Question of the Week: High Priest after the Resurrection

By THE HISTORY OF COSTUME By Braun & Schneider ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By THE HISTORY OF COSTUME By Braun & Schneider ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On September 16, 2018, the Mentionables recieved this question from Paul McAndrew:

Paul McAndrew: What happened to the high priest Caiaphas when he went into the Holy of Holies on the next Yom Kippur after the Crucifixion?

Here are the answers from the team:


This is the answer from Network Member Randall Hroziencik

Great question.  My guess is that it was awfully boring, since after Christ's Ascension he was seated at the right hand of the Father, in Heaven (Acts 7:55; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; etcetera).  God was never big on hanging out solely in temples, anyway (Acts 17:24; 1 Kings 8:27, 30b).  Christ had already fulfilled the law, and Temple Judaism was now obsolete - although non-believing Jews hadn't figured that out - but the biggest difference was the Christian activity that took place in the temple courts (Acts 2:46a; 5:12, 21).  That was ground zero for Christian evangelistic activity, and based upon the fact that Christianity exploded in numbers early on, it definitely worked.

I'm baffled how any Jew present at the crucifixion of Christ - which would have included Caiaphas - missed connecting the obvious supernatural activity associated with the crucifixion (the darkness, the earthquake, the tearing of the curtain separating the Holy of Hollies from the rest of the sanctuary, the resurrected dead in the city, etcetera) with the power/deity of Christ.  Yet many did.  

The number 40 in Scripture signifies a period of testing.  There was 40 years from the time of Christ's crucifixion/resurrection (AD 30, 32, or 33) to the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, finally bringing Temple Judaism to an end (from the Jewish perspective, it doesn't matter whether or not there was exactly 40 years between the two events; 38 or even 37 years would be considered as 40, since the Jews rendered/considered time differently than we modern English-speaking cultures in the West today do).  God gave the Jewish people 40 years to come to Christ (their "testing" period), and while many did, many also refused to believe - despite the evidence.

To my knowledge, there are no old traditions describing Caiaphas' conversion to Christ, as there is with Pontius Pilate and his wife (which wouldn't surprise me a bit if that was true).  Like many proud Jews at that time, Caiaphas likely "missed the boat" regarding the true identity of Christ.