Sunday, March 8, 2015
Letter to Caiaphas
Lent Letter to Caiaphas
“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘I will be delivered up to be crucified.’
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered
in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,
and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus
by stealth and kill Him…
Those who had seized Jesus led Him to Caiaphas…
Now the chief priest and the whole council were seeking
false testimony against Jesus that
they might put Him to death…
They found none,
though many false witnesses came forward.
‘Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!’
Jesus replied, ‘Yes.’
Caiaphas tore his robes…”
You meant well.
You were a clergyman – a professionally trained religious leader.
Today’s equivalent would have gone to college for four years and seminary for another three years at least and then passed lots of oral and written examinations to prove he meant well when it comes to guiding faith.
You must have impressed your mentors and then peers because you climbed to the top of the ladder of ecclesiastical success. You were the high priest of the Sanhedrin – the highest religious ruling council of your time.
Today’s equivalents would be the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church or President of some Protestant denomination or one of those self-proclaimed-and-accountable-to-nobody bishops, pastors, and founders of some independent-of-everybody-often-including-Jesus-by-the-book-megachurched-or-television-industry-more-than-ministry.
Meaning well, of course, doesn’t always end up being/doing well.
You were a poster child for that.
You said you were a big fan of God.
But when He showed up in Jesus, you did everything that you could to inhibit Him; and you did because you were the “high” priest of Israel’s most dominant religion – discounting Caesar worship because that doesn’t count because Caesar was sooooooo human – and couldn’t bare to give up your perks, prosperity, and position provided by your religion about God even when He showed up in person and offered a relationship infinitely better than anything ever offered before.
Just like He does for your modern equivalents, Jesus upset your religion sooooooo much that you knew He had to go or your religion would; reminding me of one observer’s conclusions about why you teamed up with clergy and Caesar-servants to nail Him: “Christianity endangers businesses, undermines profitable but wicked trades, steals away customers from the devil’s shrines, attacks vested interests, and turns the world upside down. It is a tiresome, annoying, profit-destroying thing.”
God knows your religious gasket exploded when you heard Him say this about clergy, religious celebrities, and people who idolize them: “You break the commandments of God for your traditions…You honor Me with your lips but your hearts are far away from Me…You teach traditions as if they were from God…You don’t practice what you preach…You like titles; drooling to be called doctor and reverend and bishop and pastor…You like to sit up front in worship and church meetings and always feel entitled to be the first in line at potlucks…Your church clothes are so expensive; stealing money that could be used to feed, clothe, and house the poor…You exalt yourselves over others…You play church…You are like shined shoes with holes in the soles…Souls…You cannot mask what’s really on the inside from Me…People who follow you become twice as fit for hell as you are yourselves…”
Webber and Rice paraphrased you so well in why you really wanted to get rid of Him: “Fools! You have no perception! The stakes we are gambling are frighteningly high! We must crush Him completely! So like John before Him, this Jesus must die! For the sake of the nation, this Jesus must die!”
You had a real good deal going with the state and market; getting rich off a religion that would get richer as long as you kept the sheep from the truth about your dark conspiracy.
Thinking of today's equivalents, names like Al, Jesse, Joel, Joyce, Kenneth and...come to mind.
While God always cared more for those who need what you and your ilk always have hoarded for yourselves in the name of some twisted and perverse religion about God, you piled and piled and piled up treasures on earth and destroyed anyone who threatened to expose what you never really accepted about who He really is and what He really requires of anyone claiming to be His true followers.
Yes, you were a big fan of God.
Following Him was another question; especially, again, when it cut into your revenues.
So when He showed up in Jesus, you decided to kill Him; holding secret meetings to come up with any rationalizations that would get what you wanted.
You damned truth just like today’s equivalents who resort to lying, undermining, using money to punish, and other devilish devices when they don’t get what they want regardless of how it corresponds to His revealed will in Jesus by the book.
And when Jesus admitted who He was/is/remains, you became a drama queen like too many of today’s clergy and tore your grossly ornamental and outrageously expensive church clothes in staged indignation.
But, oh, yeah, you meant well.
God knows people who know God would have expected you to be a little more sensitive to God’s appeals and appearance in Jesus as one who always claimed to be so close to God.
Again, it’s like today.
God knows people who know God would expect people to be a little more sensitive to God’s appeals and appearance in Jesus as people who claim to be so close to God.
But, like you, nope.
They're as inauthentic and phony as you were when He showed up in Jesus.
But, oh, yeah, you meant well.
My daddy always told me when I told him that I meant well after doing something that didn’t turn out that well, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
While I’d never pretend to know who really believes in Him and gets admitted in the end, I do know His book has a lot to say about behavior being existential evidence of such an eternal relationship.
You rolled the dice.
I guess you figured He’d cut some slack for you even if you got it wrong when He showed up to upset your religion.
I don’t know.
All I know is I hope I’m more into a relationship with Him than the kind of religion that you hawked and continues today in so many churches.
It’s because I know everyone lives forever; and I’d rather end up at His address than…
Part of the Family
Blessings and Love!