The Pharisees thought they knew everything; the only way to Heaven was to follow God’s law completely. Any “crime” a person committed was a crime against the laws of God, which meant that you committed a crime against God himself. How was a person to know the laws written in God’s book? By listening to the Pharisees. And how was someone to see the meaning of the law and the punishment for breaking that law? Well, none other than the Pharisees. They were all-knowing, and since they had the law, they knew it, and since they knew it, the interpretation was left up to them. They deserved a place in God’s Heaven because they knew the law by heart and lived it perfectly. Anyone who came up against them, or questioned the meaning of the law, was guilty of sin, and punishment for sin was eternal damnation.
Then Jesus came along. He also knew the laws but knew that someone couldn’t follow them. Just because a person knew the laws by heart and claimed to follow them the way they thought they should be followed did not guarantee a place in Heaven. Conversely, it made it impossible to gain entrance. Jesus’s teaching was that the way to Heaven was not the way of the Pharisees, just the opposite. Since the beginning of man, he has failed to live up to the laws. Time after time, Scripture points out how sinful man is. Suppose man’s destiny is eternal damnation because he can’t live up to the teachings. Then why did God put us here in the first place?
Jesus, while he was here on earth, had very little to do with the “teachers” of the law. He was more concerned with those that did not know the law. The sick, the weary, and the meek. He came here to show them the way, a way that did not cast blame on those who are sinners. He came here to show that no matter how imperfect they were, His love for them would never waver; he would never leave them. Though he killed a man, Moses was made leader of an entire nation. David thought he had committed adultery and was made one of the most outstanding leaders the world has ever known. Matthew was a tax collector, yet he became one of Jesus’ disciples. Then there’s Stephen, another disciple. He didn’t believe that Jesus had returned until he put his fingers into the flesh of the Son of God.
None of these men of God were perfect; they all fell short of the law. But, what they knew was the promise that God would always be with them and protect them if they followed him and were filled with the knowledge that he was the creator of all. In the end, everyone got down on their knees, thanked God for all the blessings they received, and trusted Him enough that they would lay down their lives for the creator, as he would eventually lay down His life for them while here on earth.
Christ was not sent here for the all-knowing, for they believed with all their heart that they already knew the way. They thought that they had all the salvation answers. They didn’t need this “normal man” telling them they had it all wrong. So, Jesus left them for the ones who were lost. He is the shepherd of sheep that have lost their way. The homeless, sick, and those who considered themselves unworthy of the golden gates because their sins were too many.
When Jesus was on the cross, one of the thieves cried out. And he said unto Jesus. “Lord remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”— Luke 23: -I2. Jesus responded, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:39-43). The thief knew in his heart that his life was filled with sin. But, in the end, he also knew that the only way to forgive was through the man hanging beside him. The man who, at that moment, had the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. Blood running down his body, the sins of the whole human race in the form of cuts up and down his body
This man, this Son of God, gave his life for the sinner nailed to a cross right beside him, as he did for each. Every one of us who has lost our way, Those who know that they are not worthy of a seat in Heaven, are the most deserving.