Author: Ron Graham
Jesus Took Away the Old Law
—The Law posed a problem; Jesus provided the solution
We continue our study of three things that Jesus took away...
1 The Law Posed a Problem
God’s law has always been perfectly right and just and merciful. This was true of the law he gave to Adam and Eve, and it is true of every law and commandment he has ever given to anyone —including the Law of Moses. Remember, Paul claims that law was "holy, righteous, and good" (Romans 7:12).
However, when God told Adam and Eve not to eat of a certain tree, the devil took it as an opportunity to cause sin. Where there is no law, there can be no trespass (Romans 5:13). But "the law brings about wrath" (Romans 4:15). and "through the law comes the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20). That's the problem with law.
2 Grace Found a Solution
When people transgress God’s law, they fall into a situation like that of the slave in the parable we mentioned in Part 1 (Matthew 18:23-27). Under law he was condemned. However his king forgave the debt out of compassion, mercy, and grace. This meant that the king himself paid the debt owed to him, for that was the only satisfactory way that the debt could be cleared. Jesus Christ has done that for us, "having forgiven us all our transgressions, having cancelled the certificate of debt... he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14)
We have been given here a wonderful insight into the battle between good and evil.
- God makes a law that is good.
- The law makes an opportunity for sin.
- The sin makes an opportunity for grace.
"The law came in that transgression might increase, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:20-21). So even where sin occurs God can still win.
3 The Law Was Abolished
Priests under Moses's law were daily conducting sacrifices to atone for sins. However those sacrifices accomplished atonement only because they symbolized Christ's sacrifice (Hebrews 7:27, 10:1-18). The law of Moses brought about wrath and condemnation, yet left its priests impotent to solve the problem, for "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins".
So Jesus fulfilled and took away all law that preceded his death. There was "annulment of a former commandment (the Law) because of its weakness and uselessness" (Hebrews 7:18), and the establishment of a new law or covenant,"a new and living way", based on his death. He "takes away the first that he may establish the second" (Hebrews 10:9,20).