God squads, the world over, and in all religions, want quick decisive rulings which separate good from bad. But Jesus throws a monkey wrench in the decisive-ruling machine works. He tells them that before you can apply the word of God, you need to have dwelt under it, and sunk into its digestive juices for a long, long time, so as to make quite sure that you are not using it to sacrifice people, but instead, to show them God’s mercy and love.
What I’m going to be attempting to do as we walk together over these days towards Good Friday is dwell a little in a passage from Zechariah which is very familiar to us from this time of year: And I will pour out on the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that when they look on him whom they have pierced they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps bitterly over a first born. (Zech 12:10)