The religious leaders, scribes, and Pharisees had a tradition of understanding God’s message to man in the Scriptures to be about personal behavior. They seemed to miss the fact that every generation before them failed in being faithful to God. From Adam and Eve through the days of Noah, the tower of Babel, and onward through the desert exodus, even through the period of the Judges and then the united and the divided Kingdoms, there was nothing but failure in living up to God’s righteous standards for life. Yet the focus of these religious people remained on being better, trying harder, and doing good. Even the greatest of their heroes was a gross failure in his own personal life, becoming both an adulterer and murderer not to mention his family failures. They continue to pick out episodes of his life as the example for everyone to follow, ignoring the fact of his gross sins. This is still done today from church pulpits presenting topics like  “Standing up to our Giants” like David did, or being faithful like all the Judges were, etc. The point of those passages in the Bible is not that these people were good and we ought to follow their example. The point is that they were all sinners and needed a savior!

The religious leaders were searching for eternal life in the Scriptures and Jesus informed them that yes, it was there, because the Scriptures are all about Himself. But Jesus advised them there will be a witness to testify against them when they fail to acquire “eternal life.” “It won’t be me,” Jesus says, “but the very one you are trusting in.” John 5:45-46 gives us Jesus’ words to the religious leaders of His day. They were laying burdens on the back of the people that were too heavy for them to bear. They were enforcing the law even to the point of stoning adulteresses in spite of their own sinfulness. They presented a standard by which to live up to in order to merit God’s favor. But Jesus says, “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.”

Stop focusing on being better, trying harder, or doing more! The Scriptures are not about keeping the law. They are about our failure to keep the law and our need for a savior to stand up to our enemy for us and wipe out our sin. This is what the author of Hebrews is talking about when speaks of Jesus being the most important thing. It’s about who He is and what He has done for us. Hebrews 1:2-4 concludes, “but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world.  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Let me put the important phrase in red!