Now that Jesus has come, we no longer are subject to the spiritual consequences of the laws decreed to Moses. Now that Jesus has made eternal (and timely) salvation available to all mankind, we are no longer bound by the constraints of those Mosaic laws and those that followed.
But there are understandable constraints. This clearly isn’t talking about civil law. Nothing in the context of the verses around this one mentions people being free of the constraints of civil law. Indeed, Jesus said to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” He was referring specifically to money and respect, but, in a larger sense, meant many more things, including being subject to Caesar’s (civil) law.
Not only, but even as we are no longer subject to the eternal penalties of Mosaic laws, those laws still have validity. There were given to Moses by God (part of whom is Jesus) and aren’t to be simply discarded. The holy, Godly, and moral boundaries outlined in the law are still valid examples for our benefit, even if they don’t have spiritual penalties associated with them for those who put their faith in Christ. Indeed, the law still defines boundaries for us that help us identify when we have transgressed. Rather than being subject to a Day of Atonement, however, we are now beneficiaries of the once-for-all salvation Jesus accomplished.
As we talked about yesterday, the law is good for us, given to us to help us from being libertine animals.
Finally, Paul notes the plain truth that faith supersedes the law. This is the central ‘rub’ between Judaism and Christianity. 2000 years after Christ, Jews today, like Jews of Jesus’ day, don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the one promised to Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses; the true deliverer because He delivers us from the eternal damnation that our sins deserve. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the rest of us were/are all sinners; imperfect and unholy choosers of anything but God.
Faith in Jesus made all that moot. Jesus lived a perfect life, abiding by the entirety of God’s holy law because we sinners couldn’t. Jesus atoned for all sin, and imparts that atonement to us. We gain its benefit through faith in Him. In doing so, through that same faith, we are freed from the constraints of the Mosaic laws. They continue to be (and should be) guides for our, but they no longer hold legal sway over our lives. In the time between Moses and Jesus, Jews could be punished, even killed, for legal infractions. That’s no longer the case because of Jesus.
All through faith.
For further reading: Mark 12:17, Galatians 3:26
Lord Jesus, all praise and glory to You for keeping the law, for freeing us from it, and for Your holy life and sacrifice.
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