Thursday, 23 June 2016

Keeping the Law in Exile?

Deuteronomy 30:1-3 doesn't set a precedent for the modern, adjusted ways of 'keeping the Law' - ways which look very little like what Moses commanded in the Law. 

It promised the Jews speedy restoration to their land, if they got the ball rolling through initial repentance. Then once back in their land, Levitical worship would resume. And that's precisely what happened, after captivity! 

The captivity had been a function of the Law itself. It's like they were estranged from their covenant, yet the Law itself warned of captivity; and the Prophets predicted it.

Through the Prophets God even gave them special instructions about how to behave while in captivity. They were also promised restoration to their land and to Levitical worship. They were even given a timeframe.

All of that was stated in the Law and Prophets beforehand. It was all provisions of the Law. They resumed Levitical worship after captivity, because the Law still stood at that time. Their estrangement from the Law, and their restoration to it, were all provisions of the Law.

But since then, God has made a NEW covenant with Israel. So repentance towards God nowadays doesn't bring a person speedily back into a position where they can once again resume carrying out Levitical worship as Moses commanded - rather, repentance nowadays brings a person into participation in the new covenant, not the old one.

It is God's own actions in Christ on the cross which made it unnecessary to continue carrying-out the observances of the Law, which things were the shadow, but the object is Christ.

To attempt to carry-on observing the shadows today, in necessarily adjusted ways (since so much of the required infrastructure doesn't exist for a literal carrying-out of the Law) doesn't compare with the captivity.

It doesn't take into full consideration that a new covenant has been made. And the new covenant was also predicted in the Old Covenant Scriptures. To not embrace it fully, is therefore to not comply with the expectation written in the Old Testament for our time.

Unlike during captivity, when the Jews' relationship to the Law was precisely what the Law and Prophets had predicted for that time and circumstance.

But for our time and circumstance, the Law and Prophets stated a very different expectation. I am not in exile, estranged from covenant. Their expectation was that we would embrace the New covenant instead - which is all about Christ, not the shadow.

No comments:

Post a Comment