Saturday, April 7, 2007

If They Will not Listen to Moses and the Prophets...

In the previous blog I wrote about why Christ didn't say anything when He was in front of the Sanhedrin.

What Christ experienced there is remarkably similar to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man:
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.

And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’

And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house — for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’ ”

Luke 16:19
This parable paralleled real life. John 11 records how Lazarus died while Christ was a ways away. When Christ arrived, He raised Lazarus from the dead, and many believed in Christ as a result.

But what did the religious authorities do?
"but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, “What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
John 11:46
Incredible as it may seem, even though Christ brought Lazarus back from the dead, the religious authorities were more concerned about their position than believing in Christ.

However, the results of their disbelief doesn't stop there:
"When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus."
John 12:9
As if it wasn't enough that Lazarus had died and been raised from the dead - now they wanted to kill him yet again!

The hardness of these people's hearts was incredible. No wonder Christ said they wouldn't believe anything He told them.

And so we see a example how, if people won't listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they believe even if someone came back from the dead.

All quotes from The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.