Is the Law of Moses still relevant today?

After preparing the Bitesize Study on the Book of Exodus I was thinking about the things in that book, and in particular the Law of Moses, which is first given during the time the Israelites wandered in the wilderness.  Of course the Law is an important part of the history of the Jews, but we are not just reading the Bible as a history book, we want to get something out if it that’s relevant to our lives today. 

Looking at the Bible as a whole we know that Jesus was the only person who ever managed to fulfil the Law.  He never sinned, and he never went against God’s rules.  His death was the perfect sacrifice for us because he was a “lamb without blemish”, and he took our sins on himself so that we have a way back to God. 

It goes without saying that Jesus knew the Law inside out. Reading the Gospels shows this, as we can see Jesus’ constant references to passages from the Old Testament. 

The Law of Moses was full of outward duties and rules and regulations.  It told people how they should live their daily lives.  When Jesus came, he made it clear that what was inside a person, and his attitude towards life was much more important than any outward show.  

Far from doing away with the Law however, in many cases he expanded on it.  One little example involves one of the Ten Commandments. 

You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’  But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. – Matthew 5:21-22

So Jesus says that not only should we not kill anyone – which I’m sure most of us wouldn’t ever contemplate – but that we should also address the root cause of murder, hatred.  We shouldn’t stand before God when we are angry with someone.  How difficult it us to never feel angry or wronged!  I know myself it’s easy to feel angry at the slightest provocation, or the slightest violation of what we consider to be our rights. 

Just with thus one little sentence Jesus makes doing God’s will an almost impossible task.  We should be thankful that we are no longer under the Law, but under grace, and so what is impossible with man is possible with God.  He knows we all sin and cannot live up to His high standards, but as long as we make the effort, there is forgiveness when we do wrong. 

The Law was also a shadow of things to come, and because we know that under the Law sins had to covered by the death of an animal, we can understand that when Jesus completed the Law and died sinless, he covered our sins once and for all.  Many Old Testament people, deeds and events are echoes of the life of Jesus, or the life of a Christian, and reading these things can help to remind us of what Jesus has done for us. 

So the answer has to be yes, the Law is relevant to us today, and as we continue to explore this history in Bitesize Bible Study, let’s try and take it a step further, and apply the facts we’ve learned to our lives today and discover why those things were written down for us. 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. – 2 Timothy 3:16

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