A Different Perspective of the Law(s) of Moses
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill… Matthew 5:17. These words come from the first sayings of Jesus recorded by Matthew. They refer to many Old Testament and religious context but gives one overarching summation. Jesus is saying that everything concerning the Old Testament is fulfilled in me.
This is poignant because this means that every law and every prophecy points towards Jesus and Jesus is the manifestation of YHWH’s love. Therefore, we conclude that the law is love because G-d is love! So why don’t we see it that way? Well, primarily because we see it from a human and not a divine perspective. We see it being introduced as rules, regulations and restrictions and man has entrenched it into religion. So no one wants to live by the law and no one wants religion. However, if it is viewed from a divine perspective it would be perceived as the Law of Love and would be embraced as an integral part of the relationship.
Jesus uses the word “fulfill” in order to describe His responsibility to the law. The word used here comes from a Greek root meaning “lacking nothing or perfect” to help us understand what He has done. In other words, the Laws of Moses (Mosaic Covenant) without Jesus looks as if YHWH is setting us up for failure. This is based upon two simple realities (1) the law doesn’t stop anyone from doing what they choose to do, (2) the law doesn’t deal with the conscience. Therefore, the law is lacking and imperfect in and of itself. It needs a relational connection to make it complete; thus we have Jesus! He represents the love/grace that the law alone does not provide.
Recently, in the U.S. we were given the opportunity to choose between law and grace. As of the writing of this blog the verdict has not been declared. I know that many Christians often find themselves caught between two opinions every four years or maybe I should say every day. Since that choice is made daily. Do I live under a self imposed law or do I give myself grace when I fail? I’m sure you already know the answer to that question. Yet, so many claim that the law is how we must choose however when they choose personally…they choose grace!
The truth is that the law is insufficient at best to save or change anyone. That’s why the group of Israelites that departed from Egypt was not the same group that entered Canaan. The law didn’t change them because the law doesn’t change anyone! Furthermore, the law is not designed to restore the conscience, it is designed to bring guilt awareness to the conscience. This is why Jesus makes His statement in Matthew 5. He is attempting to bring the religious into a relationship based upon love and grace.
Today our man-made laws are designed in manipulation and are far more flawed in essence than anything YHWH presented in the Mosaic Covenant in love. Yet we fiercely defend them and then religiously claim that we are now under grace. Please remember, everything that the Father presented by prophecy or by command was only given to establish the best way to maintain a loving relationship with Him and with our neighbor. Only gracious people can embrace the magnitude of loving your enemy, blessing those who curse you, doing good to those who hate you, and praying for those who persecute you! He says to do this so that “you may be sons of your Father in heaven…” Matthew 5:43 – 48.
I encourage you to live by the only law that is designed to deal with your conscience; the Law of Love!