The Lord of the road
Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will passes from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts of the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5.17--20
On our recent road trip, I drove straight through a stop sign. I didn’t even think about stopping, and it was a left turn. Ami mentioned to me that this could be a parable. Now I didn’t break any law you see. I-90 was closed because the road was flooded and the side roads had traffic guys directing people at the stop signs so the county roads could handle the interstate traffic. So even though I drove through a stop sign, I didn’t break the law. Instead, the law had been superseded because the road was upgraded to an interstate of sorts and because of the authority of the traffic cops. We still had to follow the rules of the road: we didn’t go off-roading in our minivan, and we didn’t drive on the left side of the road. We still sought to love others with how we drove.
Although this isn’t a perfect illustration of the age inaugurated by Jesus, it is still a helpful one. When Jesus came, he didn’t necessarily abolish what God expected of his people (either Israel or the Church). Instead, you could say the road was upgraded from a county road to an interstate and the Lord of the road waved us through. How the Old Testament relates to the New is important for us to understand, and I would suggest listening to Dr. Gentry’s and Dr. Caneday’s seminars that happened at our church. They give an indication of the direction I would suggest we should take to connect the two. Ultimately, what Jesus did changed the rules because he fulfilled the requirements of the law, and because we are in Christ, the church now runs by different traffic laws, but yet with the same goal of loving God and others. Our righteousness isn’t based on deeds expected of us by the law: because we know how that went in Israel. They were complete and utter failures. Those saved in the Old Testament will experience salvation because they were devoted to God and lived in faith that there would be a future savior.
Our trust in Christ means Christ’s righteousness is ours. Our trust in Christ means our bodies will one day be renewed so much so that we won’t experience sickness or sorrow. Our faith in Christ means he has sent his Holy Spirit to renew us day to day so that we will grow in our love for God and his word. Our trust in Christ means that his Holy Spirit will reveal to us our sin and guilt: we will see our anger as murder and our lust as adultery and abhor it. We won’t live presumptuous lives and will instead love our neighbors as ourselves (see Matthew 5.21 etc.) May we continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in this age.