CJ Johnson

Adult Ministries Director

EXODUS 20

I was a history major in college and the one math class I took didn’t go so well.  The truth is, math is not something I’m gifted at so thank you to all of the people like Jim Marshall and Fred Jaramillo who helped me out during my high school career. Now if you share my pain I know that at one point in time during your education you probably said, “When am I ever going to use this?”  I definitely think that’s still a valid question because I can’t remember the last time I used algebra. However, I do remember Jim Marshall explaining to me during an SAT tutoring session that all math is useful and a tool we need to understand.

Sometimes we view the Old Testament the same way we view math.  We often think since we have the New Testament and no longer need the law, it’s pointless to go through the pains of understanding it.  This week, we come to Exodus 20 and begin our reading of the law.  This will continue over the next couple of months as we go through Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy (aka the infamous reading plan killers).  My hope for you is that you’ll see the significance of the law and how it is still relevant to us today. 

Now, it’s relevance does not mean I’m going to call for us to sacrifice an animal this week in church, but my encouragement is to not leave the law to the experts.  It is possible for all of us to understand what Jesus meant in Matthew 5:17 when he said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”   

Let’s break it down.  The law was first established as a part of the covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 12 when he promised him land, nation, and blessing.  Half a century later, while the Israelites are wandering after the Exodus, God establishes how his covenant people would function as a society and how they would worship him.  These laws reflect God’s standard of holiness. It is these laws that show us how incapable we are of reaching God’s standard and our need for someone to fulfill them for us, namely Christ.

I would encourage us to not let these next books become a reading plan killer.  Instead, see these passages as part of God’s eternal plan to bring salvation and glorify his son. The laws in Exodus through Deuteronomy all point to one main thing.  That Christ would come and perfectly fulfill them on our behalf.  Consider Hebrews 9:11-12,

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.”

Jesus deserves all the glory and honor. When we read the law, let us remember the Father’s perfect plan in sending his Son, and the humble submission of the Son who came and lived a perfect life so he could, once for all, become the perfect sacrifice to secure an eternal redemption for you. All of this because he loves you.