Caiaphas- Easter Poem
Joyce Carr Stedelbauer Share page


It is a matter of public record that Caiaphas was
appointed to the position of High Priest in 18 A.D., an office
he held for 18 years including the trial of Jesus.

The High Priest asked him.  Are you the Messiah, the Son
of God?  I Am and you will see me sitting at the right hand
of God and returning to earth in the clouds of heaven.
Then the High Priest tore his clothes and said, what more
do we need? 
Mark 14

A stone box of bones is mute testimony that Caiaphas
lived and died in the early first century.  After the flesh had
rotted away from a body, the practice was for the relatives
to gather the remaining bones and put them in a stone box
called an ossuary signed and dated with the name and dates
of the deceased.  At the dawn of the 21st century just such
a box was unearthed in Jerusalem during building excavations.
The name was Caiaphas.


Caiaphas, Historians have noted your name.
You lived more than 2 millennia ago,
lived and breathed the Law,
rose to high fame as a priest, following
Annas, your father-in-law.

He sent the celebrated prisoner to you,
now high priest of the land.
How little you knew when you
judged it was expedient that
“One should die for all.”

Caiaphas, archeologists have found your box of bones.
A stone ossuary chiseled with proof of your position –
title, name, date – now it stands unlocked.
Mute testimony to the Gospels who mention you,
your palace and cold courtyard.

We read of your now believing servant, Malchus –
his ear healed by the touch of the
Prisoner’s shackled hand.
We read of your servant girls, squabbling like hens,
pecking Peter to denial before the rooster crowed again.

Caiaphas, anthropologists have examined your bones.
A box for bones, gathered by some
forgotten, blood-cursed son
after your censorious flesh had rotted away.
No eyes left that once had looked on Him
“who knew no sin”
No evidence of a heart that beat with lawless pride.
No lungs with air to shout condemnation on the Creator.

Caiaphas, you strut briefly on a stage
in passion plays and movies,
lavishly robed in turban and ephod, but on Judgment Day
your box of bones will stand up and bow down
before Him, the Prisoner you condemned.
The Gospels

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Used with permission by Joyce Carr Stedelbauer from her book “WHO ROLLED THE STONE?

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