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MONUMENTS TO MURDERERS
"'You're hopeless! You build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed. The tombs you build are monuments to your murdering ancestors more than to the murdered prophets. That accounts for God's Wisdom saying, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, but they'll kill them and run them off.' What it means is that every drop of righteous blood ever spilled from the time earth began until now, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who was struck down between altar and sanctuary, is on your heads. Yes, it's on the bill of this generation and this generation will pay.'" Luke 11:47-51 (The Message).
This is a serious charge against Jesus' generation. He was holding them accountable for every murder their ancestors committed. By memorialising murdered prophets, they were sharing in their guilt, according to Jesus. Why was that? Although they were distancing themselves from their ancestors' actions as a show of their disapproval, in actual fact, in their hearts they were just as guilty because they hated the truth and anyone who preached the truth.
Jesus was spot on because down the line they would do to Him what their ancestors had done to the prophets. But they would not just dispose of God's prophets sent to tell the truth and warn them of the consequences of breaking God's laws, they would kill the Son of God who came to show and tell them the truth about the Father and to rescue them from their self-destructive ways.
Jesus told a parable about seeds and soil. Two kinds of ground don't even give the seed a chance to take root, the hard ground and the shallow ground. What is it that makes our hearts as hard as a pathway? Perhaps among many reasons for hard hearts is the persistent refusal to take God seriously. This takes us right back to the devil's lie in the Garden of Eden. He duped the first pair into believing that they could make their own rules and get away with it.
And we still believe the same lie! God's people chose to reject God's way and make their own way. They worshipped idols and oppressed their fellow-Israelites and God let them face the consequences of their choices. And they did not learn!
Jesus came in person from the Father to show His people what the Father is like and what His government is like, and they rejected Him because they still wanted their own way even though it destroyed them. No wonder He called them 'hopeless'!
But what about us? How do we fit into this damning accusation? If we refuse to take Jesus seriously, we retain the same guilt as the religious leaders of His day who yelled, 'Crucify Him! Crucify Him!' together with the crowd who bayed for His blood.
Every person who hears the truth but refuses to believe it will carry the same guilt and pay the same price as those who murdered the prophets and who demanded Jesus' death. It is impossible to destroy the truth. Truth is eternal because God is eternal and God is truth. Truth will destroy those who reject it. God takes no pleasure in destroying anyone but He cannot deny Himself. The choice is ours.
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