June 13 - Who Chooses the Sacrifice?

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13 – Who Chooses the Sacrifice?

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people. (John 18:10-14)

The offense on the part of Caiaphas and Annas was that they decided some one person should die for the good of the people.

They made a decision to sacrifice one person for the good of the many.  That didn’t turn out so well for them.

I love science fiction and I really love Star Trek.  One of the most emotional moments in Star Trek movie history for me was at the end of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.  As Spock died, he said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few … or the one.”  It was, however, Spock’s choice to die so that the others could be saved.  Captain Kirk didn’t force him to die so that the rest could be saved – in fact, Kirk begged him not to do it.

Conscripting young men (and now young women) to go to battle for a country is a completely different thing than filling an army with volunteers.  Individual choice to sacrifice for freedom of country has always been more noble than marching into battle because you are forced to do so by an overlord or government.

The end game was the same whether it was Caiaphas and Annas choosing that Jesus should die or Jesus making the choice Himself.  One was seen as an evil act and the other as a sacrifice that would transform the world.

Caiaphas and Annas wanted to execute a man so that they could stay in power.  Their motives were self-centered and ultimately evil.

Jesus chose to face their trial and execution so that the entire world would be saved. 

Jesus chose.