Woe! Murdering God's prophets
Jesus tells the crowd that the scribes and Pharisees are guilty of murdering God’s prophets and righteous men. All of these woes are given to them because they practice an outward form of righteousness but their heart is dead in trespasses and sin. They openly admit that they are the children of those who murdered the prophets of God. There is a tipping point where God must judge sin and Jesus tells them to fill up then the measure of your father’s sin. God judged sin in Genesis five when he told Noah to build an ark so that he could flood the world. Jesus asked a very pointed, “How are you to escape being sentenced to hell?” Jesus tells the crowd that the scribes and Pharisees are guilty of murder from righteous Abel to righteous Zechariah, son of Berechiah. If we read the sermon on the Mount right, we are all guilty of sin. Jesus point out that the religious leaders cannot do enough external righteous works to save themselves and neither can any of us do enough good works to cover the sin that has been committed. God looks at their heart and pronounces judgment on them. God tells Samuel that he looks at the heart and that man looks at the outward appearances. (1 Samuel 16:7) Even as he was pronouncing judgment, they were planning his death in secret. In just a few days Jesus would be crucified on a cross and God’s judgment would happen to Jerusalem in AD 70. Jesus asked them and us how we are going to escape hell? After Jesus rose and ascended to heaven, Peter stood up and preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” (Acts 2:38-29) God in his mercy was calling for the religious leaders to have a change of heart concerning Jesus Christ whom they crucified, whom God the Father raised from the dead. The Lord is pleading through his apostles and disciples today for everyone to have a change of heart concerning their sins and to turn to Jesus Christ is faith. God calls people to himself through those whom he has commissioned with the message of Jesus Christ. All of us have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Even those who have made a law to allow the murder of innocent children can receive forgiveness of sin and be born again. This is the only way we can escape hell!