Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 269

Our Place in History Will Be Determined by Our Characters, September 19

Consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. John 11:50.

With Caiaphas the Jewish high priesthood ended. This proud, overbearing, wicked man proved his unworthiness ever to have worn the garments of the high priest. He had neither capacity nor authority from heaven for doing the work.... Virtually, Caiaphas was no high priest. He wore the priestly robes, but he had no vital connection with God....

The mock trial of Christ shows how base the priesthood had become. The priests hired people to testify under oath to falsehood, that Jesus might be condemned. But on this occasion, truth came to the help of Christ.... Thus it was shown that the testimonies borne against Him were false, that the witnesses had been hired by men who cherished in their hearts the basest elements of corruption. It was God's design that the men who delivered Jesus should hear the testimony of His innocence. “I find no fault in him,” Pilate declared. And Judas, throwing at the feet of the priests the money he had received for betraying Christ, bore testimony, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.”

Previously, when the Sanhedrin had been called together to lay plans for waylaying Christ and putting Him to death, Caiaphas said, Cannot ye see that the world is gone after Him? The voices of some members of the council were heard, pleading with the others to check their passion and hatred against Christ. They wished to save Him from being put to death. In reply to them, Caiaphas said, “Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us [he might have said “a corrupted priesthood”] that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.”

These words were uttered by one who knew not their significance.... He was condemning One whose death would end the need for types and shadows, whose death was prefigured in every sacrifice made. But the high priest's words meant more than he, or those who were combined with him, knew. By them he bore testimony that the time had come for the Aaronic priesthood to cease forever....

Caiaphas was the one that was to be in office when types and shadow were to meet the reality, when the true High Priest was to come into office.... People of all characters, righteous and unrighteous, will stand in their positions. With the characters they have formed, they will act their part in the fulfillment of history.—Manuscript 101, 1897.

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