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On getting rid of leaders

So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Sanhedrin [the Judean parliament AD 32] and said, “What are we to do? For this man [Jesus of Nazareth] performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will take away both our place and our nation.” But ... Caiaphas, [the president that year of the Sanhedrin], said to them, “You know nothing at all. Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”      John 11: 47-50


In AD 32 the Sanhedrin, broadly having similar functions to the States of Jersey in Judea that year, found out that one man was going to be a disaster to them. See above.


The meeting may not have been a formal one. It may well be that the Sanhedrin members were gathered together to speak off the record. The man who placed this on the record, John, was known to be close to the authorities there in AD 32.


But the concept of Caiaphas (“it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish”) has been paralleled this week in Britain.


The whole nation perish? Britain go under? Yes: the overarching fear was the financial markets. If Gordon Brown continued as Prime Minister with LibDem support would confidence in sterling be damaged? Would the rating agencies downgrade Britain’s sovereign risk rating as they did with Greece only a few days earlier?


Better for the nation that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish? Not quite. Not quite in Jerusalem in AD 32. “Better for you that one man should die for the people.....” Better for you, the concerned parliamentarians, because, you are saying “What are we to do?” It will be to your detriment if “ ... everyone will believe in him”.


Everyone will follow another leader and fail to follow us. That was the real concern. On that we’re all agreed, whether in AD 32 or AD 2010.


Was the AD 32 situation a parallel for this week’s events in London? Yes, but not so much with regard to getting rid of Gordon Brown.


The British people are being encouraged to place all their trust in the new coalition “in the national interest”. The new Prime Minister and the new Deputy Prime Minister are creating a new form of political government promoted as a consensus in the national interest......


But it’s the same old Sanhedrin. It has no truck with Labour. The coalition will kill Labour tomorrow – to stay in power – if it needs to.


The real killer motive is power. “I do it my way” is the way of all flesh. Hence wars. Hence the killing. Hence the litigation. Hence the insults. Hence the mockery of others. Hence the gossip.


But, very strangely indeed and most remarkable of all, the president of the Sanhedrin spoke absolute truth vehemently. He almost mocked and railed at Parliament for their stupidity. He said, “You know nothing at all.”


He explained, “Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”


You see, this man, this particular leader, would lead by being killed AD 33 for the people – on behalf of the people; in their place. In fact they would die when he died without having to die themselves.


He would suffer the consequences (on others) of each person choosing himself/herself as his/her only leader, and getting rid of every other leader.


And then he would forgive those of them who turned to him, having borne the pain and death that they inflicted on him in killing him as leader.


The president of the Sanhedrin said, if Jesus dies, the whole nation will not perish. How was that true? Because some of the nation would see Jesus after his crucifixion and death and follow him as their leader all their days in the new life he would give them for free
‘Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’  (Lord Acton, historian and writer, 1834-1902)
"... the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (Paul the Apostle, Letter to Corinthian Christians, AD 53)
Richard Syvret

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