Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for this daily challenge. It’s Thursday, the day we try to apply and live out what we’ve learned this week from the Bible. This week we’ve been studying the early days of Israel’s nationhood. They had just escaped slavery in Egypt, God led them through the Red Sea to safety, and now that they were a nation, he had a code of law to establish.
We read the Ten Commandments, and yesterday I shared briefly how those basic laws were followed by the establishment of other laws, including specifications for building a temple and sacrificial system.
How does all this point to Jesus?
First, the law makes clear that a relationship with a holy God will require holy people, and how impossible that is. Our problem with sin is impossible for us to overcome on our own. Just read these laws and the many others you’ll find in the Book of Leviticus, and you’ll see just how difficult it is. Only one human being could ever follow these laws perfectly, as intended. Jesus did, because he was God.
Jesus does this, and says he fulfils the law. He’s lived the perfect life we couldn’t, and then sacrificed it by dying on the cross for all of humanity.
Which brings us to the sacrificial system: these sacrifices were like buying time – they never really satisfied what God needed. Sin led to death, and our sin needed to lead to humanity’s death. Just the way it works, harsh as that may sound.
But God had a better plan – the sacrificial system continued until God came to earth as one perfect human being, Jesus Christ. In Jesus, one final sacrifice for all humanity. No more sacrifices necessary – the one perfect human being has been sacrificed, like the one perfect scapegoat on the Day of Atonement. The temple continued to function a few years after Jesus’ death, but then was destroyed, and never restored. The sacrificial system indeed ended just a few years after his death.
Instead of these material sacrifices, Christians are now called to give God the entirety of our lives to worshipping him, and living in his way, according to his Law, because he’s saved us by grace.
Challenge: Make a list of the Ten Commandments, or use the one below. Where are you not showing adequate thanks for God’s gift of grace in his son’s sacrifice?
The Commandments (for reference):
You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”