Wednesday 2/14 ~ Thank God for the Old Testament

The scripture for today, February 14, is Colossians 2:14 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00- Worship Changes KC COVER-thumbnail“[God] having canceled the written code with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

It is beyond my comprehension why anyone would want the Law of Moses unless they don’t want to obey ALL 600 commands and want an excuse to justify the one they do want.

They want the part that says to tithe so they can get people’s money. (Actually, the good Jew gave one-third, not one-tenth.) Or they want a separate priesthood so they can feel important.  Or they want showy things in worship like candles, incense, musical instruments (though they were only allowed the harp, lyre, and cymbal) so they can enjoy themselves more. 

Hold on! If we obey one command we are required to keep the entire Law of Moses ~ all 600 commands. Galatians 5:3 and James 2:10 say so. Are you up to it?

Our verse for today says the Law was against us; that is, it was impossible for us to keep perfectly. Try wading through Leviticus in the Old Testament. That’s where most of the old Law (“the written code with its regulations”) is.

It’s tedious. It regulated nearly every part of everyone’s daily life. It involved what we could and couldn’t eat, having to kill animals to die in our place whenever we sinned, stoning adulterers to death, having a separate Levite priesthood, giving a third of our income, reporting to priests if we had an open sore, use of candles, having to go to the Temple in Jerusalem three times a year, spreading blood on our doorposts, and on and on.

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament was written to help us understand that God’s new Law of Grace is much more spiritual. Read especially chapters 8 & 9. We have to make a choice: Old or New.

Hebrews was written about the time the Temple in Jerusalem was permanently destroyed, thus making it impossible to obey several things in the old Law. And a little time later the Jewish genealogies were destroyed, thus making it impossible to prove who was a Levite and eligible to be a priest.

But wait!  The Old Testament of the Bible is not the same as the Law of Moses. The Law is a small part of the Old Testament. The rest of it is wonderful praise, amazing wisdom, accounts of people who did or did not try to follow God, and those astounding prophecies of Jesus all through them.

Let us not neglect the Old Testament as so many people do. Thank God for the Old Testament.

 

Old Testament ScrollThe scripture for today, October 19 (10/19), is Hebrews 10:19 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus….”

The entire book of Hebrews explains in detail how the Jewish Old Testament Law of Moses with its 600 laws was replaced by the New Testament law of Jesus’ Grace, not just for Jews, but for every nation on earth.

The Jewish temple had two rooms, and no ordinary Jew was ever allowed to enter either. The main room in front was called the Holy Place. The smaller room in the back was called the Most Holy Place. Only Levites (male descendants of the Jewish tribe of Levi) were allowed to enter the Holy Place. Only the high priest, a Levite descendant of Aaron, Moses’ brother) was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place, and even then only once a year on the Day of Atonement. Leviticus 16 explains that on that Day, the high priest was to kill a goat and sprinkle its blood inside the Most Holy Place for the atonement (forgiveness) of the people.

The Jewish temple was destroyed shortly after the book of Hebrews was written. This book explains that we no longer need an earthly high priest and an earthly Most Holy Place. Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 7:24-26) The Most Holy Place is heaven and open to all Christians throughout the world (Hebrews 9:24-26).

Hebrews 9:12-14 explains, “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ ~ who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God ~ cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

God created the pattern in the Old Testament, and the spiritual reality in the New Testament. How amazing!