Christ In His Suffering, Trial, and Crucified by Klaas Schilder: Schilder, Klaas - Vol 1 - Christ In His Suffering: 04. Chapter 4: The Last Priest Pointing to the Last Sacrificial Lamb

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Christ In His Suffering, Trial, and Crucified by Klaas Schilder: Schilder, Klaas - Vol 1 - Christ In His Suffering: 04. Chapter 4: The Last Priest Pointing to the Last Sacrificial Lamb

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SUBJECT: 04. Chapter 4: The Last Priest Pointing to the Last Sacrificial Lamb

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The Last Priest Pointing to the Last Sacrificial Lamb

And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.


THREE times now we have seen the Father hurl His Christ into the concussion of spiritual forces. Twice we witnessed Satan’s attempt by means of the spoken word to drive a wedge into the firm breastwork of Jesus’ soul. Once we scented the incense of spiritual ministration. Both, the satanic protest and the loving service, came to Jesus by way of daily experiences and by means of flesh and blood.

At this point the Scriptures go farther and outline to us the relationship between that satanical element which is born in hell and that prophetic influence which comes from heaven.

Today we stand before the chair of Caiaphas. Joseph Caiaphas is the last high priest to whom God Himself still allows the distinction of being Israel’s highest official. His heart ponders satanic thoughts, and in this the Sanhedrin is his ally. But the Spirit of prophecy still broods over the hall in which these are assembled. Therefore, although in its secret thrust Caiaphas’ statement issues from the depths of hell, in its prophetic implications it reaches up to heaven. And—what is more important— the Spirit of truth impinges upon the Spirit of Caiaphas from above and, no thanks to him, of course, permits him to utter that profound phrase in which the whole system of God’s providence and the whole scheme of His redemptive plan is epitomized: One man must die for all!

Again God’s ways prove stronger than those of men. Simon Peter became a satan to Jesus twice. He did so unwittingly. Mary became a ministering angel, and did not know it. Caiaphas actually prophesies; and he is unaware of it, for he gives his advice and pronounces his prophecy not of himself.

Another point immediately strikes the attention. When Peter, the disciple, proved to be a satan to Jesus, his protest was not related to the deepest individuality of his believing and regenerate soul. The significance of Mary’s ministration of love may have transcended her comprehension immeasurably, but her conduct certainly was related to the quintessential attitude of her soul and was an organic outgrowth of it. So it is with those in whom the Spirit of Christ is active. When they speak Satan’s language they play in a grotesquely unsuitable role; when they speak the language of the Holy Spirit they do not act but live the part in congenial responsiveness.

Not so with Caiaphas and his subordinates. When Caiaphas says things born from the spirit of hell, he speaks in conformity with his essential individuality. The satanic in his words is vitally related to his real self. That is his condemnation. And conversely, his prophesying of the Christ is not in its broadest implications, in its profoundest sense, and in its God-glorifying reference, a true expression of the disposition of his soul. That is because there is a great gulf between the delight of this prophet, parading there before his God, and the burden of the Lord which still allows him his exalted seat. That, too, is his condemnation.

Caiaphas prophesies today as once Balaam did, when, in spite of himself, he praised the “Star out of Jacob” and named blessed all those upon whom its rays fell. Thus Saul prophesied at Ramah while seeking David, the true king of the morrow, and Samuel, the true prophet of the day. Saul too was compelled to prophesy; he did so in spite of himself because the Spirit of prophecy seized upon and overwhelmed him.

Draw your own conclusion. When Saul wanted to prevent the theocratic king in David from coming to the fore, and to kill the theological prophets in Samuel, he thereby shattered the oneness in that memorable trilogy: the sacred priesthood, the true prophecy, and the theocratic kingship. By prophesying he dug his own grave; that is, the corrupt official, Saul, was compelled by the Spirit of true prophecy and of heavenly irony, to make room for the official to come, one appointed by God, and one who would discharge the duties of his office in purity and virtue.

Tremble, O man, and mark how God does precisely that but in fulfillment now as Caiaphas prophesies today before the Sanhedrin. Caiaphas is another such office-holder. He is a “called” official. He, too, prophesies about the only High Priest and the eternal King. Again that Spirit of prophecy is present. Again the same terrible, holy irony manifests itself. Caiaphas also, making his prophetic utterance against his own will, digs his own grave. The Spirit of Christ compels him at his own expense to make room for Christ Jesus, the highest official of God and man.

That in itself is another great mystery. Christ must come to the world over the graves of Israel’s dead office-bearers. But before He comes, God calls upon heaven and earth to witness that the grave in which Caiaphas will be interred, and with him the last remnants of Israel’s official-spiritual existence, will not be digged by God but by the mummied traditionalists of a dispossessed generation.

It was a noteworthy session of the Sanhedrin, that of which John tells us something. We read of its meeting, presided over by Caiaphas, at the close of Chapter 11. The chapter first tells of the great miracle that had occurred to Lazarus. He had died in Bethany and had been buried, but the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, had called him from the grave and returned him, a living man, to Mary’s love, to Martha’s cares, and to the astonished gaze of a multitude.

Came the question, of course: Just what is this? What is the meaning and what are the implications of this redemptive event? Everyone was asking it, in Bethany and also at Jerusalem. By no means last of all the query came to the Sanhedrin, Israel’s official information service. There especially it pressed for an answer.

The question comes to us, too. We know that we could not answer it without the Scriptures. A fact remains a mystery unless God discovers its meaning in His Word. As it is, we have that prophetic word, and it is very sure. It clearly indicates the real meaning of Lazarus’ being called from the dead. The Divine thought revealed in that astonishing miracle already was expressed in Isaiah’s prophecy when he said that the Messiah and His coming could be recognized hereby that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.

Christ, before He raised up Lazarus, applied this prophecy to Himself and so signified its meaning. Between the time of Isaiah’s pronouncing it and Lazarus’ being raised from the dead that significant hour intervened in which Jesus told the messengers of John the Baptist that, to those who have faith, He can prove Himself to be the Christ by the fact that the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, the dead are raised, and the poor are comforted by the Gospel. Hence Christ, before He called Lazarus from the grave, had become Isaiah’s highest interpreter and exegete. Now the whole world may determine His genuineness by asking whether the things predicted of the Messiah by all of God’s prophets, Isaiah foremost among them, are true of Him.

Consequently the God of majesty, the God of Psalms 50, the God of truth, exhorts Israel in firm tones and with the plea of love to look upon the open tomb of Lazarus and to acknowledge in their own day that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. He calls upon them to testify that the Messianic prophecy has been fulfilled, here before their own eyes and ears, in Lazarus’ stumbling from the tomb, in Mary’s cry of joy as she rushes to receive him, and in those words of Jesus: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me: And I know that thou hearest me always.”

That was the divine thought expressed in the raising of Lazarus, and by that miracle God now knocks at the door of the Sanhedrin, and for the last time asks for admittance and acknowledgement. By that miracle the powers of a coming age rushed to the rescue of a people almost lost. It was a bolt of God’s lightning. It came to lick the world with its cleansing tongue, to burn the earth clean, to consume the chaff of unbelief and obstinacy, and so leave a soil in which the spiritual seed could grow again.

The Sanhedrin saw the lightning. Its dazzling brilliance penetrated the thick curtains with which they had hoped to keep the rays of truth shut out of their assembly hall. The scent of its smoldering crept into the closely shuttered house of Israel’s last tribunal of justice. The nostrils of Caiaphas and his fellows sensed it. They must take careful thought. They must answer the question that presses all for answer.

What will that reply be? So much is certain: The issue is clear-cut: Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ or He is the Antichrist. He is the Messiah or He is the Beast. Either He is chief of the magicians of the kind that withstood Father Moses in the country of Egypt—and, if so, He far excels these in proficiency—or He is the legal fulfillment of Father Moses. If that is true the powers of revelation and gifts of grace have passed out of Moses into Him. Those are the alternatives. One or the other is true. The miracle that gave life to Lazarus cannot be “neutral” or void of significance.

But the Sanhedrin does not know that. Israel’s official rulers, priests, and prophets cannot understand the meaning of events any longer. They do not see the significance of facts.

That they do not understand is not the worst of it. Intellectual comprehension of objective truth, and that alone, justifies no one. Therefore failure to rationally understand objective truth condemns no one. Such failure is not the cause of the condemnation. It may be one of the symptoms, may be one of the means by which the curse realizes itself in man, it may even be one of the items in the verdict, but intellectual error, solely, can never be the cause of a person’s degeneration. No, the logical formulation of problems, of their rationalization, is not the quintessence of sin, for that essence is a self-assertion of the flesh in the deepest heart of man. It is a self-assertion which musters all of the energies of the heart and soul into its service in order to escape from the embarrassment of God and prophecy.

The Sanhedrin confesses to such self-vindication. What do they say? Why, that “the whole world goes after him” (Joh_12:19; compare also Joh_11:47).

And that is the simple truth. Now that He has done “many other miracles” (Joh_11:47) and has raised Lazarus the whole world does follow Jesus. But—we should like to suggest to this group who are seated to have justice done—but just that fact should provoke you to anxiously hasten to the Scriptures, to God, and to the Holy Spirit. For it is quite clear: Jesus is anti-Christ or He is not that. If He is that, you, when you see that the world is following Him, should sound the alarm before your God and for His sake. You know Him as the God of your fathers, the God who, when the prophets, confronting false prophecy, asked Him for a sign to vindicate their genuineness before the world and before the covenant people, never left them without such vindication even though the miracle sometimes came as a judgment of God. If He is the Antichrist, sound the alarm!

If this Nazarene has accomplished the miracle at Bethany through Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, and if this Antichrist has ignited the fireworks of “signs and wonders of deception” at your very door, you can do only one thing: Raise holy hands to heaven, if you can. Call to your God! Make your session hall a miniature Carmel (although in a sense a large one)! Petition your God to tear the heavens open and to reveal at last the promised, true Messiah! For, if the Antichrist has come, the hour of the true Messiah must have struck. This, then, you know with strictest certainty: Here are the powers of the coming age revealed. Act accordingly and you will at least be eschatologically active. For the ends of the ages rest with you.

Or, and this is the other alternative, you can say that the Man who defeated the grave at Bethany is not Antichrist or one of his precursors, but the Christ Himself or His herald. Of course, if that is true, it is plainly your duty to ask Caiaphas to come down from his chair, to open the scroll of prophecy, and to have him point out to you all that the Promised One of the fathers has come “unto his own”.

The crisis has come. The chair of Caiaphas is being threatened by the judgment seat of God. Who is to occupy it? The forces of the coming era are here. Let the Nazarene be Antichrist or one of his a hundred times, this much is plain: God is even now coming into His kingdom.

Really, it is a difficult matter for the Sanhedrin. To questions of such momentous importance no one can give a nicely formulated answer off-hand. Nevertheless, at any such time as that in which this body finds itself, the needful thing is to open the Scriptures, to let prophecy shed upon the events of the day the light of special revelation. That is their duty and they must undertake it for two reasons: first, for Israel’s sake; and, secondly, for their own.

For Israel’s sake, O Sanhedrin, you must explain Jesus’ miraculous signs in the light of special revelation, of prophecy. Have you not read of the prophet, Zechariah, who classified the shepherds and separated the false ones, who abandoned the people and fed themselves, from the true ones who come not to be served but to serve, from those who will find their crown in the one Good Shepherd, who will sacrifice Himself, will seek the young ones, will feed the sheep, will heal them, and rescue them from the claws of death. Well, then, you who read the scrolls and officiously claim to “expound” prophecy to the people, say now, and that in unmistakable tones, who is this Nazarene, this sheep of Israel’s flock, this “Son of Abraham,” who rescued Lazarus from the claws of death and greatly comforted Mary and Martha? Are His the features of the false shepherd? Or is He the good Shepherd or one of His precursors? Surely you who claim to explain prophecy may leave nothing undone until you have pointed out the precise relationship between those prophetic visions and this recent miracle. Rise to the occasion. Be shepherds of your people. The false prophet, says Zechariah, will not “wear a rough garment to deceive” as long as the true prophets remain alert. If the Nazarene has done the signs of deception through Beelzebub, obviously you must rush to the aid of your poor, misguided people, and, in the name of the Scriptures, must tear the rough garment off the shoulders of the imposter. Or, in the other case, you must summon the people to come and, together with yourselves, to bow down before and become subject to His leadership. Whatever the case may be, it is your inescapable duty to discover the criterion by which the true prophecy may be distinguished from the false. Either you must punish the false prophet or you will be forever rejected from the shepherd’s office. Then the good Shepherd will feed His flock alone.

That touches on the second reason for which the Sanhedrin must do the necessary thing: consult the Scriptures. Its members must do that for their own sake, because their office, their position is being threatened. Note the distinctiveness of that position. Caiaphas is in the presiding officer’s chair. The spot which that chair occupies has, by God’s own direction, up to this time been the highest point of the whole spiritual world. Israel leads the nations spiritually. In Israel the Sanhedrin is the highest tribunal of justice to which the treasures of God’s revelation are still entrusted. In that body, in turn, Caiaphas holds the ranking position. Hence it is making no sweeping statement to say that Caiaphas’ chair rests on the very vortex of the spiritual world, on the pinnacle of the nations. Caiaphas’ own aristocratic self-assurance knows that, too. The Sanhedrin knows and prides itself on the fact that it stands at the glistening top of the religious life of the world.

The Sanhedrin knows that, but . . . there is one thorn in the flesh. From the plateau of secular life, not in Jerusalem but at Rome, another peak is rising. It is the dome of the Capitol. Beneath it is Caesar’s throne. Just as Caiaphas wants his presiding officer’s chair to rest on the apex of the spiritual world, so Caesar wants his throne to represent the highest authority in things secular, especially in those derived from physical might. The position of Caiaphas is spiritually both at the center and top of the world, and he would therefore have all things subject to it. But Caesar’s throne, central and paramount in the whole secular world, would subject to it all that moves and has being among the peoples.

Just what status, then, does the Sanhedrin still enjoy? Rome has overshadowed Jerusalem, and Caesar’s secular authority laughs haughtily and derisively at the spiritual pretenses of Caiaphas and his fellows. What gathers at Jerusalem today looks very much the mangled remains of what was once a flourishing body. So pathetically little is left of the three offices which Israel once possessed. Prophecy has been still these many years. The priest who presides here now has not been able to keep the bond uniting him with Aaron unimpaired. Only by long and arduous competition with foreign tyranny and inner self-decay has the priesthood been able to rescue its cloak from the burning embers of Israel’s existence. Really, if the Sanhedrin, frail as it is already, is hesitant in this critical moment in which the whole world goes after Jesus, it is altogether lost. True, the hour has not yet spent itself in which that body can say, by reason of God’s voice in Israel’s history: We are the legal office-holders; this place is the top of the world; here God’s foot touches on the earth.

But now they must know what they are doing. That matter concerning Lazarus affects them personally. Can they annex tor themselves the miraculous sign at Bethany and the language God speaks in it? If so, they are safe for the time being. Far be it from them, then, to cut the knot God Himself has tied for them with the dumb power of the sword. Prophecy alone, not Rome’s brute force, can save them today. To kill Jesus with the sword is to summon the aid of the Caesar on that other world height. To call in the help of the Roman sword is ipso facto to surrender their offices; by that act they automatically sever themselves from their international distinctiveness and official rank. No, no. Let Rome keep her secular sword. They have another, the two-edged sword of the Word of God. Ah, Sanhedrin, do not look for a weapon in Rome’s arsenal, but search the Scriptures!

Alas, Caiaphas does not and the Sanhedrin does not. They can see only one thing: the world goes after Him. And by that they mean: the world is leaving us.

That is more than they can countenance. So they begin to look for arguments. They play a role. They try to rationalize their self-assertion, to give their self-vindication the color of piety. Hear the president: Surely it is expedient that we put the Nazarene to death, for only by that method can we save Israel. Even though He be a legitimate child of Abraham—we will not discuss that now—it is better that this one member be cut off from the body than that the whole organism perish. You know the logic of every Pharisee—if we save Israel there is still hope for the world. But know this, that if we do not kill Him, the Romans will come, fearing the riot which the Nazarene has already provoked, and will rob us of the last vestiges of self-government which we still possess. Gentlemen, it is plain: One must die for all, one for all!

Apparently that was not the language of an oracle; it was just good diplomatic prudence. But the Holy Spirit who writes the Gospel points out something else. He tells us that behind that diplomatic speech, matter of fact and adapted to the occasion as it was, lay the one great principle common to all bearers of the prophetic word. When Caiaphas announced that one must die for all, he closed the peroration of the last offer-seeking, priestly speech with the words which from the beginning of time were written in the Book of God as the ultima ratio of the Counsel of Peace: One die for all.

In this meeting at a point of the line of God’s thoughts with that of Caiaphas’ fleshly argumentations, which are plainly Satanic, we taste, by reason of God’s own direction, the sweet yet bitter taste, first, of heavenly, holy irony, and secondly, of hell- born and sinful sarcasm.

That heavenly and holy irony is sublime but perturbing. Is it not unconscionable? To kill Jesus in order to save “Christ”? The Sanhedrin decides to put the Nazarene out of the way in order that the people of Abraham, that indispensable leaven in the loaf of civilization, may not be eliminated from the nations. They suppose they are doing God a favor, by safeguarding Israel and preserving unimpaired the eschatological realm over which the Messiah is to rule. Israel’s last great tribunal of justice, you see, does not want God to be of service to it, but wants, instead, to serve God. It wants to serve God by making sure that the place designed for the Messiah is kept vacant, and by saving His realm for His kingship.

This had constantly been the prevailing motif of the Pharisaic, fleshly theology. Time and again that emphasis on a gospel of self-righteousness has tried to build and decorate God’s throne for Him so that at His coming He could sit down passively and rest. The legions of Israel’s secular children were placed at the service of Prince Messiah, who could hardly be expected to rule without the help of His faithful soldiers. It is in that spirit that the Sanhedrin now lays down, as a practical rule, the law: one must die for all. And it punctuates its pious intent with this prayer of thanksgiving: O God, Israel’s God, we come here not to be served, but to serve.

Meanwhile God is giving a different meaning to that profound principle of conflict which Caiaphas employed. He explains the meaning of His secret counsel for our redemption in a diametrically opposite way. For the Son of man comes not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life as a ransom for many.

This is the awful, the holy, the Divine in heaven’s irony. Heaven and hell simultaneously grasp the pen and write, each on a separate scroll, the great law of every epoch, the basic principle of time and eternity. One for all. Satan’s revolution and God’s reformation employ the same first principle. That principle is the conclusion of Caiaphas’ false prophecy; it is also that of all of God’s true prophets. Balaam pointed to the Star of Jacob. Isaiah also pointed to it. A cry rises from the depths of hell; a cry sounds from the heights of heaven. It is the same cry: One must die for all.

But when hell flings these fascinating words into the world and has them taken up into the minutes of the last great but fleshly tribunal, it thereby pronounces a principle opposite in meaning from the one God proclaims when He gives to the world the same rule for healing and acquittal. At both tribunals, that above and that below, the verdict reads alike. But the reasoning of the cases is different.

When God announces the principle that one must die for all He thereby introduces the concept of substitution into the world, an idea derived from Himself in His exalted counsel and embodied concretely in the Man, Christ Jesus. By sending that man into death as the one sacrifice of that law of substitution, God affirms that Jesus is the Christ. But by that same token God also declares that Jesus, because He is the Christ, takes with Him into the grave and afterwards into life the whole body of His people. In life and in death, says God, Jesus fulfills the concept of Christ.

But when Satan by way of Caiaphas announces the same law, it is precisely his intent to charm the idea of substitution out of the world. For, according to his clever rationalization, Jesus is not the Head of the body in whom the whole organism dies and is buried, but He appears in that body as the one defective spot, the tumor, which must be cut away so that the body may live. By virtue of God’s attestation, Jesus is the embodiment of the true spiritual Israel. According to the argument of Caiaphas, Jesus, so far from being the root which gives rise to the tree and sends its fructifying juices into it, is the parasite wasting Israel’s organism. “One for all,” says the Gardener above, as He sees all branches grafted into that one root, first with the curse and then with the blessing. “One for all,” says Caiaphas, flattered by the nicety of his solution, as he, the Chief Pruner, cuts off that one wild branch in order to save the others. For Caiaphas does not know that Jesus Christ is the root of Israel’s tree, absorbing curse and blessing, death and life, rejecting all of the dead, and taking with Him into His humiliation and exaltation only the true branches. Believing that Christ is the one parasite on Israel’s precious cypress tree, Caiaphas prunes that branch away. Let that one die for all, he says, and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will substitute for the Nazarene thorn Abraham’s memorial fir tree, and the offensive brier of Nazareth will give rise to the myrtle tree of Father Jacob, and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Two interpretations, then, of “one for all.” The one deduces from it the concept of substitution; the other reads into it the hypothesis of elimination. God declares: no reconciliation without fulfillment; and Caiaphas protests: no perfecting without pruning. Both interpretations, therefore, diametrically opposed as they are, conclude with the same epitome: one for all. And both commentators, the one above and the one below, sing as a grand finale to their verdict that refrain of Isaiah: Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: And it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Whether one takes the way of Caiaphas, the way from below upwards, or the way of the Word, the way from above downwards, one arrives at the same world-principle: one for all. None can escape that solution. But it is the interpretation given it which determines everlasting weal or woe. The phrase condemns whoever explains it according to the flesh. But whoever accepts it from the mouth of God Himself, interprets it in the light of the crucified Christ, and believes, he shall be given eternal life abundantly.

Such is the irony that fills us with awe and demands of us who we are, members of the Sanhedrin, asserting· ourselves against God, or children of the spiritual Israel, bowing our heads and saying: Lord, help me lest I perish!

We said that there was also a manifestation of satanic sin in this concluding statement of the next to the last Sanhedrin[1] session in which, by the grace of God, that body was permitted to sit. That sin still infests the world. Even today Caiaphas’ solution to the problem of conflict is still in vogue. Let one die for all—that is the battle cry of every revolution. The world still wants to wade through the blood of a minority to a blissful state for the majority. When revolution so gluts itself with human blood it is still pointing its sword at the heart of Jesus Christ. For now as well as then He is an obstacle in the way of every Sanhedrin, a hindrance to all self-assertion. Mankind, therefore, would still brush Him aside.

[1] The last was that in which Christ was condemned; after that the veil of the temple was rent: the Sanhedrin was dismissed.

Now, too, however, righteousness always punishes sin. The history of the Sanhedrin repeats itself. Today they would put Jesus out of the way in order to quell a riot; a few years later they are themselves the cause of rebellion. So it will ever be in the world. Each revolution carries the seeds of its disintegration within itself, for each tries to drive out the devil by means of the devil.

And now, with respect to what concerns us in this tragic conflict, we will care to see the thread of God’s prophecy unraveled, care to be led out of the maze of our thoughts safely by His hand.

Certainly what we have witnessed was tragic enough. But there is room, too, for great joy. Not the Sanhedrin, but Christ and His Spirit dominated the scene; in fact, they made this history in their own power. Jesus Christ did not darken the sun of Israel’s sages. He did not trample the crown of the rulers into the dust. He let these accomplish their destruction themselves. He came to His own not as one who had broken law and office, but as the One person who fulfilled both of these. The priesthood committed suicide. Prophecy allied itself with Balaam and with Saul. The kingship ignored Israel’s prophets by viewing the nation not in a spiritual, theocratic light, as that was so vividly illustrated at the grave of Lazarus, but by solving a spiritual problem with the coarsest weapon of the flesh—the sword. The last priest pointed to the last Lamb, and he said of it: Unclean, unclean. He sacrificed it not by way of satisfying the altar, but by way of protecting it for a future already lost. So did Israel’s officialdom annihilate themselves.

The true Prophet, Priest, and King therefore comes to the world fully authorized. Now it is His hour and that of the power of darkness and of light. He will have to die, yes, for so heaven’s law also declares. But the angels of God know already that His death means life. And he who listens to the law one for all in fear and trembling will not say that this doctrine annihilates the will; he will not repeat the words Ibsen allowed his Brand to utter:

Will, the weakling, hides his head;—

One man died for them of yore.[1]

[1] Brandy Transl. by C. H. Herford, Scribners, 1894, p. 256.

Nor will he cast himself down the precipice and say in despair:

Not for us the cup He drank,

Not for us the thorny wreath,

In His temples drove its teeth,

Not for us the spear-shaft sank In the side whose life was still.

Not for us the burning thrill Of the nails that clove and tore.[2]

[2] Brandy Transl. by C. H. Herford, Scribners, 1894, p. 259.

Instead, he who has listened to this law proclaimed in an evangelical spirit will write beneath it the prayer:

I thank thee, Father, that thou hast given me these words with thine own lips. Take me into Thy heart and cleanse me with the blood that satisfies Thee and reconciles my soul with Thee for all eternity. O God, the minutes of this next to the last legal session of the Sanhedrin were probably burned in the fire that destroyed Jerusalem. May the journal of my life not be its sequel, for that certainly would be destroyed by the fire that shall presently destroy the world. Nay, Lord, I would not keep my own diary. Teach me to read instead the Acta of the Counsel of Peace for thy Name’s sake.

One for all! For me, too, my Lord and my God.