Paul asks the question in Galatians 3:19, “Why the Law then?” It is an important question, since most of the Bible takes place under the Law and even Jesus Himself explained that one aspect of His mission was to fulfill the Law. In this short series of articles we have been exploring the answer to this great question.
To Show The Need For a Savior
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). As already noted in an earlier article, sin became utterly sinful when the Law came into existence. With all this sin in the world, even the animal sacrifices offered in the Temple of God were not able to cleanse. Instead, the sins of one year were simply pushed forward to the next year, and so on. No person under the Law was ever forgiven of his sins under that law. No person could ever find salvation. Turn to Hebrews 10:1-3, which reads, “1 For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshippers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.”
- It all goes back to sacrifice. Under the Law, sacrifice was necessary for sins. Blood of animals was used to atone for the transgressions under the covenant, but it was always impossible for that blood to take away the sins. “In those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.” It only pushed them away, saved them for later judgment.
- Blood was a key component of the Law. After Moses had finished reading all the oracles of the Law, he sprinkled the books with blood (Hebrews 9:19). And the writer of Hebrews puts it well in Hebrews 9:21-22.
- So if it was necessary for that Old Covenant to be founded upon blood, then it becomes even more necessary for the New Covenant to be founded upon blood that is even more pure! Instead of sacrificing animals every year at a feast, or on certain days when certain sins were committed, it has become a new system with only one sacrifice, for all time, for all sins: Christ. We do not need to kill thousands of animals now to obtain just a degree forgiveness. All we need now is Christ’s one and only death (Hebrews 10:14 reads, “For by one offering, He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified”).
- We are the ones who now have the opportunity to believe in Christ and gain salvation through His blood.
- We are the ones who have the opportunity to place membership in His body, and become citizens of His glorious Kingdom. We can do this right now!
- We can look back at the Old Law, with its rules and regulations, with its unachievable standards, with its Godliness and righteousness, and we can learn some lessons from it. The Old Law, which is the law of the Jews, is no longer in effect today, but its value is immeasurable (Psalm 19:7-14).
- We can look back the stories of old and see that the situations believers faced thousands of years are very similar to what we face.
- We can see their triumphs and know that it is within our capacity to be victorious.
- Notice the love that Old Testament followers had for the Scriptures, yet there were few copies in circulation. How much more should we adore the Bible?
- Why waste the Old Testament? It makes up more than half the Bible, and it is the thing that Christ and the apostles quoted at length! When we spend all of our time on the New Testament, we miss out on the valuable and exciting lessons from David, Ruth, Samuel, Elijah, Ehud, Abraham and Sarah, and all of the other godly men and women who came before us.