How easy it is, when emotions become involved, to convince ourselves that wrong is somehow right, purely, and simply because we want to do it, and no one is challenging us. That is what the elders of Israel did to themselves. They decided to murder Jesus because for very personal reasons they wanted him out of the way. But instead of admitting that ugly truth, they convinced themselves that they were offering him as a sacrifice in the interest of national security. They would keep their own hands clean by persuading Rome to do their dirty work. Theirs was the ultimate act of self-deception.