I often read Jesus done away all laws etc. But that simply can't be true.Some people feel the Law can never be changed, even to the crossing of a "t" or the dotting of an "i." Those who believe this will be shocked at what the Bible says
That for example would mean the 10 commandments are no longer in force.
I really doubt it's ok to worship false gods now. Or to murder.
Maybe Jesus done away with all laws of Moses?
What about the rules for the many Jewish feasts? IMO they are more than party time. They show a very strong pattern. I doubt Father/Son would abolish that pattern.
So what exactly changed in regard to laws/rules/customs?
. The Law of God can be changed and parts abolished if God so desires. This is Progressive Revelation
To show that the Law of God can be changed, or even abolished, it is necessary to see how historically the Law of God started, developed, and finally became the Old Covenant. We need to see how the Law was changed and altered from time to time from Adam to Noah. It later changed: from Noah to Abraham, again from Abraham to Moses, and from Moses to Samuel, then from Samuel to Ezekiel the prophet, and from Ezekiel to John the Baptist, and finally to Christ before His crucifixion. The former Law of God changed quite often, with additions and/or deletions, throughout the various periods associated with the men just mentioned.
Let's just review the vast differences between the Patriarchal and Mosaic Legal Systems:
Under the Abrahamic covenant, God allowed his people to offer sacrifices anywhere they pleased
(Genesis 12:7, 35:1; Job 1:5). Moses changed this law by commanding only the family of Aaron to attend to the sacred rites
(Exodus 40:116) and those sacrifices could only be offered on the altar in the Sanctuary
Abraham planted a grove (or sacred tree) in Beersheba
(Genesis 21:33), but under Moses the use of groves became prohibited
(Exodus 34:14; 2 Chronicles 14:3; Isaiah 17:8).
Jacob set up a pillar (Genesis 28:18), but this was later forbidden by Moses
(Deuteronomy 16:22, margin).
God said in the time of Noah: "Every moving thing [i.e., all animals] that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things" (Genesis 9:3), but with Moses only the beasts mentioned in Leviticus chapter 11 were allowed or disallowed
There were no official feast days commanded in the time of Abraham, but with Moses, ordained festivals became required periods for attendance by all Israelite males
There was no commanded Tithing at first. Tithing was not a law in the patriarchal period
None of the patriarchs wore phylacteries (at least we have no record of such), but with Moses their use was commanded
The land did not have to rest every 7th year under the patriarchs (Genesis 41:3435), but with Moses, the land rest was commanded (Leviticus 25:17).
Abraham married his half-sister with God's full approval (Genesis 20:12), but this became illegal in the time of Moses
Abraham was confederate with his Canaanite neighbors (Genesis 14:13), but no leagues with the Canaanites were allowed in the dispensation of Moses. Indeed, the Canaanites were to be exterminated
There was also no commanded Sabbath law in the patriarchal period. However, in the time of Moses the Sabbath was first introduced as a law for Israelites to obey
(Exodus 20:8; Nehemiah 9:14; Ezekiel 20:12) with stringent requirements that changed the very character of the 7th day of the week
. Moses had now emerged on the scene and a profound change in religious essentials had come into existence for Israel. The differences between the religious system of the patriarchs and that of Moses were dramatic
. If a religious Israelite after the time of Moses could have been transported back to Abraham's time and witnessed Abraham (not knowing who he was) performing his religious duties, he would have called him an unconverted heathen.
And though it is made clear in the Scriptures that God knew Abraham "obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Genesis 26:5), those laws (the Law of God in Abraham's time) were very different from those later laws commanded to Moses and to the Israelites at Mount Sinai.Indeed, for Abraham's first 99 years of life he was not circumcised,
he built altars anywhere he pleased,
he raised up groves,
he offered no lamb at Passover,
he kept no weekly Sabbath,
he attended no holy feasts,
he wore no phylacteries,
he married his half-sister,
kept no land sabbath [that is, no Sabbatical Years], and
of all things...
he was allied with the Canaanites. What God did in the time of Moses was to rescind the religious requirements of the Patriarchal period in favor of stricter laws ordained in the time of Moses. The two religious systems were so completely different that if one were to mix the teachings together, utter contradiction and confusion would result. There is no compatibility at all between the two systems.
In the time of Samuel, in order to give new laws that God designed to govern the kingdom of Saul and then David, Samuel opened the Book of the Law and added sections to it that pertained to the Kingdom of Israel then being developed."Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a [the] book, and laid it up before the Lord."
1 Samuel 10:25Samuel actually wrote the new laws about the Kingdom (now found in Deuteronomy 17:1420) and placed them in the Book of the Law of God which was in the Sanctuary (Deuteronomy 31:9, 17:18). Indeed, Samuel had an example of another righteous person doing the same thing
. Joshua also added new teachings to the Law. "Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God"
(Joshua 24:26). As a matter of fact, when Ezra the priest in the 5th century before Christ finally canonized the Old Testament, he not only added all the later books to the Old Testament canon [which then represented the Law of God], but Ezra went through the first five books of Moses and made a number of additions to the Law where he thought it necessary. This editing by Ezra, and the addition of biblical books, was under the approbation and command of Almighty God and Christ Jesus agreed with it. ( 2Ti 3:16) "For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
John 1:17Pay attention were about to get deep! The Christ while teaching in the flesh was placing the capstone on the Mosaic system of living by the Law. The Christ was prophesied to be a "second Moses" with greater power than Moses to be a legislator
. Christ changed the Law of Moses drastically and had complete authority to do so. He had the backing of God the Father to do so. Look at the legislation giving Christ such authority
. The Christ had the power to change any law He pleased."The Lord your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, like unto me; unto him you shall hearken; According to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.' And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
Deuteronomy 18:1519"The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he (Jesus)
[the Messiah] will magnify the law, and make it honourable."
Isaiah 42:21Now read Matthew with the idea that God's Law is now Magnified!
Mat 5:21 "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.'
Mat 5:22 "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
23 "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25 "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way,
so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 "Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.
27 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into geenna.
30 "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into geenna. 31 "It was said, 'WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE'; 32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 "Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.' 34 "But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36 "Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil. 38 "You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' 39 "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 "If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
41 "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two
. 42 "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you
. 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' 44 "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 "For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 "If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Indeed, God's Messiah came to magnify the Law! And so He did!
These teachings of our Lord were so severe, and more stringent than the simple statements of the Ten Commandments, that they led one to hopelessness in trying to keep them.
But it did not stop with the first commands. It went further.
If one looked longingly on a woman (or man) to lust after her (him), the person was adjudged as committing adultery (Matthew 5:28). President Carter at the beginning of his presidency was not the only one to acknowledge openly that he committed this kind of adultery. It occurs to every normal person unless certain glands have been removed. Hardly anyone has escaped breaking Christ's interpretation on this matter.
And look at the harshness of punishment for this type of adultery. The right eye was ordered to be plucked out
(Matthew 5:29) or the right hand cut off
(verse 30). This surgery of part of the anatomy was to prevent all the body being destroyed in Gehenna fire
.But the severity does not end there
. Whereas divorce under Moses was allowed for most human weaknesses which were judged reasonable by the courts (Deuteronomy 24:13), Christ's teaching was much more strict
(Matthew 5:23, 32). It was so severe that even the disciples responded: "it is good not to marry"
(Matthew 19:10). The disciples were simply amazed at Christ's strict teaching.These new interpretations of Christ were vast changes to the meaning of the Laws given to Moses. They went far beyond simple obedience to law as understood by Jewish theologians. With Christ's new interpretation
, if someone were to be awarded your coat at law, you were also required to give him your cloak
(Matthew 5:40). When compelled to go one mile, you had to go two ((verse 40). And if smitten on the cheek, the other cheek had to be subjected to abuse
(verse 39). There were no "ifs, and or buts" to these requirements, which Christ insisted that people must keep. They went far beyond the normal limits of law
, whether the law was that of Moses or any of our normal laws today.The truth is, these new interpretations that Christ gave were so far beyond the ordinary capability of man to observe (whether the laws were of God or man) that no human could possibly on all occasions keep them.
This is a fact that no sensible person can deny. Yet, when a young man came to Christ and asked Him what must be done in order to attain eternal [age-lasting] life, Christ said "If you will enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:1617). Christ meant to keep His commandments, not simply in the Mosaic way but in the manner Christ interpreted them
. Though the man said he had observed the normal (Mosaic) meaning of the commandments, he still failed the test of perfection demanded by Christ because he coveted is goods, and refused to sell them and follow Christ
(verses 1822).The point is, how many of us are capable of keeping these high spiritual teachings of Christ in regard to law?
While Elizabeth, Zechariah, Paul were reckoned as "blameless" in observing Moses' law, no one could possibly say that they kept perfectly the strict interpretations that Christ Jesus put on the law. This over-strictness is reflected throughout the whole of Matthew's Gospel. Note this point.
The Scribes and Pharisees kept the law more scrupulously than any other group (they observed the Mosaic requirements well), but Christ demanded much more of His people."Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:20Why, then, did Christ give us such rigorous interpretations when He knew they could not be kept?
It is very simple. It was to increase peoples' transgressions and show that no one can possibly gain salvation by trying to keep any law
. Christ went so far as to make the law so stern that no one could possibly observe it perfectly. And while the apostle Paul stated that the law of Moses had been given "for the purpose of producing transgressions"
(Galatians 3:19, Moffatt translation), when Christ came along, following the precedent of Moses, He increased the resultant transgressions tenfold with His above-normal requirements.
Of course, Christ had the power to insist on such stringent disciplines if He so pleased. But again, why did He do so?As stated before, Christ was making the law so impossible to observe in a perfect sense, that there was no chance of anyone being called "blameless" again. He did this in order to direct people to the need of a Savior
) who was to manifest Himself to the earth. And Christ poured on laws upon laws (and extremely stringent ones
) that no ordinary human could even begin to keep
.All through Christ's ministry while He was in the flesh, he emphasized only one way to gain salvation. It was through obedience to law. But when man witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ (and the sending of the Holy Spirit), a whole new method of gaining salvation was introduced to the earth. Something different from the observance of laws was brought into existence. A new standard of righteousness was introduced.
It was given to those who expressed a faith and love in Christ, a reliance on His blood as the sole means for obtaining the Kingdom of God and a salvation that accompanied the promise of the Kingdom.Thus, through the whole of the ministry of Christ while in the flesh, He insisted on law keeping as the only way to salvation. But this insistence on law (and on a over-strict interpretation of it) represented a conclusion to the Mosaic system; the Law of Moses made even more stringent with Christ's superlative additions. This shows that Christ's teaching to the Jews in Palestine was not the beginning of the Christian system in which salvation was awarded through faith, not through law. This first phase of Christ's teachings shows a deficiency in the message that Christ taught to the Jews (a deficiency intended by God). It shows a great difference between the first teachings of Christ and those taught later by the apostles. Christ's message of law before His crucifixion was intended to be replaced by something better; replaced by the final teachings of Christ that had grace as the means of salvation. But before Christ's crucifixion, it was all LAW, LAW and more LAW!
(Taken from ELM) Paul