Then one of the experts in the Law said to him, “Master, when you say things like this, you are insulting us as well.” And he returned, “Yes, and I do blame you experts in the Law! For you pile up back-breaking burdens for men to bear, but you yourselves will not raise a finger to lift them. Alas for you, for you build memorial tombs for the prophets—the very men whom your fathers murdered. You show clearly enough how you approve your father’s actions. They did the actual killing and you put up a memorial to it. That is why the wisdom of God has said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will kill and some they will persecute!’ So that the blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the earth, from Abel to Zachariah who died between the altar and the sanctuary, shall be charged to this generation!
“You’re hopeless! You build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed. The tombs you build are monuments to your murdering ancestors more than to the murdered prophets. That accounts for God’s Wisdom saying, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, but they’ll kill them and run them off.’ What it means is that every drop of righteous blood ever spilled from the time earth began until now, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was struck down between altar and sanctuary, is on your heads. Yes, it’s on the bill of this generation and this generation will pay.
Woe to you; you don’t fool anybody! You seem very religious—honoring the prophets by building them elaborate memorial tombs. Come to think of it, that’s very fitting, since you’re so much like the people who killed the prophets! They killed the prophets; you build their tombs—you’re all in the same family business!
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