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Sermon Notes + 8.27.2023




One Man Should Die for the People
John 11:45-56
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor

Overview: The aftermath of Lazarus being raised from the dead should have resulted in widespread belief in Jesus, but John notes that a mix of reactions occurred, leading to a more concerted attempt to prevent people from following Him. At a gathering of the chief priests and the Pharisees, the Jewish leadership expresses their fear that the Roman government will displace them if they sense a revolution is underway. Though Jesus has never called for such an uprising, Caiaphas, the high priest, gives tacit approval to the idea of eliminating Jesus in order to preserve his position and the nation’s status. Jesus’s life became more difficult such that He could no longer walk openly among the Jews, but the providence of God was being fully realized as Jesus’s pending death fit perfectly into the Father’s plan to save sinners and bring them into the family of God. This episode in the life of Jesus confirms that Jesus is not only able to raise the dead, but He too would taste death, an event designed by God to save the world.

01. Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem is a fulfillment of prophecy, placing Jesus at the center of history.

02. Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem is a depiction of His kingdom, advancing without weaponry.

03. Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem is a foreshadowing of His return, assuring us of His victory.


1. Note the reference to “many of the Jews” and “some” in verses 45-46. Considering the greatness of the miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead, why didn’t all who were there believe in Jesus? What further evidence would they need in order to believe? Note, too, how powerful the “some” were in terms of dictating future events. Though they were more powerful for a time, which group – the “many” or the “some” – was on the right side of history (and eternity)?

2. What was the stated fear of the chief priests and the Pharisees at the council (verses 47-48)? Were they wrong in their assessment of the Roman government’s reaction to a possible insurrection? Were they wrong about the mission of Jesus in starting a revolution? How did the signs and miracles performed by Jesus point to a heavenly kingdom without giving the false impression that He had come to start a revolution?

3. On what basis does Caiaphas give tacit approval to putting Jesus to death? How are his words both evil and prophetic at the same time? Did Caiaphas intend for the death of Jesus to benefit the nation by way of a substitutionary atonement? What other ways have people meant for something to be evil, but God meant it for good?

4. Consider the meaning behind, “Jesus would die . . . not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad” (verses 51-52). How does this statement anticipate the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth? (See Acts 1:6-11 for further insight.) What is your role in participating in the global spread of the gospel? Is it praying, giving, going, or all three?

5. What difficulties did Jesus face after the council met and made its decision (verses 53-56)? We often think about the reality of the cross bearing down on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and yet, these passages remind us that He had to be careful not to be seen or to get caught by the wrong people. As Passover approached, He would have to go to Jerusalem, where He would be crucified. How does Jesus’s confidence in God’s providence during such times encourage you when you feel threatened or face danger?

For Further Reading: Elisabeth Elliot, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Fleming H. Revel, 1987)