Our reading is from Exodus 21-25; I want to include last weeks chapter 20 – in it we have the account of the 10 Commandments. The following chapters have more or less various ways of interpreting the Ten Commandments. These are listed as “sundry laws”. I find that looking at these verse this past week in light of the Cross and the trials of Jesus during the Passion week is significant. Especially, sin the Law is our schoolmaster that condemns us because our “depraved nature” to sin. We know that Jesus is the End of the Law, having fulfilled and made the Law lose its power. The Law [10 Commandments] are still effective to point out our humanity is in need of a Savior. The Cross of Jesus “it is finished” took the penalty of sin and death and nailed it to the tree. It is because of the various laws in our land today that so many are “considered criminals” of which Paul had said that we all were because the power of evil Satan had worked in us to be the sons of disobedience. In a criminal case, we would all be found guilty. We all deserve our just punishment. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” [Romans 3:23] “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” [Romans 6:23] The chapters of our reading have a plethora of laws, many that we would think are obsolete and even ridiculous. But I have been reminded of some of the laws states, counties and cities have on file still about hitching horses and the such. Specifically, in the reading there is the crime or infraction of the Law, towards beasts, slaves and neighbors; then there is listed the means of restitution for the perpetrator. I presume you could call the “Sundry laws,” “Civil Law” for us today. It is there to maintain a semblance of order and respect for other people and their property. Without Laws and Lawyers, we would have a society of chaos. Paul tells us that we are not to fear those that are enforcers of the Law, for the Law is only for those who violate the Law. If we observe or keep within the limits of the Law there is no fear of the Law enforcers. I have learned in life though that locks are for honest people!
The Law was enacted and called upon during the Passion week; however it was “interpreted” in such a way [twisted] to make a case against Jesus. One thing I have learned about the laws, all someone has to do is insinuate that you did something, then it is up to you to prove your innocence. So much for “innocent until proven guilty.” When Jesus was accused of insurrection – no collaboration could be done. They accused him of revolting against Caesar – no foundation. Jesus was like a sheep before its shearers silent [Isaiah 53].
Three bad trials [all illegal], a mock trial at best; then a mob scene in front of Pilate, here we have a gentile, pagan governor swayed by the “legalistic lawyers” of the day. The religious rulers wanted Jesus dead – they couldn’t do it so they had Pilate do it, as if they could “wash their hands of the whole mess.” Jesus and Lawyers didn’t get along anyway. Their contention was always over how to “interpret the Law.” They knew the Law, but not the Author of the Law. The “practiced man’s laws at the neglect of The Law.” No one is ever redeemed by the Law. The Law could only prove that I am a sinner, it couldn’t do anything for me but condemn me. Jesus came and was made sin, He who knew no sin – that I might be the righteousness of God in Christ. So we must understand that Laws and Lawyers are necessary to show us our sin. But Jesus was our Advocate, our Defense Attorney. But like no other, when the Righteous Judge, Our Heavenly Father pronounced judgment on our sin – Jesus pleads our case and tells the Father – I paid it all! Satan is the Prosecuting Attorney – But our Defense Attorney our Advocate has already won the Verdict – Not Guilty by way of Cleansing! The blood of Jesus has Cleansed us of our sin – and we are forgiven – our record of sin ex-sponged forever!