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§ 234. Measures taken against Christ by the Sanhedrim. (John, xi., 47, seq.)

The raising of Lazarus exerted an important influence in bringing about the final catastrophe of Christ’s life. On the one hand, it led many to believe in his Divine calling, and, on the other, it decided the ruling Pharisaic party to adopt more violent measures against him. They were now satisfied that their sentence of excommunication630630   Cf. p. 298. had not counteracted the impressions which his ministry had made upon the minds of the people; and feared that, if they let him alone, all men would believe on him as Messiah In view of the threatened danger, a council of the Sanhedrim was summoned. Men who were in the habit of sacrificing the peace of the state to their own passions now made it a plea for vigorous steps against Christ. “If the thing is allowed to go on, all will believe on him. The people will proclaim him king; and the Romans will come and take away what power and nationality they have left us.” Caiaphas, the high-priest, adopting the view thus presented, said, “It is, at any rate, better that one should die for all, than that the whole nation should perish.” And without any legal investigation of the criminality of Jesus, it was resolved, on pretext of the safety of the state, by the majority (against whose vehemence a few more moderate members could do nothing), that he must 344die, The mode of his death was to be subsequently decided on, according to circumstances. An order was issued for the seizure of his person, in case he should attend the Feast of the Passover at Jerusalem.

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