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The Spirit of SlumberThe Lamb Of God had to be the ultimate Passover sacrifice (see Christ's Passover; listen also to the Sermon Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour from our Sermons page) in order to fulfill His purpose as The Messiah. If He had been officially recognized for what He was, most of the people of Judah would have defended His life (as Peter tried to do - see Malchus) rather than not only allowing Him to be killed, but to actually have Him killed. What enabled that to happen?
"11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election [see The Elect] hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 11:8 According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day. 11:9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy." (Romans 11:7-11 KJV)
The "as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear; unto this day" was not a "New Testament" invention; it was a quote of Deuteronomy and Isaiah.
"29:4 Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day." (Deuteronomy 29:4 KJV)
"For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep"
The religious authorities of that time fulfilled their "spirit of slumber" rejection of Christ. Despite all of the Truth that He spoke, despite all of the miracles that He did, their spiritually lifeless eyes and ears caused most of them to respond only in the most carnal way - they were jealous of Him because they feared that the people would follow the long-awaited Messiah instead of the mere men who were supposed to be servants of Him. Regardless of their violence toward Christ and His people, some did so fully innocently (e.g. the Pharisee Saul who after his conversion became the apostle Paul; see Saul's Return To Jerusalem), while others did manage to recognize Him, at least enough to be held accountable - but rejected Him anyway (see The Unpardonable Sin).
"23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude [see Multitudes], and to his disciples, 23:2 Saying, The Scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Fact Finder: (a) What is the only means by which humans can become true Christians? (b) Why will there be two major resurrections, the first in which people will be resurrected to spirit life, the second in which the rest of humanity will be resurrected to physical life?