Today's right wing Christians are not by definition today's Pharisees as Liberal Democrat suggests on his blog.
The Pharisees had pride in their righteousness --as though it made them better than more blatant sinners before God. The masses were fickle --and NO one in authority welcomed Jesus for fear of what the masses following Him would do to their power and security. Many in their day did not like His first preaching message, "Repent -for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand --nigh --[starts right here--with ME]" He said, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one." We all need a Savior's atonement with the Creator God.
The masses also opposed Him, shouting, "Crucify Him." The Bible doesn't say they were forced to show up and do this demonstration. Many were happy to mock and spit upon him, to see him whipped and tortured and crucified. There were places in Galilee where JEsus said He could not do miracles for the people's lack of faith.He said the pharisees were sinners, too,and they didn't think they were --but He tells story after story to demonstrate how self-righteous people lack love and compassion --and to demonstrate God's willingness to forgive sinners who admit that they need Him.
He stressed love and forgiveness instead of the exacting justice of "eye for an eye" fairness. But He said He did not come to take one jot or tittle away from the law --but to fulfill it. And one scholar says that means He didn't come to reinterpret the law --but to extend it to heart attitudes. to expand upon it. After all, He was the perfect revelation of God --the revelation fulfilled, the clearest picture of God we could have until heaven when we shall know more than we do now of the mysteries of our existance and HIS. God is love --like a tender shepherd for his sheep, but the goats are those who detest the shepherd and His fold. Jesus said He will be the judge who separates them for Eternity. The pattern for non-believers is to cast all Bible-believers into the role of Pharisees whom Jesus scorned and who scorned Jesus first. Jesus said we would be saved by our faith --not by our scorn for believers --and not by our righteousness.
Many say it doesn't matter what they believe; they will be saved if there IS a Heaven "because I live a good life --I try to do what's right --I'm don't think I'm so bad." That has nothing to do with being saved --it's our faith in the Savior's atonement and our repentance for sin that justify us. Not our claims of righteousness --not our good deeds --and certainly not any pride in our standing as Christians before a Holy God who says no one is sinless except the God-Man, Jesus Christ.