Saturday, October 29, 2011

Moses vs Jesus

"For the Law was given through Moses;
grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ."
John 1:17

It's hard for us to step into the shoes of the children of Israel as they left Egypt. God had revealed Himself in such a supernatural, mighty way - the piece de resistance being the parting of the Red Sea through which the nation safely passed and which engulfed and destroyed their enemies. Following His cloud by day and His fire by night, they knew they were in the will of God as long as they followed Him.

Arriving at the foot of Mt. Sinai, now with great anticipation God is going to instruct them on how to live. Just like He did with Adam and Eve, God would now be man's teacher again.

But something was different. The joy and peace that Adam and Eve experienced in the presence of God was replace with fear and trepidation. The thunder and lightning that dwelled on the top of the mountain was not inviting. It was more of a reminder of the plagues they had just watched Egypt experience.

And yet, God had saved them. Miraculously. So what did He have in store for them?

When the Law was given to them by God through Moses, the people were eager and willing to comply. They had seen His power and they wanted to be His people. But the 613 laws set before them were not as easy as they thought it would be. Even the initial ten, though seemingly fair and simple, became difficult to live by.

In a very short time, the children of Israel replaced their feelings of fear and their desire to please with self-centered complaining and mourning over the life of slavery they had just left behind in Egypt. Yes, that's what I said - the life of slavery was desired above the life God had offered them.

But they were still slaves. Slaves to sin. That's why the Law was shunned by the people. At least in Egypt they simply had to work and there would be food for their family. Now, as the children of God, to please this Master, every word, every action, every thought and every step had to be carefully planned because He was holy and He wanted them to be holy as well.

It was just simply too much for them to bear.

Some tried hard to keep His Law but most gave up quickly. What they didn't understand was that within God's Law, within their sacrificial system, within their festivals and within the very walls of their Holy Place was the provision for their dilemma. For the next 1500 years the people wrestled with God and His Law, but then the Light of the World arrived and He was a game changer.

For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Do you ever wonder why you are not thriving in your walk with the Lord? Perhaps you are powered by the Law, which only produces frustration and sorrow. A life empowered by Jesus Christ is one that proves to be joyful and peaceful and profitable - understanding the truth of our sin and the grace offered to us at the cross is where we need to start every day.

Tuesday we will take a closer look at the Law, the Tabernacle and the sacrificial system. It's a more academic study by nature, but guess who's in the center of it all...

I can't wait for you to see Jesus...

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