The Law Served as a Guide to Lead Us to Christ (Part 1)

At the time of their deliverance from Egypt, Israel numbered six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children (Exodus 12:37). They were ready number wise, but God had other plan for them, that of instructing and guiding them to be His nation; to be His peculiar possession and treasure from among the above all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Exo. 19: 5,6). And Peter confirms it in I Peter 2:9: but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, a royal priesthood unto Him. Israel was to be God’s representatives, setting “forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him” to the pagan nations around them. Through wonders and signs God delivered them from slavery and took them away from it all and through more wonders and signs He proved them to be the only true God and Him only should they worship.

The many years Israel lived in Egypt they took away from them the sense of their only true God. “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” had to be reinstated in their heart and mind once again by their experiences in the desert, when God showed among them through miracles and wonders. He established the law for them in which He covered relationship with Him and with each other.

It happened on the third month after the Israelites left the land of Egypt, the same day, they came into the wilderness of Sinai… Moses went up to God and the Lord called to him out of the mountain, say this to the house of Jacob and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself, now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. These are the words you shall speak to the Israelites (Exo. 19:1, 3-6). Three months into their trip to the Promised Land, God appeared to the people to covenant with them. He said, I am the Lord your God, Who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (1) You shall have no other gods before or besides Me,  (2) you shall not make yourself any graven image,  (3) you shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them, (4) you shall not use or repeat the name of the Lord your God in vain,  (5) remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, (6) you shall not commit murder, (7) you shall not commit adultery,  (8) you shall not steal,  (9) you shall not witness falsely against your neighbor,  (10) you shall not covet your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s (Exo. 20: 1-17).

The Law was a contract between God and Israel; its validity was depended on both (Gal. 3:20b). The purpose of the Law was added because of transgressions and of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed should come.. (Gal. 3:19a). So the Law served the Jews as their trainer until Christ came, that they might be justified by and through faith (Gal. 3:24). Before the covenant was established between God and Israel through the Law, Abraham their forefather believed in God, and it was reckoned and placed to his account and credited as righteousness (3:6). In Genesis 15:5-6 we have the account when God promised to Abraham his descendants to be great in number at the time when he was old and had no children. God brought Abraham outside and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars- if you are able to number them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be. And Abraham believed in the Lord and He counted it to him as righteousness. Many years later, God establishes His promise to Abraham to his descendants, who had become great. It was Abraham’s faith that led to the fulfillment of the promise given him. The Law as a trainer guided the nation to Christ, although they did not acknowledge Him as their Messiah. But it was through Him and no other person that the Law had its fulfillment. Israel was chosen then to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, through whom Messiah YAHSHUA was to come to fulfill the Law given them at Mount Sinai. Israel failed in its fulfillment, for it could only be fulfilled through YAHSHUA. The Law, while condemning with punishment, YAHSHUA liberated the nation from its demands, by fulfilling it for them. He took the curse upon Himself, a result of man’s sin, and in His death by crucifixion He purchased our freedom from the curse of the Law by Himself becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified) (Gal. 3:13). (See Deuteronomy 21:23).

When our Savior came, He justified us by and through faith. Because of that, no longer are we under the demands of the Law but in Christ YAHSHUA we are sons of God through faith. If we belong to Him, then we are Abraham’s offspring heirs according to the promise (Gal. 3). The Law offers no justification, but condemnation. Expecting to be saved through the practice of the Law or works, as Paul said, is to fall away from God’s grace. While the Law separates Jews and Gentiles, in Christ YAHSHUA, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love counts. (Gal. 5: 5,6). YAHSHUA is the Author of the Law and the consummator of it. The Law was given to the Jewish nation many years before He came to point them to God’s righteousness and to the pursuit of it. However, only through their Messiah could it be fulfilled.  The Law is God’s purpose in time to bring His Son to fulfill it and to save us from its demands and condemnation.

Author: Jacinta da Cruz Rodgers

I have been committed to teaching the truth of the Word of God beginning with Trans World Radio on Bonaire, N.A and Swaziland, Africa (1969-1980), then through churches in the United States in both English and Portuguese and then through ministry in Israel (2005-2006). This ministry continues through local Bible studies and outreach to the world via the internet. I have written a book about my life from that of an orphan in Brazil to missionary in 5 countries. You can find out more on the "Book" page of our blog site.

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