The Bible is all about Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation. It’s the presentation of God’s unconditional love for mankind as Paul declared in Romans 5:8. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Jesus did not come to set up another religion with its own rituals and regulations. No, He came to destroy all religions and unite the world in Himself. That’s why he made it clear that He was the only way to God the Father. No one can get into God’s presence through the works and efforts of any religious or legal system. They will all fail!

The main problem is that human nature wants very much to partake in its own salvation. We often think we must contribute something and we deceive ourselves into thinking our good works and religious efforts will be sufficient for God to receive us. The truth is we all fall short. We all sin and we all fail. The only way we can maintain the track of working our way or earning our way to heaven is to lie to ourselves about our sinfulness. The religious leaders in Jesus day were whitewashed sepulchers. Clean on the outside but rotten as decaying flesh on the inside. It’s easy to lie to ourselves and cover it all up with religious rituals and observances.

Jeremiah continues his indictment of the religious leaders of his day. In Jeremiah 6:15, he speaks about them saying, “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?  No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the LORD.” Religion whitewashes our outside and gives us a façade behind which to hide our sinfulness. Thus, Adam and Eve hid behind fig leaves. But God gave them the covering from a lamb. The law was never designed to be a standard by which we can prove ourselves holy and deserving. It was designed to drive us to our knees in shame. If we are truly honest with ourselves we know how bad we really are on the inside. From our knees of shame and disgrace and guilt we are fully aware of our need for a savior. It is for sinners Christ came. He did not come to save the self-righteous. What Jeremiah is saying is that you cannot hide from God in religion.