[Lesson 94: Review #2] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 96: Review #4]

Lesson 95

Review 3:

Moses: God's Holy Law

Exodus 1-20, etc.

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

Today we plan to continue our review of the message of the prophets, the Good News which shows how sinners can become righteous before God. We are still reviewing the Torah, the book which God placed in the mind of His prophet, Moses. As we have seen, the Torah of Moses is of great value to all who desire to know the truth; it is the foundation which God established so that we might verify everything we hear to know whether or not it comes from God.

In the beginning of the Torah, we saw how our ancestor Adam sinned. His sin spread to all his descendants like a contagious disease, bringing sorrow, death and eternal punishment, as the Lord God had forewarned. But we thank God that the Scripture says: "Where sin increased, [God's] grace increased all the more." (Rom. 5:20) Yes, on the very day Adam and Eve sinned, God, in His grace, announced that He would one day send into the world a Redeemer, to redeem the children of Adam from the curse that sin brought.

In the last review lesson, we saw that God called Abraham, promising to make of him a new nation from which all the prophets and the Redeemer would arise. Thus Abraham had a son, Isaac, who had a son, Jacob, who had twelve sons from whom came the twelve tribes of Israel.

Now let us continue our review to see how God used Abraham's descendants, the Israelites, to teach mankind what the Lord God is like and which path sinners must take to escape God's righteous judgment. Our lesson today is called "God's Holy Law."

In our study in the Torah, we saw that God allowed the children of Israel to become slaves in the land of Egypt for four hundred years, as He had made known to Abraham long beforehand. When the time appointed by God arrived, He sent Moses to the Israelites. Moses was an Israelite who had grown up in the house of Pharaoh, the wicked king of Egypt.

God sent Moses to Pharaoh to say to him, "The Lord God says: 'Let my people go that they may worship me!'" But Pharaoh refused and mocked, saying, "Who is the Lord? I will never let the people of Israel go!" Thus, God made His power and glory known to Pharaoh and the Egyptians by means of nine terrible plagues which fell on all the people of the land except the Israelites. However, the signs and wonders which God did before Pharaoh did not cause him to repent and obey the word of Moses. God said to Moses, "I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go!" Do you remember what that plague was? Yes, it was the death of the firstborn in every household.

Thus, we saw that God killed the firstborn in the house of Pharaoh and in all the houses of Egypt. But He delivered the firstborn of the Israelites, because of the blood of the lamb which they, in obedience to God's command, had stained over the doors of their houses. God Himself had promised: "The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you!" (Exod. 12:10) Thus, because of the blood of the lamb, God passed over the houses of the Israelites, not killing their firstborn. This is how God saved the Israelites from the hand of Pharaoh.

As we have seen, the story of Passover day has a deeper meaning than the deliverance of the children of Israel from Pharaoh's dominion. For the Scripture says: "These things happened to them as [illustrations]…for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come." (1 Cor. 10:11) The story of the blood of the lamb which the Israelites stained over the doors of their houses so that God would spare their firstborns from death and deliver them from Pharaoh is an illustration. It illustrates the way of salvation established by God to save sinners from Satan, the taskmaster who is more wicked than Pharaoh.

The Word of God shows us that all the children of Adam are like slaves. Perhaps some of you are thinking, "Yes, we know that we are slaves of God!" But that thought does not agree with what the Lord Jesus declared in the Gospel {Injil}, saying, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." (John 8:34) And since all the children of Adam are slaves of sin, they are also slaves of Satan because Satan is the master of sin. What is absolutely certain is that whoever is Satan's slave has no way to free himself! Can a slave free himself? Can he give something to his master so that he will allow him to go free? That might work with a good master, but it will not work with a master like Satan. Like Pharaoh, Satan will never willingly allow his slaves to go free! Never! Oh, how we, the children of Adam, are cursed! Is there anyone who can deliver us from the dominion of Satan who has made us his slaves? Yes, praise be to God, there is a Deliverer! God has sent to us One who can liberate us! That One is the powerful and righteous Savior, Jesus the Messiah, who came from heaven, of whom all God's prophets bear witness.

In the Torah, we read how God promised to crush the head of Satan through the holy Redeemer who would be born of a virgin. In the Psalms, we heard how the prophet David wrote that this Redeemer, whom God calls His Son, would be put to death in a terrible way-that He would be tortured and that His hands and His feet would be pierced! In the book of the Gospel, we read much about this wonderful Redeemer. He is Jesus, the son of Mary, who lived a perfect life and then died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the tomb. Yes, Jesus is the One who fulfilled what God's prophets had written long beforehand about the Savior of sinners.

God's Word calls Jesus Christ "the Lamb of God." Like the lambs slaughtered on the day of the Passover-Jesus shed His blood to save us from judgment. Approximately one thousand five hundred years after God delivered the Israelites by the blood of a lamb at the first Passover, God allowed the sons of Adam to nail Jesus, the Righteous Messiah, to a cross. And it was on the day of the Passover feast that He was nailed to the cross. Thus, just as Jesus fulfilled the symbolism of Abraham's sacrifice {Id al-Adha}, so also, Jesus fulfilled the symbolism of the Passover lamb. The people who crucified Him on that day were acting in ignorance, but God had planned the sacrifice of the Messiah before He created the world. (See Revelation 13:8; Acts 3:17)

Jesus is the perfect and final Sacrifice for sin. The blood of Jesus Christ is the legal price that God required to redeem the children of Adam from the dominion of sin. Accordingly the Scriptures declare:

"Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed [for us]." (1 Cor. 5:7) "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!" (Rom 5:6-8)

Leaving the story of the Passover, let us now remember what we learned concerning the holy law, which God entrusted to the Israelites. In our research in the Torah, we saw how God revealed His holiness and glory to Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness, descending upon Mount Sinai in fire and thunder and lightning. Thus God passed on to the Israelites His Ten Commandments and many other commands, which is called the Law of Moses. God commanded them, saying: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind: You shall have no other gods before me! You shall not make for yourself idols! You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God! Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy! You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself: Honor your father and your mother! You shall not murder! You shall not commit adultery! You shall not steal! You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor! You shall not covet your neighbor's possessions!" And to these holy commandments, God added these words: "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it!" (James 2:10) "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law!" (Gal. 3:10) That is what the holy law which God committed to Moses declares!

Listening friend, have you kept this holy law of God which requires you to be absolutely perfect in thought and word and deed-from the day of your birth until the day of your death? Every day and every hour, night and day, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. Also, you must love your neighbor as you love yourself! Have you fulfilled this holy law? You and I know that we have not fulfilled it! The Scripture says: "There is no one righteous, not even one!" (Rom. 3:10) "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8) None of us have ever fulfilled everything that God requires, because we were all born with a sinful nature.

Perhaps some would ask: If none of us can fulfil the law of Moses, why then did God give it to us? Is God Someone who wants everyone to perish? No. God is Love, and does not want anyone to perish! Then why did God give sinners His holy commandments, when He knew perfectly well that no one could keep them? What is the purpose of those commandments? God has answered that question when He says:

"No one will be declared righteous in [God's] sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." (Rom. 3:20) "[The Law] declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe." (Gal. 3:22)

Thus we discover that God entrusted His holy commandments to sinners, to show us our imperfection before Him, and to show us our need for Jesus Christ who bore for us the curse that sin brought. Among men, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only One who kept the holy law which God entrusted to Moses. As we have seen, Jesus was very different from the descendants of Adam, because He did not share their sinful nature. Jesus is the Eternal Word of God, who came down from heaven, to be born of a virgin. Jesus took on a body like ours, but did not take on our evil nature. That is why, when He was on earth, He could say: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them." (Matt. 5:17) Did you hear what Jesus said? It is a very deep and wonderful truth. Jesus said that He came into the world to fulfil the holy law which God entrusted to Moses! Do you understand what this means? Jesus did for us what we, the children of Adam, could never do for ourselves! He fulfilled God's holy law, and after that, He shed His blood on the cross to bear the curse of the law for us and to save us from God's righteous judgment!

Jesus did not deserve to die, because He had never sinned. However, to complete the plan of salvation which God had promised through the prophets, the Lord Jesus, of His own will, gave His life for us. And after He shed His blood to pay our debt of sin, God raised Him from the dead on the third day! Listen to what the Holy Scripture declares concerning this. It says:

"[The holy law of God cannot condemn] those who are in Christ Jesus!…For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man." (Rom. 8:1,3)

Listening friend, on what are you hanging your hope? Are you relying on the Good News of God about the Righteous Redeemer who bore the punishment for your sins? Or are you are still relying on your own "good" works? Do not forget what the Word of God declares, when it says:

"All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.' [However, Jesus] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us…so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life!" (Gal. 3:10,13; John 3:16)

Thank you for listening.…

In the coming study, God willing, we will complete our review of the Scriptures of the Prophets and see how Jesus the Messiah fulfilled everything which the prophets prophesied concerning Him, thus opening a door of salvation and peace for the children of Adam!

May God give you insight into what we have studied today and help you remember this promise from His Word:

"[The holy law of God cannot condemn] those who are in Christ Jesus!" (Rom. 8:1)