THE END OF THE LAW OF MOSES

By Kevin Rutherford

 

Last week we looked at the beginning of the New Testament and the End of the Law of Moses. We referred to Hebrews 9:15-17 among other passages to show that the Old Testament was fulfilled in Christ at the cross. When Jesus died His last will and testament (The New Testament) came into effect. More specifically, when Jesus died the Law of Moses went out and the Law of Christ came in.

The end of the Law of Moses was something that was very difficult for Jews to understand. They had lived according to this law all their lives and so also had their ancestors for many generations. Although the prophets spoke of a Law that would go forth from Jerusalem it was still hard for the Jews to accept the New Law (Isaiah 2:3). It was even harder still for so many of them to accept that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the Law, and the One to fulfill all prophecies concerning the Messiah (Acts 4:5-12; Romans 10:4). Even though the Law of Moses was designed to act as a tutor to bring them to Christ, the Jews still struggled with accepting Christ and His New Law (Galatians 3:22-25).

As Paul wrote to the church at Rome he discussed in detail the Jewish rejection of the Law of Christ. He spoke of how their rejection of the truth had caused him great sorrow (Romans 9:1-5). While many Jews were rejecting the truth, many Gentiles were accepting it (Romans 9:6, 7). To the Jews Christ had become a stumbling stone and they refused to accept Him (Romans 9:33). The reason they refused to accept Jesus and His New Law was because they, in seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God (Romans 10:3).

Even those Jews who had accepted Christ and had become Christians struggled with what to do with the Law of Moses. They had accepted Christ and were baptized into Christ and yet they were used to following the Old Law. Consequently some would seek to bind certain aspects of the Law of Moses upon Gentile Christians, such as circumcision (Galatians 5:1-6).

In A.D. 70 God used the Roman Army to bring about the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the temple in that city. Jesus Christ had warned the Jews that this would happen (Matthew 24:1-35). When Christ came in judgment upon the city of Jerusalem the temples records were destroyed. Once the temple records were destroyed it became more difficult to follow the Law of Moses. Among other things, the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem made it clear, once and for all, that the Old Law was no longer in effect.

There are so many things that we can learn from the Law of Moses (Romans 15:4). However, the law which guides New Testament Christianity is the Law of Christ as revealed to us in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:1, 2; John 14:26; 16:13). It is this law that will be the standard of judgment on the last day for all who have lived since the cross (John 12:48; Acts 17:31).