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From Heaven With Love

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    Caiaphas Almost Convinced

    The thought that all would stand at the bar of God, to be rewarded according to their works, was a thought of terror to Caiaphas. There rushed before his mind the scenes of the final judgment. For a moment he saw the graves giving up their dead, with the secrets he had hoped were forever hidden. He felt as if the eternal Judge was reading his soul, bringing to light mysteries supposed to be hidden with the dead.HLv 470.2

    Caiaphas had denied the resurrection, the judgment, and a future life. Now he was maddened by satanic fury. Rending his robe, he demanded that the prisoner be condemned for blasphemy. “What further need have we of witnesses?” he said; “behold, now ye have heard His blasphemy. What think ye?” And they all condemned Him.HLv 470.3

    Caiaphas was furious with himself for believing Christ's words, and instead of rending his heart and confessing that Jesus was the Messiah, he rent his priestly robes in determined resistance. This act was deeply significant. Done to secure Christ's condemnation, the high priest had condemned himself. By the law of God he was disqualified for the priesthood. He had pronounced on himself the death sentence.HLv 470.4

    A high priest was not to rend his garments. By the Levitical law, under no circumstances was the priest to rend his robe. Express command had been given by Christ to Moses concerning this. See Leviticus 10:6. Finite man might rend his own heart by showing a contrite and humble spirit. But no rent must be made in the priestly robes, for this would mar the representation of heavenly things. The high priest who dared to engage in the service of the sanctuary with a rent robe was looked on as having severed himself from God. This action exhibited by Caiaphas showed human passion, human imperfection.HLv 471.1

    By rending his garments, Caiaphas made of no effect the law of God, to follow the traditions of men. A manmade law provided that in case of blasphemy a priest might rend his garments in horror at the sin, and be guiltless. Thus the law of God was made void by the laws of men. But in this act, he himself was committing blasphemy.HLv 471.2

    When Caiaphas rent his garment, his act was significant of the place the Jewish nation would thereafter occupy toward God. The Jewish people had rejected Him who was the antitype of all their types, the substance of all their shadows. Israel was divorced from God. Well might the high priest rend his robes in horror for himself and for the nation.HLv 471.3

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