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By Tyson Thorne

January 9, 2018
 
 

The fourth edition of God's divine law came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. A significant part of his mission, in addition to securing the possible salvation of all humanity, was to fulfill the law (Matthew 5.17-18). Jesus himself said his work did not abolish the law for, as we learned last time, the law is rooted in God's character. Instead, he came to respect and live according to the law, perfectly. In this way he became the perfect embodiment of the law. Jesus is the living edition of divine law.

Long before Jesus was born, God spoke to Moses about the Messiah. After God gave the Law to Moses and the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness the nation was on the front steps of the Promised Land. At this time God spoke to Moses, the Law-giver to the nation of Isreal, these words:

I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command. I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in my name. — Deuteronomy 18.17-19

Jesus himself claimed to be this law-giver in John 12.47-49). In fact, the words Jesus uses to describe himself appear to be lifted directly from the Deuteronomy passage. There is no debate therefore, Jesus is the prophetic Law-giver and Messiah of Israel. This is fulfilled prophecy, but here's how it played out in real life.From one of the earliest accounts of Jesus' life we see he had an advanced understanding of God's law. At the age of 12 Jesus and his parents went to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. The story is told in Luke chapter 2. Mary and Joseph, thinking Jesus was with them, were returning to Nazareth. Upon discovering their child was missing, they began a search. Do you remember where they found him? At the temple, debating with the priests matters of the Law. Even at such a young age, Jesus astonished the teachers of the law with "his understanding and answers."During his earthly ministry, the Teachers of the Law tried to trap Jesus by getting him to teach something that wasn't true (Mark 12, Luke 20, John 8 among others). Of course their efforts failed; even "experts" in the Law cannot overcome the Law. Need more proof that Jesus is the fourth edition of Divine Law? Heed the words of the apostle Paul:

For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. — Romans 3.20-22

Jesus is Divine Law, and therefore only Jesus can make one righteous apart from the law.Let's break for a moment to examine how God has chosen to deliver these seven editions of his law. In Jewish literature there is a form of structure called a chiasm. A chiasm is a series of point, always an odd number of points, that the author uses to indicate the main point. The first and the last are similar, the second and next-to-last are similar and the middle point is the main point. I believe you'll agree with my assertion that God gave his seven editions of divine law arranged chiastically. So far we have observed four of the seven editions of Divine Law. It should be clear to those paying attention that we are moving from the abstract — nature, then conscience — to the well defined — the Ten Commandments, and now the person of Jesus. The fifth is the Bible (which we'll discuss tomorrow), then our hearts and finally the life of the believer. From Jesus we start seeing the editions becoming more abstract again. How do they pair up?God's law being observed in creation is equal to God's law being observed in the life of the believer; the law being written on our conscience matches up with the law being written on our hearts; the Ten Commandments written on stone is akin to the Bible produced on scrolls and paper. That eaves us with the central and best revelation of all, Jesus Christ. God's delivery of his law is even given over thousands of years and in a way consistent with Jewish literature. Only divine providence could have pulled that off. I'll see you tomorrow.

 
 
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