"Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium,
and it was early morning.
But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium,
lest they should be defiled,
but that they might eat the Passover."
Consider the inadequacy of religion. These Jews would not go into the gentile Praetorium because entering a gentile place would have made them unclean and they needed to be clean in order to celebrate the Passover. Here they had arrested an innocent man and meant to be rid of him because people were following him. That was a threat to them, they were determined that Jesus should not take the honor away from them. They would kill an innocent man, but remain clean by not going into a gentile place.
And such is religion. An outward conformity to rituals, thinking that by performing rituals they become righteous in God's eyes.
"Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect
BY YOUR TRADITION.
Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people draw near to me with their mouth,
and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines
the commandments of men.’ ”
Throughout Jesus's ministry, he focused on exposing the fallacy of tradition and of "the commandments of men." And in our lives too, he teaches us of the fallacy of our traditions and of "the commandments of men." Religious practices make us feel righteous. But they are not, and we are not.
“SURELY OUR FATHERS HAVE INHERITED LIES,
worthlessness and unprofitable things.”
Why is this so?
It's so - because there is an enemy who makes it his purpose to destroy all that God loves and all that God desires from his people. The greatest accomplishment of Satan has been his success in making people think he doesn't exist. According to Jesus Christ, Satan does very much exist and he opposes all that concerns God or the Word of God. The very first recorded act of Satan occurs in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Satan came to Eve and said to her, "Has God indeed said...?" (Genesis 3:1) He caused doubt concerning the truth of God's Word and she fell for it. This is the way he works - he causes people to doubt the Word of God. And he's usually successful.
That's the source of all religious error. Satan has very patiently fostered all kinds of religious practices to replace the Word of God, because he knows that as long as people trust in their religious practices they will not open their HEARTS to God. And he knows that should they begin to open their hearts to God, the revelation of their sinfulness will drive them back to their religious practices, because they cannot bear the truth about themselves.
Pray with me:
Father, it's astonishing to read in your Word that "our fathers have inherited lies." We believe what we believe because it's been taught us from our youth. EVERY "religious" person trusts what he believes because he's been taught it from his childhood. But all religions disagree and contradict each other. That tells us that only one can be right and if so, then all the others are wrong. The bottom line is truth. Which one holds the truth? Please help me to reconsider what I believe, and to realize that if my foundation is what I've been taught from my youth, that that is a foundation of sand. I ask you Father God to show me what is NOT true by showing me what IS true. I pledge my willingness to part with whatever I have been deceived with. My desire is to only know the truth, no matter how painful and no matter what the ramifications will be. I choose to be approved by you, not by the authorities in my life who have inherited lies. Show me the truth, Lord. Put a hunger for truth into my heart. Lead me through your Word, for your Word is truth.