Bible Verse: These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites. Leviticus 27:34
Scripture Reading: Leviticus 27
If I’m honest, on more than one occasion, I’ve naively thought that I’m glad we don’t live under Old Testament Law anymore. The sheer number of laws that the average person needed to remember, or at least be aware of, is daunting (613). Trying to keep straight what was and was not required in any given situation seems difficult. I’ve celebrated the fulfillment of the Law I was taught Jesus brought (Matthew 5:17).
But, like I said, naïve.
First, it is foolish thinking because it dismisses the significance of God’s actions in giving the laws we read in Leviticus and the rest of the books of Moses. God was demonstrating that no part of life wasn’t touched by His holiness requirements; His commands shaped all aspects of life. God’s commands touched everything Israel did. They were formative for the entirety of life. Israel was meant to live, as Jesus would say centuries later, by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). The commands were the very breath of life for Israel. Living by them was life. God was teaching Israel how to live, not just in a holy way, but in a way that returned, as much as possible, to the way humanity was meant to live.
Second, a sigh of relief at leaving the Law behind foolishly thinks that living in the law of love that Christ gave is somehow easier! In the Upper Room, Jesus said that He was giving a new command to love one another as He had loved them (John 13:34). The question “What does love require?” is actually, at least in my experience, more difficult to accurately and adequately live out. There is far more room for interpretation, which means far more room to get it wrong. Living out the love of Christ can be more challenging than following a set of rules. In any situation, “What Would Jesus Do?” is the question that must be asked, answered, and acted on. Doing what Jesus would do requires knowing Him and being formed by Him.
Be thankful for the freedom we find in Christ. But do not make light of His command of love. In every situation, it requires all of us to respond the way Jesus would. Six hundred and thirteen specific commands don’t seem as daunting when I consider how often I have failed just that one from my Saviour.
Prayer: God of love who is calling all men back to Yourself and shaping them into the image of Your Son, thank You for the laws that show us what it means to live the life You created us for, even though we live in a sinful world and are ourselves lowly and sinful people. Your Son gave us the example of living in love. Help me to pursue that command in my life and to love You and others as Jesus did.
Reflection: Who in your life needs to see Jesus’s love through you? Who have you not shown that love to? How can you make that right, and show them the love of God?
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