Wednesday, November 28, 2012
God knows humans; He know how to deal with humans; He knows how to teach them. We need a lot of examples and demonstrations before we understand things. And we need things explained pretty clearly.
Most of all most of us need to have our lessons connected to something pretty important to us. So God wanted, and still wants, to make sure we understood how important Christ's sacrifice was going to be. He set up the system of Laws and sacrifices of the Old Testament to serve as examples of His coming Plan for Salvation.
Speaking of us being human: Paul compares our state of being (as humans) to the difference between a child and an adult. The child doesn’t understand or know all that an adult knows. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.( I Cor 13.) We can all relate to both of these examples. Earlier in the same chapter he says: 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when Christ is entered in we will see clearly.
Job expresses our state before God when he says: 14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?
The reason for the Law is stated by Paul when he says 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Gal. 3 24-25
The Law as a school master demonstrated the powerlessness of man in living for God. Romans tells us, 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:2-4
First he gave us the Law--so we would know how difficult it was to live the way He wanted us to live. Men had to WORK hard at doing His Will and they had to find out how impossible it really was to do it in themselves.
Then Men had to understand that there was a way to be forgiven for the wrong they'd done. So He instituted the sacrifices--the lamb, the goat, the cattle, the doves. For "without shedding of blood is no remission." Why did He use the sheep and goats, etc? Because the Israelites were herding people, the made their living by raising livestock. Livestock represented their livelihood. Those perfect sheep and goats that God required of a sacrifice were IMPORTANT AND PRECIOUS to the strength and well being of their herd and thus to them. Just as important as God wanted the sacifice of Christ to be for us.
If He hadn't spent years showing His People the importance of serving Him and showing that they couldn't do it in their self, then when Jesus came with the free gift of Salvation, they wouldn't have recognized how Precious it was.
But after generations of struggling to live righteously, the Jewish people had learned that without some outside source of Power they couldn't do the will of God. They could be forgiven for not doing it through the sacrifices, but they couldn't attain real salvation.
Only through the birth and teaching and death of Christ was that possible. What glory! What blessing! What victory was made possible through Christ.
But men would never have understood it's worth without those first years of struggle and sacrifice of precious lambs and kids.