The chief priests and the Pharisees saw an advantage to having Jesus die for the Jewish nation (John 11:50). They may have thought they could turn the tide in their political future by demonstrating their loyalty to Rome. After they heard that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and our nation…Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death” (John 11:47-48, 53). It was in the winter of A.D. 29 that Jesus was no longer able to “walk openly” among the Jews and had to retreat to a city near the wilderness (John 11:54). Although he knew his death was imminent, Jesus probably wanted to protect his disciples from what was going on in Jerusalem until it was his appointed time to die.
It seems logical that the Jews were ready to kill Jesus even before his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. All the accounts of what happened showed there was an ongoing plot to kill Jesus long before he was arrested and put on trial. There was most likely a concerted effort to take Jesus into custody for at least a few weeks and possibly as much as two to three months. It says in John 11:57, “Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.” One of the things that was an advantage for Jesus during this time was that the people loved him and his miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead was fresh in their minds. The only way the religious leaders were eventually able to capture Jesus was by turning one of his own disciples against him.