The Christian and the Law

[Today’s Christians] can approach the application of the Law in much the same way that...

[Today’s Christians] can approach the application of the Law in much the same way that Jesus approached it. Too often, we start by asking, “Do we still need to sacrifice? Do we still need to eat kosher food? Do children who curse their parents still need to be stoned to death?” But instead of approaching the books this way, we must learn to approach them through the eyes of Jesus Christ. He didn’t abolish the Law; He fulfilled it. We can best apply the laws of the Pentateuch to our lives by seeing how they pointed to a God who created, sustained, and redeemed his people, and sent his own Son as the fulfillment of his creative, sustaining,  and redemptive work.

Seen in this light, the sections of the Law, the narrative sections, the covenant documents, the genealogies, and the poetry all make sense. They show us a God who designed all of creation, including humanity, to operate according to his will. They show us God working among his people and the people responding in gratitude, fear, praise, obedience, and at times repentance. Our response to this God can be no less.

Our response may differ in some of the specifics, but it will still rely on the same principles expounded in the Mosaic law. Justice for us may not mean establishing cities of refuge, but it may mean that those accused of murder are given a fair trial. Compassion may not mean that farmers need to leave part of their crop in the field for gleaners, but it does mean that we need to care for the poor among us. In all these areas, our calling is to respond in a way that shows our gratitude and obedience to our Creator and Redeemer.

(Excerpt from The Books of the Old Testament, pp 30-31)

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