Saturday, May 11, 2013

Law / Grace

Psalm 119 is a beautiful reflection on the character and value of the law of God. At the end is a surprising prayer. Verse 176  " I have gone astray like a lost sheep, seek your servant" - the admitted outcome of the law meditation being the exposure of human weakness and wandering ways!

John 13-16 is by contrast a most uplifting, enabling law of liberty  where the believing  soul is able  to be fruitful because of connection to the vine. Only in Him can true fulfilment be found. The focus of the Holy Spirit's work to reveal Christ and so "in Him" we have identity and fruitfulness. The prayer of chapter 17 omits the law and the stress is on "Thy word" given to the disciples by the Lord.

John 18  John highlights the occasion when the Lord applies the law to the judge - to the high priest He asked 'where are the witnesses required by the law in judgement?'

Matthew quotes much Old Testament scripture to validitate Jesus as the Messiah and King of Israel. John links many incidents to the Old Testament to show that these prophecies are being fulfilled. Chapter 19.28 is the account of Jesus deliberately fulfilling scripture  -  He said "I thirst".   The piercing of His side must take place  to fulfil scripture. Notice the word 'fulfil'.
The final benediction in John's gospel is "Blessed are those who have not seen yet have believed".  This is different to the last words of the Old Testament  -  'remember the law of my servant Moses .... lest I come and strike the land with a  decree of utter destruction.
The difference being 'the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ'

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