An advantage

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.

A more excellent way

The saying “ignorance is bliss” is probably more true than most people realize. Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived said, “for in much wisdom is much grief and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18). I remember distinctly how I felt the night I found out my husband was having an affair. It was like a knife had pierced my heart. I sobbed uncontrollably and laid awake all night trying to process what I had heard. The pain was so severe, I actually thought the truth might kill me.

There were many times after that night that I wished my husband hadn’t told me what was going on. I wondered why he couldn’t have kept it to himself. I wanted to go back to the way things were when I thought he was a good man that could never do such a thing. My husband was a Christian, at least that was what he had led me to believe.

At the end of his life, Solomon looked back and decided “that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:13). The word translated excelleth, yithrown means preeminence or surpassing all others (3504). Yithrown is derived from the word yathar which means to exceed or excel (3498). Sometimes the word yathar indicates survivors and reflects the idea of a remnant, such as when Israel is dispersed throughout the world and a remnant survives and returns to the Promised Land. (Ezekiel 6:8).

It was very difficult for me to see the reality of what was going on around me and to know the truth about my marriage. As time went on, I was able to trust God and learn from my experience. Ultimately, I became a different person and began to understand what I had done wrong and why my marriage had failed.