Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’re thinking to yourself, “What does this have to do with me?” This is often the sentiment and feeling that we have when we read through texts like Exodus 20:22-23:33. This section, referred to as the Book of the Covenant, is an expansion and exposition on the 10 Commandments for the nation of Israel. It was given to a specific culture in a specific time, which is why some of the laws may strike us as odd or weird. Yet, in pressing into the text, it allows us to see things about God and ourselves. In this expansion of the 10 Commandments, we see here that God gives a clear command of how His people are to worship Him and love others.
Our approach on Sunday was a little different than usual, as we did more of a flyover of the text and engaged it in its entirety. I’d like to take this space to focus on how the Law helps us to see and understand the gospel.
- The Context of the Law Related to the Gospel:
It’s crucially important for us to remember that the Old Testament and the Law are the backdrop or context that the Gospel is embedded in. It is in the Law that our sinfulness is exposed and revealed, and we see our need for a Savior. While the Law could never save us, it does serve us in revealing our need for a Savior. Further, it gives a framework for the morality or ethic that is required for a Christ follower. Since God’s character is unchanging, the Law gives insight into the moral and ethical requirements for those that want to honor God.
- What the Law Does for Us Today:
While we don’t typically think of the Law having much or any bearing on our lives today, in reality it does quite a bit for us.
The Law Points us to God’s Will and Intention: The specific expression or manifestation of the Law looks differently today than it did for Israel; however God’s will and intention remains the same. The Law moves us to a place where we love and worship God as well as love and serve others.
The Law Points us to a Savior: The Law moves us to our need for a Savior. The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3 that through the law comes knowledge of sin. The Law makes clear our sin and moves us to our need of a Savior. Thankfully, the Law points us toward salvation that comes through Jesus.
Jesus Fulfills the Law for Us: What exactly does this mean? It means that Jesus is the culmination of God’s will and intention as well as the one who saves us from sin.
Our tendency may be to gloss over or skip sections of Scripture like this. Yet, I believe we’re better served to ask questions of the text that will point us forward. When we come to texts like these we should be asking: What is this teaching me about God? What is this teaching me about God’s work? What is this teaching me about what it means to be a part of the people of God?
Let us walk ahead seeking to honor Jesus in all we do.