Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Jesus and the Law

God loves to communicate Himself to people. It seems to be His great pleasure. The book of John begins with this assertion: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This Word is the communication, the message, the [Greek language] logos. John is talking about Jesus, actually. Jesus is the communication of God.

Since that’s true, what is it that God is trying to say? Well, we could write a book on it. Who was Jesus, what did He teach us, and what was His ultimate point to us?

I’d say two things here, in the hope of being brief. First, Jesus’ ultimate goal was to achieve, and invite, the redemption of all creation. Second, Jesus was showing us who God is, who He is like, and what He likes. Jesus was God, in the flesh. You could talk to Him, walk with Him, and ask Him questions.

If God really does love to communicate Himself to people, how did He do this before Jesus?

I’d say two things here, in the hope of being brief (rather than exhaustive). First, God put Himself on display through the people of Israel. Second, He put Himself on display in the Law.

This is why Christians should cherish the Old Testament law codes. They are not the dry and irrelevant rules of a bygone era. The law is the heart of God on display. Jesus contends that if a person would get to know the Old Testament law codes really well; they would be able to recognize Him. Moses is the supposed author of those law codes, which he received from God; and Jesus claims, “if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.” (John 5)

The following is a small sampling of one of the law codes that Moses wrote, which Jesus claimed is about Him. It is taken from Exodus 23:

"You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit. If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.”

Crazy, huh? How are these about Jesus?

With that question, you are prepared to enter into the mystery of the Old law codes. They are about Jesus, because they are about the very heart of God. They teach us qualities of God that translate into how we should act. They are about what God wants us to do, and what He doesn’t want us to do: just like Jesus.

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