Saturday, 18 February 2017

Not in Exile

It isn't possible to keep the Law anymore, as the composite whole that it was - as the complete religious, ritualistic and ceremonial unit that it was. Not literally - not entirely. Everyone knows that - even Orthodox Jews.
In fact one Jewish organisation claims that only six of 613 Mitzvot (commandments) can be kept in the absence of the Temple and priesthood. Only six! That's their claim - a Jewish claim - not mine.
The so-called 'Hebrew-roots' people get around that by claiming 'exile provisions'. Israel never carried out the Law while in exile, but they still had to do the parts they could - and now we're in the same boat, they say. They say that just like Israel was restored to carry-out the Law literally and completely again after captivity, so shall we in future.
But the difference is: Israel's captivity had been a function of the Law itself - but that's not the case now - we actually have a New Covenant now. We're not in 'exile' - we are the beneficiaries of a new covenant!
In contract law, there can never be two contracts covering the same thing at the same time. So the bringing-in of the new covenant implied the end of the first covenant.
The first covenant stated that Israel would go into captivity if they broke the commandments. The Prophets predicted the captivity in advance, they even stated how long it would last; and they gave them instructions covering how to act while in captivity. That all came to pass.
The Prophets also foretold Israel's restoration to their land and of their temple and priesthood soon afterwards. That also came to pass. It's now history. We're not still looking forward to a reinstatement of the old style of worship in future.
Israel was able to legitimately return to Levitical worship after captivity, because the Old Covenant still stood. And the Levitical genealogies which were required to authenticate a priest as a Levite, still existed. Those required-genealogies don't exist anymore - therefore a Levitical priesthood can't legitimately exist again in future.
The reason we now worship in spirit and in truth, is not because we're in exile, but because Jesus said the time for change had come - because that's the kind of worshipers the Father is now looking for, Jesus said.
Jerusalem is no longer the required place of worship, not because we're in exile, but because God Himself changed the program, by His own actions in Christ.
Sacrifices aren't necessary, not because we're in exile, but because Jesus sacrificed Himself one for all.
Those things had only been the shadow - but God Himself has brought the real thing, in His Son. And since God brought the real thing, He won't ever revert to the shadow. Not now, not in future, not ever!
Sacrifices won't even be required in future as some 'memorial'. The only memorial instituted in the New Testament, is the Lord's table - and only 'til He come. Once He comes, we'll no longer need any memorial, for we shall see face to face.
So modern Judaism is really quasi Law-keeping. It's not literally Moses Law - it's a substitute they concocted knowing they couldn't literally carry-out Moses' Law anymore.
Without some substitute, the Jews would have felt in a total void. An unexplainable void, one not predicted by their Law or by any of their Prophets, with no telling how long it might last, and no instructions covering how to act. That would be like as if God just walked away! That wasn't the case at all during Old Testament exile.
The good news is, God didn't leave them in a void. Their Law itself had included its own sunset clause - by mentioning the coming New Covenant. Jesus Christ made that new covenant in His blood, on the cross. He didn't leave them in a void - He fulfilled everything the Law and Prophets spoke about!
We believers today are not in exile - we don't need any substitute version of 'Law' not even some 'Messianic' version of it - we've embraced the Son Himself - His New Covenant - the very thing all the Law and Prophets spoke of.
The Old Covenant was only temporary - the New Covenant is eternal. And that's what we're in now - the New Covenant.
Through the New Covenant, God's Spirit has made a new heart in us - a heart that walks in God's ways - causing us to walk according to God's nature, which is love.
And 'love' fulfils all of the intent, morals, ethics and spiritual principles of the Law - without actually making us obligated to carry-out Moses' ancient Law itself (as the ritual, ceremonial, literal, entire unit that it was). But by a new and living way.
Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; He was buried; on the third day He rose again. Now all who believe in Him - regardless of ethnicity, and without the deeds of the Law - are justified freely by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
That's the good new of the grace of God, for all nations, fulfilling Abraham's blessing which was promised for all nations before Israel (Jacob) was even born, and before the Law was given!
"In thee and in thy seed [not 'seeds' plural, but 'seed' singular - which was Christ] all families of the earth (all nations] shall be blessed".

No comments:

Post a Comment