Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Gospel in the Torah

How often I've heard in Messianic circles "Torah does not mean law." Yet, that's how we treat it. We obsess over obedience for obedience sake as we try to subject others to this new understanding of ours.

In a sense, the Torah is indeed law. But, in a sense, it is also gospel--good news. It is good news to the orphan and widow, for God has brought them justice. It is good news to the stranger, who is brought near in equal standing before God. It is good news to humanity, as rest is granted to us from our toil.

To find the Gospel in the Torah, you must peel back layers of legalism, but it's there if you look. This is, after all, the revelation of God--the same God that sent His Son as a ransom for many. But, we must see it through the eyes of Messiah, the one who said "The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath." Similarly, the Torah was made for man, not man for the Torah.

The weakness of the Torah is that, in and of itself, it has no power to effect change. That power comes through God. It comes through the work of Messiah who went before us to slay the giants that stand between us and the Promise, defeating sin and death once and for all. It comes through the Spirit who empowers us to crucify the flesh and be transformed into a new creation in Messiah. He is the light that shines behind the Torah, illuminating the path of righteousness.

So, instead of trying to place the burden of the law upon the shoulders of others, let us live the character of God found therein--defending the orphan and the widow, welcoming the stranger, granting rest to the weary. Instead of meticulously obsessing over obedience for its own sake, let us become conformed to the image of Messiah and walk the path of restoration, looking always to the heart of the commandment--to the Life that the commandment was intended to bring us to.

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