There’s the weird little snippet of a story in John 12:9-11 that I’ve never really thought about or heard discussed or sermonized (is that a word?). The chief priests in Jerusalem have decided to arrest and kill Jesus (see John 11). Then, Lazarus, who’s already been successfully raised from the dead, shows up and the crowds go double wild. Due to this popularity and the fact that Jesus had raised him from the dead, the chief priests decide to off Lazarus as well. Reminds me of The Godfather.
I wonder if the priests thought through the proper order? You’d need to kill Jesus first, because if you killed Lazarus first, Jesus would just raise him from the dead again. I’m sure they worked through a problem-solved process.
What kind of mental state had these religious leaders gotten themselves into? They were to be shepherds of the people, not natural born killers. Once they decided that the murder of Jesus was an option, it was not a leap to decide to kill the next person, Lazarus. Then the next. Any tactic was justifiable in the pursuit and maintenance of power.
Religion, divorced from a relationship with God, can become as callous and despicable as any other system of government subjugation. Rules and traditions don’t save people, Jesus does. The same Jesus these men later killed. But who, like Lazarus, just wouldn’t stay dead.