Truth, Understanding, Insight

Law of Moses

21st October 2009, gah


1) The Law of Moses– why?

God wanted a people to be in a covenant with Him, to show His glory and praise Him (Deuteronomy 29:12-13, Numbers 14:21). God recognised that we needed commandments that were clear so that we could recognise good and evil (Deut. 30:10-16).

It was intended to be a schoolmaster, a shadow of things to come (Galations 3:24, Hebrews 10:1)

The Law of Moses – what is in it?

The Law was extensive, covering many daily aspects of an Israelite’s life. A summary of the main areas is given below:
1. The ten commandments
2. The Sabbath
3. Tabernacle worship and role of the priests, tribe of Levi
4. Offerings (sin, burnt, peace and trespass)
5. Annual holidays (passover, firstfruits, ingathering, convocation, atonement, tabernacles)
6. Disease, death, birth, circumcision, eating of meat
7. Nazarites, gifts to God

Saul to the Apostle Paul struggle

Paul was a Hebrew of the Hebrews (Phil. 3:5), who studied under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3) and struggled with the idea of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 26:9). Paul uses the insight of his own struggle in many of his letters to show others how Christ fulfils the Law of Moses.

Why did Saul and the Jews miss the connection?
From the Old Testament the Jews were expecting a Christ (Luke 7:19, John 6:14, 7:31,41,42), but many questioned how Christ fulfilled the Old Testament. The disciples expected the Messiah to re-establish the Kingdom of Israel and save them from the rulership of the Romans (Acts 1:6). When Christ alluded to his coming death and resurrection even one who had been with him during his ministry, the disciple Peter, said ‘this will not happen to you” (Matt. 16:21-22). Yet the purpose of Christ was in the Law and prophets which Christ explained following his resurrection (Luke 24:27).

How Christ fulfils the Law of Moses

Christ was as a lamb brought to the slaughter (Acts 8:32-35) a sacrifice for sin (Heb 9:26). A male lamb was first introduced by Moses and Aaron for the first Passover when Israel was brought out of Egypt. It is also the time when Christ was put to death (Matt. 26:2). Christ is called our Passover (1 Cor 5:7) and represents how God passed over the sins of Israel and delivered them out of Egypt (oppression and sin) (Exodus 12:26-27).

Christ has taken on the role of a high priest (Heb. 4:14-15) who is able to empathise with our struggle with sin. His one sacrifice does away with continual imperfect sacrifices under the Law (Heb. 7:18-28)

The personal touch
The Law of Moses could be perceived as being distant, a Law, but Christ's sacrifice was personal. The Jews had come to make their own commandments, but their heart was far from God (Matt. 15:8-9). It was the sacrifice of Christ that moved Paul (Acts 9:6), that someone would lay down their life for us (John 15:13).

Topics: law of Moses, law

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