OK, I know I'm still relatively young, but...how is it possible that I've been learning about the Bible for YEARS (at home, in Sunday School, Christian School, Bible College) and just now read the verses following Mary's annointing of Jesus' feet shortly after Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead?
9When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
My (husband's) ESV study Bible had an interesting note on v10: "When the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death, it betrayed an astounding refusal to allow their beliefs to be changed by undeniable facts. They would rather destroy the evidence than change their minds. This is not rational behavior, but sin produces irrational action."
Sin produces irrational action. I'd say. When we are unwilling to admit that we're wrong, when we look facts in the face and choose to come to the opposite conclusion, it is indeed astounding.
I was struck with the fact that these chief priests were willing to take a life in order to remove the evidence that Jesus had performed an unbelievable miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead. Prior to Jesus, I imagine that these religious leaders taught about life being a gift from God, about murder being wrong - but when Someone dared to cross their traditions and beliefs, instead of facing the facts that Jesus might possibly be Messiah, they compromised in a big way with a plot on Lazarus - who wasn't "at fault" for Jesus' miracle at all - just a happy recipient!
So what truths do I ignore in the face of undeniable facts? Is there something - anything I hold more dearly than the truth? Do I hold "convictions" that are merely tradition? Do I value anything more than God's Truth and God's people? I hope not - I pray not! But if chief priests can plot murder when faced with uncomfortable truth, I certainly am more than capable of sinning along the same lines.
It's been good for me to ponder.