Joh 11:54 That was why Jesus no longer walked publicly among the Jews but went away from there to the less populated area near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and he stayed there with the disciples.
Joh 11:55 Now the Jewish Passover was near, and many went up to Jerusalem from the less populated area to set themselves apart before the Passover.
Joh 11:56 That was why they were looking for Jesus and asking one another as they stood in the temple: “What do you think? He won’t come to the festival, will he?”
Joh 11:57 The chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he is, he should report it so that they could arrest him.
Set apart for sacrifice
Jesus’ bringing his friend back to life marked the point where the religious leaders in Jerusalem could no longer tolerate him. They had marked him for death, having already convinced themselves that it was for the good of their nation that he must die.
Interestingly, the Sanhedrin (or at least a group of influential members of it) had put the word out that everyone should look out for the appearance of Jesus in public in Jerusalem. The people wondered whether he would dare show his face in public again.
I was just reading a book about William Tyndale, the 16th century English scholar who dared to translate the Bible in English, and was pursued by the Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy. Tyndale was able to avoid arrest for many years by fleeing from England, and doing his writing elsewhere.
But Jesus could not avoid his fate. It was in Jerusalem that he would die – in behalf of his nation, and in behalf of us. He set himself apart for that sacrifice.
Lord. Thank you for setting yourself apart for a sacrifice that sealed your fate, and bought forgiveness for us.