John 11:55-57
John 11:55 (KJB)
And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.
This is a very interesting way that God describes the Passover. (Exo 12:11 KJV) And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover. In Exodus 12, when God instituted the Passover, it was called “the Lord’s passover.” If you notice in John 11:55, it is called “the Jews’ passover.” This reveals that Israel had become alienated from God to the point that the Passover is no longer recognized by God as being from Him. This is because during the years leading up this point, so much has been added to the law that the real Scriptures have become hidden or shrouded to the point that they could no longer tell the difference between the true Scriptures and the added traditions. They were guilty of adding and subtracting to the word of God. According to Revelation 22:18-19, anyone who does is subject to the plagues in the Bible and that means they are subject to eternal damnation. The nation of Israel had become estranged from God because of their unbelief. Caiaphas worried that the Romans would take their place and nation and it would happen in 37 years in 70 A.D. and another Diaspora would happen to them.
Before any Jew could partake of the Passover, it was required under the law that they be purified. If there was a major defilement then it took longer to purify themselves such as the touching of a dead body. (Numbers 9:10-12) There were different lengths of time for different purifications so each had to arrive in Jerusalem within a certain time according to their uncleanness, so they could partake in the Passover at the appointed time.
John 11:56 (KJB)
Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?
Those who were undergoing purification while they were in the Temple had wondered if Jesus was going to show up at the Passover. Jesus was no doubt the subject of much conversation among not only the people who came but also among the leaders who were plotting against Him. This would have been the fourth Passover that Jesus would attend and it would also be His last where He will be crucified during the feast. They way the above question is worded, it seemed that the people did not think that Jesus would come to the feast but it was required that all able males were to appear before the Lord three times a year and the Passover was one of the times. (Exo 23:17 KJV) Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD. So Jesus would have obeyed the law and come to the Passover.
John 11:57 (KJB)
Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they might take him.
No longer was there debates between Jesus and the rulers. The command was now given that if anybody knows where Jesus is, they are to bring that information to the rulers so they may arrest Him. The Pharisees and chief priests were unyielding in their desire to have Jesus executed. These men were the religious leaders of Israel and the most murderous in their intentions. It was because they desired to maintain their good incomes, they wanted to eliminate Jesus who threatened their evil gain. It was because of this commandment that many believed that Jesus would not show up at the Passover. The leaders wanted to give the impression to the people that they were going to examine Him by the Council so the people would think it was a legitimate arrest. It was the most illegal trial in history. It is like this in many churches, especially mega-churches where the truth is not preached nor welcomed because it would cut into the false pastors’ million dollar income. It is like the killing of Jesus all over again when He is not preached in truth and made secondary to man’s teachings.