyes. That Man saw my soul.
Immediately, I looked away.
That Man angered me by His silence.
I cried, " I adjure You, by the Living God, that You tell us whether You are the Messiah, The Son of God!"
That Man spoke,
"You have said it yourself; nevertheless, I tell you, hereafter you shall see The Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven."
"Blasphemer!", I cried.
I tore my clothes.
"What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy!
what do you think?"
The crowd answered, "He is deserving of death!" (Matt. 26:3-66)
Under the veil of darkness, we rushed to awaken Pilate. We had to act fast for the feast preparations began in a few hours. We must rush this trial. That Man had to die.
Pilate handed That Man over to us.
and all the people answered and said, "His Blood be on us and on our children!" Matt.27:25
The next hours, as daily came, can only be described as eerie, haunting. That Man was crucified. I did not observe this, as I am a Cohen.
But the Temple veil into the Holy of Holies was torn in two, from top to bottom. Earthquakes occurred. Tombs opened; the dead came to life and appeared to many.
And I was glad. That Man was dead!!
But even more mysteries occurred. Word spread that That Man was alive. That Man's followers, Peter and John, taught that That Man had been resurrected from death.
I was called to hear their defense (Acts 4:6)
We warned them to speak no more, and had Peter and the apostles arrested and thrown in jail.
But they escaped!
We pursued them, captured them, warned them again, and got Stephen.
But alas, he was one of That Man's followers, too, so we had him stoned. (Acts 7)
I called for Saul. He had done such a fine job presiding at Stephen's stoning, that I gave him the assignment to go to the Damascus synagogues, and kill anyone associated with That Man or The Way.(Acts 9)
But another mystery-- That Man appeared to Saul!!
Saul changed in an instant.
Now Saul is with them, too.
What is it about That
©2003 Barricae Mallin. All rights reserved.