There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament.

Don’t eat pork.1

Don’t eat eel.2

Don’t get tattoos.3

If you have a slave, there are rules on beating your slave.4

Women, if it is that “time of the month”, there are rules for that.5

Don’t marry somebody outside of your faith.6

Be kind to the immigrant—illegal or otherwise—and treat them as you would your own countryman.7

You have to sacrifice every day and sometimes twice a day.8

When (not if) you have to slice the animals’ throat and drain the blood to prevent eating of blood within meat.9

Do not want your neighbor’s stuff.

Don’t lie.

Don’t steal.

Don’t cheat.

Don’t kill.

Always obey your parents.

Take a day off.

Don’t flippantly use the name of God.

Don’t make images of God for you are the imagebearers of God.10

Don’t put anything before or above God.11

As Christians, have we inherited a bunch of archaic rules to follow? Or since, we have evolved so much since the days of the OT (hint: not really), there are only certain laws we have to obey?

What does all of this mean?

All of the law—all of God’s law—that he impressed upon His people and the world, was designed not to break the backs of people. I know, I know, my back is already creaking at the thought of not being able to pork, eel or even certain cuts of beef. No, God’s law pointed out the brokenness of our bodies, our minds, and our hearts. All that brokenness leads to death. All of this leads to our death.

We were born into this. All of us were. And it’s not fair. This life sucks and there is nothing we can do about it. Maybe this life is not so bad but still, bad things happen to us and the people we love. In the end, to us all, we are still die.

So, maybe there is no God. But even that thought is conjured up by the brokenness of our minds and hearts in the futile attempt to suppress the truth in the fact there is One God.12

That is the law of sin and death.

The wages of our sin and the sin in this world is death. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.13

Is there any hope for us?

There is but it comes in the form of a new law. Something or Someone fulfilled all the laws we couldn’t perfectly obeyed and died the death that was previously destined for us all. That someone is Christ Jesus.

He has come down to fulfill the law to cover our sin. He removed all of our sin—past, present, and future— and chooses not to remember them.

That’s the new law.

That new law is called grace.

Grace is the law of the Spirit of life.

He gives the verdict, “No condemnation” for those who are His people.14

Now he gives the sentence for who are His people:

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.15

In the most legal sense, that is gracious and merciful love.

  1. Leviticus 11:7 ↩︎

  2. Leviticus 11:9 ↩︎

  3. Leviticus 19:28 ↩︎

  4. Exodus 21:1-27 ↩︎

  5. Leviticus 15:19, Leviticus 18:19 ↩︎

  6. Exodus 34:12-16; Deuteronomy 7:1-4 ↩︎

  7. Leviticus 19:33 ↩︎

  8. Leviticus 3:1-7:38 ↩︎

  9. Leviticus 7:26-27, Leviticus 17:10-12 ↩︎

  10. cf. Genesis 1:27 ↩︎

  11. Exodus 20:1-17 ↩︎

  12. Romans 1:18-23 ↩︎

  13. Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23 ↩︎

  14. Romans 8:1 ↩︎

  15. Romans 8:2 ↩︎