Galatians 3:15-22 (NRSV)
The purpose of the law
Brothers and sisters, I give an example from daily life: once a person's will has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, "And to offsprings," as of many; but it says, "And to your offspring," that is, to one person, who is Christ. My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.
Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one.
Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
You know, I've often thought of the Law as a mirror. Perhaps God gave us the Law so that we can see ourselves as we really are. The Law helps me to notice the many flaws in my mind and spirit that are in need of the healing touch of Love.
The Law reminds me that I am prone to allowing people and things to usurp God's proper place in my life. It calls to mind the many ways in which I take God's name in vain by failing to give it proper reverence in my speech. It points out the fact that on Sunday after church I don't always continue to restfully and quietly enjoy the Lord. It warns me that there have been days when I have disrespected my parents in word, thought, or deed. It causes me to recall that there are days that I desire that which my neighbor has, forgetting to be grateful; or that I lie to avoid having to tell the truth and get embroiled in a conflict.
LORD, HAVE MERCY UPON ME!!
I'm sure you could make your own list regarding the things that the Law brings to your mind about your own behavior. That is exactly why the Law is helpful.
But, just seeing ourselves in the "mirror" does not fix our appearance. The only thing that fixes our appearance is a love relationship with Jesus Christ.
As we put all of our hope in Jesus, the Law is fulfilled, and we are set free from the bondage of sin.
It is JESUS--and Him alone--who is able to redeem my transgressions and change the appearance of my mind and spirit in the eyes of God.
When Jesus came, he did not come to remove the mirror--he came to change what it is that we see in it. When I look in the "mirror" of the Law, I see myself AND I see Jesus. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He has done all that is required by the Law to attain the forgiveness of my sin and my eternal life!
Let us pray: God, thank you for your Law and thank you for your LOVE. Thank you for the good news that Jesus saves us from our in and gifts us with eternal life. Thank you that He did indeed live, die, and live again on the third day out of love for me. Please help me to share that Love with others, in Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you have questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, “Come to Jesus” @ http://bit.ly/JVhaLta