[Excerpt from a larger work]
JERUSALEM TO BE DESOLATED BUT CHRIST TO BE CALLED BLESSED
Matthew 23 August 3
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! You who keep on killing the Prophets and keep on stoning them who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children together — even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings! But you [Pharisees] did not want that!”
"Behold, your House is being abandoned to you — desolate! For I say to you, that you shall not see Me from now on — until you shall say: 'Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord!'"3039
As the last week of Jesus' earthly life further unfolded, He denounced the Scribes and the Pharisees most severely. He did so precisely because He loved His Own Covenant People and the inhabitants of Jerusalem — whom the Scribes and the Pharisees had misled.
Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: "The Scribes and the Pharisees do sit in the seat of Moses. Therefore, observe whatever they command you! Observe, and do it! "But, you must not do — according to their works!"3040 Don't you go and do, what they do!"
To the extent that the Scribes and the Pharisees then still sat in the judgment seat of Moses — to the extent to which the Scribes and the Pharisees still correctly enjoined the Law of God — to that extent, Christians were to obey their injunctions. However, the Christians were not to imitate the deeds of the Scribes and the Pharisees.
Even in Christ's stark denunciation of the Pharisees which followed, His love for a lost humanity still shone through — irrepressibly. "Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you keep on shutting up the Kingdom of Heaven against men. For you do not go in yourselves, neither do you permit those who are [desirous of] entering, to go in."3041
It grieved the Saviour that the Scribes and Pharisees were not entering into His Kingdom. But it grieved Him probably still more that they were also hindering others too from entering.
"Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" — said Jesus. "For you encompass sea and land to make one convert; and, when he has been made, you make him twofold more the child of Hell than yourselves!"3042
It grieved the Saviour that those Judaistic Scribes and Pharisees were children of the Devil,3043 on the road to Hell. But it grieved Him still more that the Gentile3044 converts whom those Scribes and Pharisees had seduced unto Judaism, were twice as bad as they themselves and –through their own heathen depravity plus the influence of the Scribes and Pharisees upon them — thus doubly damned.3045
It was grievous to the Saviour that the Scribes and Pharisees as well as their forefathers — the hardhearted and unregenerate people of Jerusalem — had persecuted the true Prophets of God. For such conduct must necessarily be avenged.
"You are the children of those who killed the Prophets," said Jesus to the Scribes and Pharisees. "Therefore, look, I am sending you — Prophets and Wise men and Scribes" (namely godly Christian Leaders). "But some of them, you shall kill and crucify [such as Stephen and Peter].3046 And some of them, you shall scourge in your synagogues — and persecute them from city to city," such as would be done to Paul and Barnabas.3047
As a result, Jesus assured the Scribes and Pharisees that upon them would "come all the righteous blood shed upon the Earth — from the blood of righteous Abel,3048 unto the blood of Zachariah3049 son of Barachiah whom you slew between the temple and the altar. Truly, I tell you, all these things [namely God’s vengeance for those horrible deeds of the Pharisees] shall come upon this generation!"3050